Invitation to Tender
Contract Award Notice
Page 11 – Involvement of ‘Activity partners’: Will selected network representatives (formerly called ‘Task Groups’) continue to progress specific discrete deliverables through regular teleconferences and a face-to-face meeting prior to week 40 yearly, or has this been superseded by ‘activity partners’ who will only contribute to deliverables specified in the framework and specific contracts?
As stated in the tender specifications, the involvement of activity partners is optional and dependent on the Activity leader’s ability to cope with the contracted deliverable. Activity partners are selected network representatives who will actively contribute to the fulfilment of those deliverables with a cost as specified in the framework and specific contracts. However, there will be other activities (e.g. strategic discussions, technical planning, review, etc) and consultations where the rest of the network members can contribute in a similar manner as the former Task Groups. It is forseen that such Task Group members can continue to progress these activities in the network as active and appreciated network members and contributors without necessarily being included as ‘Activity partners’ in the framework contract.
Page 12 – Activity 1: ‘With approval of ECDC, the activity leaders/partners will distribute reference viruses, antisera and sequences…’ This distribution activity is a function of the WHO CC which does not require approval from ECDC.
ECDC appreciates the function of WHO CC. This sentence on approval refers to any distribution of those deliverables specifically covered by funding by ECDC under this framework. At the same time ECDC needs to be informed of all the deliveries of the mentioned reagents as defined in D1.1.3.
Page 13 – 2.2.4 – Please clarify what is meant by all deliverables become the property of ECDC on submission. Is it anticipated that results of in depth antigenic analysis of propagated viruses, antiviral resistance and genetic analysis of representative viruses will be carried out as viruses or clinical samples are received from CNRL laboratories are to be owned by ECDC?
The viruses (including isolates, sequences, etc) remain in the curatorship of the originating laboratories (and those they share them with). ECDC will become the owner of the results and the reports of all deliverables that are funded by the framework contract. Note: that all ECDC owned and published reports are under ‘open source’ copyright statement: Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged. The reports will acknowledge the work done in producing the report and the reports are published with spirit and actions that ensure wide dissemination and use of the product for public health purposes.
Pages 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 32. Please clarify the nature of ‘molecular typing’. Does this refer to phylogenetic analysis of sequence data captured in a molecular database or to clade designation of viruses as being captured in TESSy?
Molecular typing refers here to antigenic, genetic and antiviral susceptibility characterisation data of influenza viruses including clade designation and phylogenetic analysis of sequence data.
D2.2.1. Please clarify ‘virus neutralisation’ in the long-term training plan. Does this refer to serology? If so, is it expected that the training plan will include serology techniques in general?
Virus neutralisation training refers to training of any relevant assay used in the influenza virology field to detect neutralising antibodies against influenza virus, such as haemagglutination and haemagglutination and neuraminidase inhibition assay as well as microneutralisation assay or any other relevant assay. The training plan should include serology techniques in general based on the needs of the network and on the global influenza surveillance situation.
Please clarify whether animal origin influenza viruses from human specimens will be handled and shared under conditions defined by the WHO PIP framework.
It is required that the animal origin influenza viruses fulfilling the criteria for “PIP biological materials” will be handled and shared under conditions defined by the WHO PIP framework (Section 4.1 in http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA64/A64_8-en.pdf).
Please provide more details about the timing of the offers for each yearly contract as described in paragraph 1.12, viz For each specific contract, ECDC will send a request for offer to the contractor, who must acknowledge its receipt and the date of reception. ECDC will analyse the offer, negotiate the final content with the contractor taking into account these terms of reference, and eventually either sign a specific contract with the contractor or withdraw the request.
When specifically will the offers be called for, as at least two months is likely to be required for the internal management of such a year-on-year rolling contract.
After awarding the tender and the signature of the framework contract ECDC will send the request for offer for the first specific contract. The following requests for offer are sent towards the end of the contract in place but ECDC can agree with the contractor certain deadlines that might accommodate the needs of the contractor and the continuity of works.