2018-05-15 07:00:48 UTC 02: 43 pm

Dublin, Ireland: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Last Mile Delivery

Both Dublin and Belfast city council are looking for ways to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of deliveries, reducing the number of goods vehicles in their respective urban centres, which in turn will improve air quality, noise pollution and road safety. This needs to be achieved in a way that minimises the financial impact to business in both cities.

We are confident that innovative and new approaches are possible leveraging new technology opportunities and business models which can also ensure the future competitiveness of Dublin and Belfast. Annex B includes some examples of current best practice solutions.

SBIR - Last Mile Delivery

Key Considerations: 

1. It is important that new solutions for last mile freight delivery support the ambitions of both cities relating to areas such as inclusive growth, growing the economy, transport, logistics and air quality.

2. There is a lack of baseline information in both Dublin and Belfast about freight delivery, who, what, where, when, how and why deliveries are being made. There is also a lack of information about the movement of freight deliveries through the city and its impact on the transport needs of both cities including public transport

3. Within both Belfast and Dublin retailers are largely content with current delivery processes. The current situation is that larger wholesalers and retailers have well-structured deliveries systems. SME’s rely on less structured deliveries which increase trip numbers and traffic volumes. It is important to consider future needs in the context of a growing city.

4. Growth in city centre population, increased numbers of students, impact on deliveries, changing shopping trends (e-commerce), parcel deliveries and waste management need to be factored in to any future solution to support retailers and contribute to positive outcomes for both cities.

5. A growing hospitality sector in both cities is placing a greater a focus on delivery of perishable goods.

6. There are competing demands on available kerbside space including provision for bus stops, parking bays, taxi ranks, loading bays and short duration parking.

7. In Belfast there is interest in consolidating delivery loads to create both effectiveness and efficiencies for delivery companies and their customers, thereby helping to help reduce traffic volumes within the city. While in Dublin there are examples of logistics consolidation centres - for example Dublin City Council is piloting a key city centre site for a sustainable logistics hub with UPS .

8. The safety of how goods are delivered needs to be improved. Cellar doors are left open outside pubs while beer barrels are rolled along the footpaths; trucks and vans mount the kerb while pedestrians and cyclists navigate through delivery operations. Therefore, initiatives around delivering safely are also being sought.

The competition will be run by Dublin City Council, following the SBIR model to provide for 100% funded pre-commercial procurement. Similar models have developed credible international reputations for success in the USA and Europe. This is a way for Government departments to find novel solutions to specific problems by engaging innovative companies they could not otherwise reach.

This open and transparent competition will result in R&D contracts between successful applicants and Dublin City Council (and Belfast City Council).  Applicants must therefore be a legal entity.  Although we are encouraging projects that include collaboration across the supply chain, the contract will be with the lead party, and other collaborators will be subcontractors of the lead party. We particularly welcome applications that enable small companies to participate within the supply chain.

The competition will be run in two phases: 

  • Phase 1 is intended to show the technical feasibility of the proposed concept. Phase 1 Invitation to Tender will open on 26th April 2018 and contracts are expected to be awarded in July 2018. Phase 1 awards may be made depending on the quality of applications and budget.   The contracts placed will be for a maximum duration of three (3) months with a funding total of up to €12,500 for 4-5 successful applicants. Successful applicants may be awarded a contract to provide a robust, evidence based case for the viability of their proposed solution (for example a desk based feasibility study with some supporting practical work/data).
  • Phase 2 contracts are intended to develop and evaluate demonstrators from the more promising proposals in Phase 1. Successful feasibility studies will be invited to participate in a prototype demonstration to commence approximately one month after award notification, with detailed monitoring to take place over a 4-6 month period. Phase 2 funding total is likely to be in the range of €50,000 – €100,000 incl.VAT. It is anticipated that up to two (2) Phase 2 awards may be made depending on quality of applications and budget.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Stimulate the market in new ways to drive a change in current fragmented delivery approaches. 
  • New insights to better manage and co-ordinate freight deliveries within both cities resulting from tool/s to facilitate logistics and planning of deliveries 
  • New insights to inform impact of deliveries on public transport, future infrastructure needs and improve city centre experience for residents, shoppers, businesses, workers and visitors. 
  • As part of phase 1 we will work with successful consortia to provide physical city centre floor and/or road space to allow the development of new approaches. 
  • We want to develop a better understanding of the business models and collaboration potential across competitors (UPS, DHL, An Post / Postal Service etc.) and also shared mobility providers.
  • To promote increased delivery route sharing – how can we maximise the use of existing infrastructure and deliveries. Is this possible and what are the business models to scale up shared delivery services across providers in the city centre.


