P1906304: AHDB Research Call: GrowSave - an energy efficiency platform

P1906304: AHDB Research Call: GrowSave - an energy efficiency platform

Purpose/Primary Objective 

To undertake a programme of work designed to save energy in all AHDB sectors. 

Background 

Growers have invested a considerable proportion of levy in energy efficiency research, knowledge exchange and communications. On their behalf AHDB Horticulture have supported ‘GrowSave’ a co-ordinated knowledge exchange (KE) programme of energy saving work since 2007. The programme has provided a one-stop shop for all things energy related including; energy management, energy saving and energy alternatives. The hub of information is held on the GrowSave web pages and KE activities have included; events, conferences, study tours, focus groups, technical updates, newsletters, magazine articles, blogs and tweets.

The contract for the current phase of work is due to end in August 2019 and there is a need to continue, extend and broaden the current programme.

Energy efficiency is a high priority for growers, particularly those in the protected crops sector where energy can amount to a high percentage of their variable costs. Energy saving is also critical across horticulture and the wider AHDB sectors. All farming and growing systems rely on energy use and some have quite high demands in specific areas. Examples include storage facilities for crops such as potatoes, cereals and apples; and systems that have a proportion of their faming cycles indoors such as pigs that make heavy use of lighting. All systems will use electricity for example through pumps, fans, fences, refrigeration, dryers etc. Topics such as energy markets, current legislation and alternative sources of energy are important for all AHDB levy payers.

Scope 

The core requirement of the tender will be to continue the GrowSave programme of work delivering to the protected horticulture sector with a clear emphasis on sharing the latest and best international developments with producers. The work will also need to be extended to fully encompass the soft fruit sector. Other areas of focus should be crop storage and conditioning, and use of lighting and heating in livestock production. Consideration will be given to areas of need suggested by contractors. Applicability to all AHDB sectors should be taken into account for each work package and delivered to maximise cross-sector benefit.

A programme of work must be devised that takes into account the needs of the protected edible (including soft fruit) and ornamental sectors, with additional work packages for other sectors (arable and potato crops, and livestock). Areas of interest are outlined in the table below. It is envisaged elements of the KE output will follow a similar pattern to the previous programme and will include: 

  • Expert or focus groups where growers can interact with each other, consultants and an expert facilitator;

  • Events on topics of interest in seminar or workshop style and on grower/farmer holdings;

  • Study tours in the UK or wider afield;

  • In collaboration with AHDB, development and regular updating of Growsave webpages and content, in line with current AHDB design;

  • Technical updates/newsletters that must include new technologies legislation and interpreting energy research from around the world;

  • Social media updates at least two per week for example highlighting current content, promoting events, signposting other resources or news information;

  • Benchmarking of energy and weather data.

Proposals which include novel/innovative ideas of ways to share information to the industry in an accessible and interesting way, for example through different digital tools, will be taken into consideration during the scoring process.

These outputs should be agreed with individual sectors in this project, in alignment with what can be achieved within their respective budgets.

There should be agreement of programme direction and content with an industry steering group supported by broader consultation with a wider range of industry representatives as relevant, with consideration of the areas of interest highlighted in the table below. Suggestions of participants should be included in the proposal, alongside strategies to make the steering group as functional and constructive as possible as a tool to effectively deliver the most relevant information to the industry and cater to individual- and cross-sector needs.

The programme should be flexible so that if the need arises the steering group, AHDB and the contractor can agree changes. 

