This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no 619568


This section contains the most common PCP-related questions such as who might apply, when the tender must be submitted and how, whether one company/or university/other entity might submit several tenders or just one and so on.

For any other question please contact us at We will be happy to answer your requests.


Q. Is my organisation eligible to submit a tender to the PCP?

A. This PCP is open to all legal entities that locate a relevant portion of the R&D and operational activities related to the PCP contract in the European Economic Area, or in a country having concluded a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU, and that can demonstrate a route to market for their tendered solution.


Q. I am a Pre-Startup Company, may I apply?

A. Yes, but contracts must be awarded to legal entities.


Q. I am based at a University, may I apply?

A. Universities may apply, however they must demonstrate a route to market, i.e. the tender must include a plan to commercialise the results.


Q. As a University, should I use Full Economic Cost (fEC)?

A. No. Prices should be calculated to reflect fair market value.


Q. Can I submit multiple tenders?

A. Yes. Since the PREFORMA project deals with research and development within three separate file format areas, we welcome more than one individual tender per supplier, e.g. if an interest to propose solutions in more than one area is expressed.


Q. My company is a Registered Charity, can I apply?

A. Yes, registered charities are equally eligible to the PCP via their trading company limited by guarantee. All organisations must demonstrate a route to market.


Q. Is there a chance for institutions not located in the European Economic Area, or in a country having concluded a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU, to submit a tender?

A. Due to the already mentioned, PREFORMA unfortunately cannot encourage institutions not located in the European Economic Area, or in a country having concluded a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU to participate in the Tender as a competitor. However, there is a possibility for them to interact closely with the project by being part of the PREFORMA community.


Q. Can I work in collaboration with other companies?

A. Yes, tenders from consortia are accepted as well as tenders from single legal entities. Contracts will be signed with all legal entities in a consortium. A consortium may change partners, if new partners can prove they have the same competences as replaced partners, and if they agree with all rights and obligations (including binding unit prices etc.) in the framework agreement and specific contracts. Also, tenderers may identify components of the work which they wish to subcontract and may also employ specialist consultants or advisers if they believe this will increase the chances of the project being successful. Subcontractor must be stated in the tender. If the tenderer wishes to rely on the resources of a subcontractor, the tenderer is advised to submit a written commitment from such subcontractor to make available his resources to the tenderer for the full duration of the contract. Tenders are evaluated on having adequate resources.


Q. Can I work with other subcontractors in phase 2 and phase 3 than in phase 1?

A. Yes. An innovative solution is the goal.


Q. Can a Consortium of organisations belonging to only one European Country participate in the Tender?

A. Yes, there are no constraints on the number of Countries to be involved.


Q. Does the tender require or expect the involvement of all the different types of organisations belonging to the 'triple helix' of R&D (suppliers, universities, memory institutions) in the proposed project?

A. No, the tender does not require involving all the three types of organisations. It is possible to involve some of them but failing to do so does not affect the scoring.


Q. Has each partner of a Consortium (not itself constituting a legal entity) to provide details in Tender Form?

A. Yes.


Q. How could each partner of a Consortium (not itself constituting a legal entity) provide its own Responsible Person allowed to sign the Declaration part of the Tender Form?

A. Each participating organisation should provide its own signed declaration, for instance by copying the declaration section in the Tender Form, and attach these to the Tender. From the proposal, it should be apparent which company is the Lead in the consortia.


Q. How should suppliers report the adherence to the exclusion criteria of the Tender?

A. Suppliers declare their alignment with the exlusion criteria of the Tender, by the available sign-up. For the sake of swift, and efficient handling of incoming proposals, suppliers are not mandated to provide any information upfront, to verify that they are not subject to any of the conditions stated in the exclusion criteria. Only if the agency has reason to believe that a supplier is subject to any of these, will a request for documents, or statements, be made. However, if one of the selected suppliers is found to be lacking in any of these respects, once the contract has been signed, the agency´s entitled to terminate the agreement with this company. The intention of the agency is to sign contracts with companies which possess all of the necessary resources to carry out the endavour in ways compliant with mainstream law.


Q. How do I submit my tender?

A. Instructions on how submit a tender can be found in the Invitation to Tender document. Details of the challenge and expected outcome of the projects can be found in the Challenge Brief. Invitation to Tender and Challenge Brief will be available in the Call Documents section of the website. You are strongly advised to read all published PCP tender documents before completing the Tender Form.


Q. What is the deadline for tenders?

A. This information will be available in the Tender section of our website and within the published competition documents.


Q. Which is the procedure to submit the Tender Form and the Declatation(s), after they have been filled in?

A. The tender should be sent electronically to It is not necessary for suppliers to send signed, printed, originals by post to Riksarkivet. Digital submissions of proposals are fully sufficient.


Q. Could PREFORMA make the standards ISO specifications available for the participants to the call?

A. PREFORMA is not able to make all the ISO specifications available without cost for all participating tenderers. All projects are expected to obtain the licenses relevant for there R&D work, also when they are available at nominal cost. This does not contradict the formal definition of an open standard by the European Interoperability Framework for Pan-European eGovernment Service (version 1.0 2004), i.e. available either freely or at a nominal charge.