  • We could have access to timely, low cost, integrated real-time data which can provide better information to monitor logistics performance in the city centre. In addition how can we improve enforcement of loading bays and review appropriate locations, loading patterns and occupancy levels.
  • Support the concept of last mile provider consolidation centres i.e. how to enable this in an open way that is scalable across multiple sites and cities [Dublin Only]
  • How can we support smart grid infrastructure that is fit for purpose to enable delivery companies to invest in high-quality, fit-for-purpose Electric fleets
  • Encourage deployment of smart technologies and innovation in new business models
  • Designation of loading bays for shared logistics services, consolidated loads, electric vehicles, and pooled vehicles – shared vans and smart technology to enable this from an enforcement perspective.
  • Innovate in the use of smarter licensing, policy and regulations. For example Innovation in control measures alongside the creation of smarter enforcement tools that can nudge behaviour in a city centre context.
  • Innovate in how we allocate permitted loading times – this may involve extensions in some cases but also limits and or reductions in early morning periods around congestion times. Various combinations are possible and this is an area that could be piloted. To improve compliance with existing loading arrangements.

Applications will be reviewed by a selected panel of experts. Depending on the number of applications, initial short listing may apply.   It may be that a number of finalists will be requested to attend an interview or provide a demonstration for the panel.  Contracts will be awarded shortly thereafter.  Feedback to unsuccessful applicants will be given after contracts are awarded.

The assessment criteria are:

Addressing the challenge and commercial potential (40)                     

  1. How well does the proposal address the challenge(s) identified and is the solution strongly user focussed, easy to use, reliable, secure, cost effective, and scalable for national markets? (20)
  2. Does it have the potential to deliver real social, environmental or economic impact for Dublin & Belfast and/or the public good?  (10)
  3. To what extent does the proposed project have commercial potential to lead to a marketable product, process or service? (10) 

[Note:  Commercial viability will be assessed nett of any monies paid through this SBIR call]

Technical solution (30)                                                                                 

  1. What is innovative about this project? To what extent does the project develop or employ new approaches, data, tools or technologies? (10)
  2. How significant is the competitive advantage which this solution affords over existing/alternate solutions which can meet the market needs? (10)
  3. How sound is the approach of the proposed plan for establishing technical and commercial feasibility? (10)

Resources, Skills and Experience and project management (30)    

7.           7. To what extent does the company appear to have the right skills and experience to deliver the intended benefits? The proposal should demonstrate that there is a clear management plan which will enable the resources, including manpower and tools / systems to be used to maximise high quality outputs. (10)

  1. What are the risks (technical, commercial and environmental) to project success? How effectively will these be managed? (10)
  2. How appropriate is the proposal financially? Is the overall budget realistic and justified in terms of the aims and methods proposed? Does the proposed budget represent satisfactory value for money? (10)

1.       Format of tender


All proposals must contain the following:

·         Completed Application Form;

·         Valid tax clearance certificate or confirmation that one can be made available once the tenderer becomes a preferred bidder;

·         Valid insurance certificates to the required levels below or confirmation that these can be made available once the tenderer becomes the preferred bidder:


§  Employer’s Liability:                €13,000,000 in any one event

§  Public Liability:                       €6,500,000 in any one event

§  Professional Indemnity            €1,000,000


·         Declaration as to personal circumstances of Tenderer as outlined in Appendix 05;

·        Tenderer’s Statement as outlined in the attached in Appendix 06;

·     Valid Tax Clearance certificate or a Tax Clearance Access Number (eTax Clearance) or confirmation that one can be made available once the tendered becomes a preferred bidder (See Appendix 07)


2.       Submissions

Proposals must be submitted electronically using the postbox available on www.etenders.gov.ie no later than 12:00pm (noon) on 18th June 2018.


Mainard Gallagher

Coordinator at Dublin


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Dublin, Ireland: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Last Mile Delivery