Sector areas of interest:

 

Protected Horticulture (edibles and ornamentals

Cereals and Oilseeds (grain storage)

Potatoes (storage)

Livestock
- Pork
- Dairy

Glasshouse energy efficiency

Y

 

 

 

Refrigeration performance

 

Y

Y

 

Effective/efficient drying, heating, cooling and conditioning systems for field crops

 

 

Y

 

Y

 

Airflow and ventilation efficiency

Y

Y

Y

Y

Humidification/humidity control

Y

Y

Y

 

Efficient use of water pumps (for irrigation etc)

Y

Y

Y

Y

Environmental control systems

Y

Y

Y

Y

Technology

- Emerging new energy technology

- Renewables

Y

Y

Y

Y

Lighting

Y

 

 

Y

Energy efficient building designs and engineering

- Glasshouses

- Stores

Buildings for livestock

 

Y

 

Y

 

Y

 

Y

Calculating efficient heat recovery and heat exchanges systems in livestock (e.g. for cooling milk)

 

 

 

Y

- Energy legislation, trends, incentives and tariff management

Y

Y

Y

Y

Energy generation

- Conventional boilers

- Biomass boilers

- Anaerobic digesters etc

Y

Y

Y

Y

Sector specific requirements:

AHDB Horticulture

AHDB Horticulture would like to continue researching energy topics, for example trialling new technologies or monitoring existing options. Applicants are invited to suggest where the most important and commercially viable research is needed, and the potential cost to set-up, monitor and report on trials of such technology. This could also be monitoring of grower-led work at a nursery or showcasing outputs of previous research. Ideas on this theme, and options within it, should be included as a separate work package.

AHDB Potatoes

AHDB Potatoes wishes to research energy topics, trial new technologies or monitor existing energy-saving options, to build on project R439 and similar projects. Applicants are invited to suggest where the most relevant, important and commercially viable research is needed, and the potential cost to set-up, monitor and report on evaluation of such technology. This could also be monitoring of grower-led work in commercial stores for case studies or showcasing outputs of previous research. Proposals on this theme, and options within it, should be included as a clearly identified work package.

AHDB Pork and AHDB Dairy

As part of the initial work package for pork and dairy (within the first 6 months of the contract), we would like a review of existing, new and emerging energy technology relevant to each sector, and an indication of where there are gaps or improvements that need to be made. This should be supported by case studies, with the aim of ultimately producing cost-benefit analyses/calculators for different energy management options. For example energy interventions for pig units and mechanisms for heat exchange in milk production.

Budget and duration

Proposals should be designed to cover 5 years. There will be an annual appraisal where funding for the next year will be decided.

A significant proportion of the budget (£60,000 per annum) will cover the core energy work packages in protected horticulture. The remaining budget will support trials and add-on sector work packages.

The 5 year budget will be broken down as follows:

 

Protected Horticulture

Potatoes

Cereals and Oilseeds

Pork and Dairy

Annual total

Year 1

£60,000

£10,000

£10,000

£10,000

£90,000

Year 2

£60,000

£10,000

£10,000

 

£80,000

Year 3

£60,000

 

 

 

£60,000

Year 4

£60,000

 

 

 

£60,000

Year 5

£60,000

 

 

 

£60,000

The need for additional funding for the other years of the project from the add-on sector work packages (further to what has been committed above) will be revisited, and there will be an annual appraisal where funding for the next year will be confirmed.

Completion and submission of the application form

Please refer to the guidance notes for completion of application forms. Applicants should complete the AHDB Research and KE Application Form - Full Proposal Large, completed forms must be emailed to research@ahdb.org.uk no later than 12.00 noon on 31 July 2019.

Applications are made on the basis of the AHDB Research Funding Agreement and any organisation receiving funding shall comply with the terms and conditions of the RFA. AHDB will not be held responsible for any expenses or losses incurred by applicants in the preparation of an application(s).

Proposed timings for application and project delivery

Stage of process Deadline
Call published 6th June 2019
Full proposal submission deadline   31 July 2019
Applicants informed of the outcome Early August
Anticipated start date 1 September 2019
Project duration 5 years with annual project review

Questions

If you have specific questions relating to this call, please email research@ahdb.org.uk and the query will be forwarded to the appropriate AHDB staff member who will respond accordingly. As part of the open tender process, AHDB cannot discuss specific programme details prior to proposal submission. All Questions and Answers will be published

Evaluation of submissions

A number of criteria, summarised on the following page, be will used to judge the quality of each of the submissions. 