Q. Is it possible to take existing open-source tools and enhance them in order to meet the requirements of the call?

A. PREFORMA aims for development of conformance checking software under a copyleft license. Hence, we will deliberately welcome projects based on existing open source tools, on the condition that the current license is compatable with licensing under GPLv3 and MPLv2 licenses.


Q. What does it mean that the proposed software solution should be operational in a closed zone with no internet access?

A. This functionality refers typically to the use of the conformance checker (1) on a simple consumer type PC, used in a small memory institution and (2) on a highly secured, networked environment as deployed by public archives.


Q. What is it intended in terms of "route to market"? Should the tenderers include in the proposal a complete business plan or is it enough to show how the proposal will affect the software industry more generally?

A. Regarding the "route to market" mentioned in the call documents, we do not expect a comprehensive business plan, rather a few statements containing a take on the business, and/or commercial opportunities that may present themselves to suppliers as a result of their participation in the project. We'd like to understand the impact of the R&D project on the market for long term preservation products and how will the open source project induce innovative and more competitive solutions for checking conformance of preservation files.


Q. How will the successful tender be chosen?

A. Tenders will be first reviewed by at least three experts belonging to the Evaluation Committee, which is composed by one representative from each partner of the PREFORMA Consortium plus two external experts. Based on the experts´ assessments, a preliminary ranking is made, discussed and agreed upon during a Consensus Meeting between all the Members of the Committee, to be sure that the assessments of all tenders are consistent and equal. The Committee will make the final decision on which tenderers are to be awarded contracts. Please see Invitation to Tender for more detailed information.


Q. Is the PCP a subsidy?

A. No. The tenderer signs contracts with certain obligations to fulfil. Chosen tenderers will be obligated to provide R&D services at tendered prices.


Q. Who owns the Intellectual Property generated by the Project?

A. All software developed during the PREFORMA project must be provided under the two specific open source licenses: “GPLv3 or later” and “MPLv2 or later”. All digital assets developed during the PREFORMA project must be provided under the open access license "Creative Commons CC-BY v4.0" and in open file formats, i.e. an open standard as defined in the European Interoperability Framework for Pan-European eGovernment Service (version 1.0 2004). For more detailed information, see the Invitation to Tender and the Framework Agreement.


Q. Is price also taken into consideration of the assessors?

A. Yes.


Q. Should prices include VAT?

A. No. Tender prices shall be stated in EUR currency, exclusive of VAT. Duties, custom fees, taxes or other charges, if any, shall be included in the tender price.


Q. Should tenderers have to include in the proposal a detailed plan for the meetings to be held?

A. There is no written information on meetings, or travelling arrangements, in the call documents. These, and other similar, concerns will have to be solved owing to the circumstances with selected suppliers in the negotiation phase, which will take place after the contracting phase.


Q. What is the basis of the estimate for the cost of the different phases?

A. The costs reported are only an average estimate that took into consideration several criteria: the constraints in terms of overall budget available, the duration of each phase, the fact that R&D costs for the prototyping are higher than the other phases and the fact that we expect to award multiple contracts for each media type. Nonetheless, the tender can specify any requested amount within the overall scope, and although price is the most important single factor in the scoring model it only represents 20% of the overall score, meaning that the most important criterion is the quality of the projects.


Q. Is it anticipated awarding separate contracts for each phase, or is it planned only to award multiple contracts for complete (all three phases) tenders?

A. Proposals should cover all three phases, since it is requested a commitment from suppliers for the project as a whole.


Q. In case of success, shall each partner provide its own cost statement with detailed resources spent for accomplishing due tasks or shall we consider the requested budget as a lump sum?

A. Both partial payments, and a final payment, after the project period is completed (for instance Phase 1), are acceptable. Payments taken care of by the Authority during the project period do necessitate cost statements on behalf of the Contractor, whereas the final payment is conditioned in the Agreement by the submission of a Phase 1 report. The Project Management Team, through the Project Coordinator, will have to approve of payments, and they will be taken care of by a financial manager at Riksarkivet, at his instruction. There is a fixed price breakdown available in the Tender Form, which can be used to specify the price for Phase 1.


Q. Are winners of the tender considered as new PREFORMA partners, with same obligations in terms of costs declaration, or shall they be considered as "third parties" that provide their own consultancy paid through invoices?

A. Awarded Contractors have status as Independent Contractors, and not as Partners (although such a development is certainly welcomed, and will probably be realised by the companies which follow through to the end of the project), and this would suggest that an invoice procedure may be enough, given that suppliers are ready to provide any additional information that may be requested to approve the invoice.


Q. Will my tender be treated confidentially?

A. Tenderers should indicate which parts of the information in the tenders that may be sensitive from a secrecy point of view, and for what reason disclosure of such information may be harmful to the tenderer.


Q. When can I start?

A. First, the Decision Notice will be published and distributed to all tenderers. Two copies of the contracts will be sent to the tenderers awarded contracts for signature. The two signed copies should be returned to the contracting authority (Riksarkivet) as soon as possible. When this is finalised you can start. The aim is to have this completed by the end of October 2014.


Q. Who should I contact if I have any further questions?

A. Questions on the specifics of this PCP should be sent to or to the contact person mentioned in the Invitation to Tender.

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