Call for Proposals: Pacific Island Strategic Infrastructure Initiative

USTDA’s Mission

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority infrastructure projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project preparation and partnership building activities that develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in partner countries.

USTDA’s Tools

USTDA achieves its mission by funding feasibility studies, technical assistance and pilot projects that integrate U.S. private sector innovation into infrastructure projects at the critical early stages when design choices and technology options are determined. The Agency also connects overseas project sponsors with U.S. partners through its reverse trade missions, industry conferences, expert workshops and training.

In carrying out its mission, USTDA places particular emphasis on vital economic sectors including clean energy, transportation, digital, and healthcare infrastructure.

Pacific Island Strategic Infrastructure Initiative

During the first United States-Pacific Island Country Summit, held in September 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration announced increased infrastructure investment in the Pacific Island countries. Through the Pacific Island Strategic Infrastructure Initiative, USTDA is issuing this call for proposals to utilize the full breadth of its toolkit to match the infrastructure priorities of Pacific Island countries with the technical innovation of U.S. companies.

Deadline

Entities are invited to submit an initial proposal (not to exceed five pages) to USTDA, at indopacific@ustda.gov, no later than Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at 5:00pm EST.

Eligibility Criteria

USTDA accepts proposals to support infrastructure projects in the following Pacific Island countries:

  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Micronesia
  • Niue
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu

Please direct any country eligibility questions to USTDA prior to submitting an initial proposal.

Teams comprised of qualifying U.S. businesses and eligible Pacific Islands project sponsors from the public or private sectors may submit proposals.

Eligible Pacific Island project sponsors may also submit proposals, provided the sponsor intends to engage a U.S. business for the project preparation, but has not yet selected a business partner. If selected for funding, USTDA will assist these project sponsors to identify a U.S. business to conduct a mutually agreed scope of work.

For reference, USTDA’s Document Center contains agreement templates, due diligence forms, template guidelines, and the Agency’s nationality, source and origin requirements.

The availability of USTDA grant funds in a given country may be subject to limitations, based on the country’s level of income, U.S. government restrictions on foreign assistance and other related policy considerations. Please note that USTDA grant funds may not be used to purchase equipment or software subscription services.

Initial Proposal Content and Evaluation Criteria

Initial proposals shall include a description of the infrastructure project, including the objectives and project location, and address criteria that USTDA will utilize to evaluate proposals and make programming decisions:

  • Potential for U.S. exports: Part of USTDA’s dual mission is to help U.S. companies create jobs through the export of goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. Initial proposals shall describe the project’s equipment and technology requirements, including its potential for exports of U.S. goods and services.
  • Potential for development impact: USTDA’s project preparation activities develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in partner countries. USTDA helps communities utilize U.S. private sector expertise, integrate cutting-edge U.S. technologies, and drive public and private investment across the continent. Initial proposals shall describe the project’s developmental impact potential. USTDA will evaluate proposals based on their potential to advance clean energy, transportation, digital, or healthcare infrastructure projects.
  • Potential for financing and implementation: Initial proposals shall describe the project’s economic fundamentals and demonstrate how USTDA’s grant funds will catalyze public/private investment and lead to new infrastructure capacity. Initial proposals will be evaluated on the project’s potential to achieve financial close and implementation.
  • Project size: USTDA supports large-scale infrastructure projects. While there is no formal minimum or maximum for project size, projects generally are in the US$10 million — $250 million capital expenditure range. Initial proposals shall describe the anticipated size of the project.
  • Strength of the project sponsor: Initial proposals shall describe the credentials, capability and commitment of the Pacific Island project sponsor and, where applicable, the expertise of the U.S. firm proposed to perform the project preparation work.
  • Implementation risks: Initial proposals shall describe potential risks associated with the successful implementation of the project, including legal and regulatory considerations, and economic, technology, political and other risk factors. 
  • Terms of reference and budget: Initial proposals shall include an overview of the tasks needed to be carried out under the proposed feasibility study, technical assistance, pilot project or training, as well as an estimated budget.

Sector Information

The following examples are meant to be illustrative. If you have a question about a specific project and whether it fits within the sector information shown below, please contact USTDA in advance of submitting a proposal.

  • Clean Energy: USTDA promotes clean and renewable power generation, including green hydrogen; solar minigrids and distributed renewable energy resources; energy storage through hydrogen fuel cells, batteries and other storage strategies; smart grid for electricity transmission and distribution; energy efficiency and demand-side management; electrification and emissions reduction in industrial applications; and advanced clean energy technologies that are commercially deployed.
  • Transportation: USTDA supports the development of rail, port, mass transit, electric vehicle and aviation infrastructure. USTDA promotes mobility, safety and security in the transportation sector by enhancing rail, port and flight safety and security; navigation services; port, railway and airport development and expansion; route development; and transportation system capacity.
  • Digital Infrastructure: USTDA promotes the deployment of secure, connected digital infrastructure including internet and fiber access network expansion, last mile connectivity, satellites, smart city development, and cybersecurity.
  • Healthcare Infrastructure: USTDA supports the development and expansion of healthcare systems, including hospital development, electronic medical records, telemedicine and mobile health, oncology care, and pharmaceutical distribution.

USTDA’s mission involves promoting U.S. exports. The Agency is committed to assist in the protection of project developers’ intellectual property, and any project proposals submitted to USTDA are protected from improper disclosure under U.S. law.  Please note that proposals submitted by different developers may contain ideas for similar projects, and USTDA reserves the right to select proposals for further consideration without regard to potential competition or conflict with other similar project proposals.

For further information, please visit our website or contact indopacific@ustda.gov

The call for proposals can be downloaded in PDF format below.