1. Programme outcomes

Beneficiaries appropriately identified. Approach to deliver industry knowledge exchange (KE) and links to existing AHDB KE activities. Programme benefits and impact for industry identified. Appropriateness and clarity of industry engagement. Timeframe qualified to deliver impact. Clarification over additional activities/resource required to deliver impact. Environmental benefits appropriately identified and any negative impacts detailed. Key Performance Indicators identified. 0-10 score; weighting of 3

2. Technical approach and work plan

Evaluation of current knowledge (with appropriate references) and awareness of other work, with emphasis on commercially relevant international developments in energy efficiency with proven success in the field. Clarity of aims, objectives, trials and milestone schedule. Plan for annual objectives/themes for definitive work output/work packages for key priority issues in agreement with steering group. Originality and innovation in approach to content and methods of Knowledge Exchange. Effective collaboration with commercial companies. Work package design sufficiently robust for growers to confidently pilot outcomes in their own production systems. Feasibility and risk management. Is project management addressed and sufficient? Is the range of KE employed, including innovative approaches, fully explained and relevant? Does it encourage grower to grower/farmer to farmer learning, adding value and impact to the established grower interactions? Does it address the needs of the sector, and show link-up between growers in different areas of the UK? Evidence of effective or potential for effective interactions between consortium members, with clear synergy between different work packages for mutual benefit.  Are the timescales against the milestones described achievable? 0-10 score; weighting of 3

3. Relevant expertise

Knowledge and expertise. Quality of past contributions to, and impact on, the topic. Potential to bring added value through current and/or past contributions. Complementarities of expertise of the team. Is there sufficient industry contact capability within the team? Delivery record on previous AHDB funded work, both research and KE, satisfactory. 0-10 score; weighting of 2

4. Programme costs

Are costs reasonable, clearly defined and necessary? Are the resources for time, equipment and management clearly identified, including a breakdown of time inputs by each member of the project team, and are resources sufficient to deliver the programme goals? Will the total budget be adequate to carry out the proposed activities? Added value of co-funding from other parties? Do costs adequately cover the cost of project management? 0-10 score; weighting of 2. 

A meeting of potential contractors will be held before the submission deadline.

Any proposal that scores less than 50% overall in the evaluation process will be rejected. AHDB reserves the right to liaise with the successful applicant to further develop proposal content as required.

For each of the four criteria under examination the following scoring system will be applied:

9-10Excellent Exceptional quality; cutting-edge; highly likely to produce benefits/impact of great importance to the industry; highly innovative; impactful KE activities proposed; applicant is widely recognized in the field with an outstanding record of accomplishment; consortium is strong across all technical areas needed to accomplish the proposed outcomes. Strongly recommend support
7-8Very good High quality; potential to make an important contribution; innovative; likely to produce significant benefits/ impact for the industry; impactful KE activities proposed; applicant has a good reputation in the field; consortium appears to have more than adequate expertise across all technical areas required to deliver the proposed outcomes. Strongly recommend support
5-6Good Interesting; innovative; likely to produce good benefits/impact; good grasp of appropriate KE activities; applicant has a solid reputation in the field; consortium appears to have adequate expertise across all technical areas required to deliver the proposed outcomes. Should be supported
3-4Fair Interesting but little originality; likelihood of making significant impact is small; may require significant additional investment to deliver benefits; applicant/team lacks experience, has not established leadership in the field or demonstrated the potential to make impactful contributions. Support may be considered if strong in other areas
1-2Poor Poor quality; not well planned; lacking expertise; not feasible; unlikely to make an important contribution to fundamental or applied knowledge; unlikely to produce benefits/impact; lacking convincing evidence that the proposing team has sufficient and appropriate expertise to accomplish all of the tasks as outlined in the proposal. Should not be supported
0Very poor Very poor quality; duplicative of other work; fails to address the issues; no evidence for demand; cannot be judged against the criterion due to missing or incomplete information. Should not be supported