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Request for Proposals

Create Market Analysis for Energy Innovation Institute (E2I) at UMass Lowell

UPDATES (Revised May 7,2020): Text below in bold has been added for clarification.

Project Summary and Goals

The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (Mass CEC) seek a Consultant to complete a study assessing the market and need for an emerging energy institute at UMass Lowell and maximizing its benefits to growing the clean energy sector in MA. The study should focus on the needs of emerging clean energy technology developers, existing or anticipated demand for access to the sorts of resources and services that could be provided by the institute, and how those resources could best be developed and made accessible.

Scope of Project

The Study will be comprised of:

  1. stakeholder interviews and research; and
  2. a business model survey and related analysis
  3. Energy companies interviews and analysis to determine needs for future growth in Massachusetts.

The Study will address issues including but not limited to the following. The Consultant shall:

  1. Perform a clean energy innovation infrastructure assessment within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. For example, the assessment may include but is not limited to: Assessment of the existing clean energy innovation infrastructure; Identification of possible investment and/or resource gaps; Determining what relevant energy research equipment is available in the Commonwealth; Identifying what equipment and/or testing resources are clean energy companies primarily using; Identifying what equipment/resources are difficult to access or not available; Performing a survey of existing energy related infrastructure in Massachusetts at other universities, national laboratories, and incubators. The selected Consultant shall define a clear scope and methodology for completion of this task.
  2. Assess opportunities for academic, corporate and startup collaboration via creation of a repository of clean energy technical expertise across the University of Massachusetts system and other Massachusetts universities.
  3. Survey existing business and organizational structure models for a limited number of “clean energy innovation hubs/institutes” with similar goals/focus including an assessment of a successful business model (i.e. financial, corporate structure, programming, as well as public and private sector engagement).
  4. Assess and evaluate existing and planned UMass Lowell clean energy assets, including: the National Science Foundation/industry-funded WindSTAR research center, the UMass Lowell Energy Innovation Institute, the UMass Lowell Climate Change Initiative, a Department of Energy funded partnership with University of Maine to develop renewable fuel additives from woody biomass, the acquisition of Fraunhofer personnel/assets, a partnership with Greentown Labs, potential/pending federal funding and private partnership with existing energy companies and business associations.
  5. Interview stakeholders including but not limited to relevant UMass Lowell faculty and administrators, clean energy incubator leadership, state and regional clean energy companies (of different sizes and growth stages), relevant city and state officials, and R&D facility operators.
  6. Interview existing energy sector companies to determine the future market trends and direction that energy companies will be pursuing. Identify the areas that require further technological breakthrough (REMOVED: *or changes in policy or regulation*) to expand existing footprint of clean energy development.
  7. Synthesize the findings from interviews and the survey into a recommendation that shall include, but not be limited to: a list of proposed functions/activities that such an entity would undertake; business (capital expenditure, revenue, expense), staffing, and governance plans. The Consultant will generate a summary report and make and provide a presentation to the relevant UML and MassCEC leadership and stakeholders.

Award overview

Maximum award amount is set at $87,500, see payment schedule below.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated on the general criteria below:


  • Is the application timely?
  • Does the application provide all information requested in this RFP?
  • Has the Applicant appropriately defined a scope and methodology for completion of Task 1 such that it is sufficiently responsive and also manageable within the budget and scope of the remainder of the study?
  • Has the Applicant demonstrated sufficient time resources and flexibility to provide the required services?
  • What have MassCEC’s and UMass Lowell’s experiences been in working with the Applicant (if applicable):
    • Was the work under previous contracts carried out within the required timeline and budget?
    • Were deliverables of the required standard?


Awardee will be selected based on the review of the written proposal. Applicants may be individuals, organizations or businesses. Applicant must be able to provide unbiased report related to the scope of work. Applicants may be asked to present their proposal to a selection review committee. Applicant must have relationship with energy companies in Massachusetts and perform all necessary primary and secondary market research. Does the Applicant or applicant team (if applicable) have the minimum qualifications?

Proposed Work Plan:

  • Does the Applicant demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and motivators underlying this program?
  • Is the proposed work plan clear?
  • Will the proposed work plan fulfill the goals of each of the tasks?


  • Are the services reflected in the Applicant’s quote commensurate with the proposed budget?
  • Is the Applicant’s quote realistic?

References for Prior Work (If applicable)

  • Was prior work carried out as per the required timeline and budget?
  • Were deliverables received in line with that was expected? And of a sufficiently high quality? Were the deliverables actionable and valuable?
  • Was the project managed well?
    • Were there sufficient updates and check-ins to ensure the reference was aware of the progress of the work?
    • Was the point of contact responsive?
    • Was the team receptive to the feedback provided?
    • Where changes to timeline, budget or deliverables were required, was this handled in a manner which allowed for proper planning and enabled the goals of the project to be accomplished?

Project Completion Requirements

Completed report shall be submitted no later than December 1st, 2020. The report include/address all elements of the Scope of Project listed above. The report should provide primary market research from senior leadership from existing established energy companies and new entries into the market. The awardee will prepare a report and presentation that will clearly identify trends and markets that will require further studies and research and development, in alignment with both commercial and state/federal goals. The awardee should identify the sources of potential funding to conduct necessary research to be performed by the University to enhance the development of clean energy market in Mass.

Schedule and Deliverables

Submission Deadline for Proposals: Friday May 29, 2020 by 5 p.m. EDT
Start Date: June 29, 2020
Project Completion Date: December 1, 2020

Timeline and payment process

Award payment shall be split and awarded at the following dates/amounts in 2020:
$30,000 on July 1
$30,000 on October 1
$27,500 on December 1

How to Apply

Proposal submissions should be a maximum of 10 pages; use page numbers, 1” margins, font size Ariel 10 or Times New Roman 11 and include the following sections:

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction or Background
  • Plan of Work
  • Summary of Deliverables
  • Description of Project Team and Qualifications
  • Budget and Justification
  • Resumes for Key Personnel (2 page max per person, not counted toward the 10 page limit)

Please submit one PDF document including all submission materials.

Proposals should be submitted by email to:


Questions about this RFP may be submitted by email to: