Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

CORDIS - Community Research and Development Information Service

The European Commission, DG XIII, has published an invitation to tender relating to the Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS), a service supported within the framework of the specific programme for the dissemination and optimization of the results of activities in the field of research and technological development, including demonstration (INNOVATION).

The Directorate-General for Telecommunications, Information Market and Exploitation of Research of the European Commission, through its dissemination of scientific and technical knowledge unit, collects and disseminates information related to the research and technological development (R&D) activities of the EU. At present the information is collected from various sources and made publicly available via CORDIS, an on-line information system which also distributes information on CD-ROM and on printed media. The service attracts over 50,000 users every month, with over a million visits to the CORDIS Web site. The present call for tender concerns the continuous operation and further development of CORDIS and the provision of related services.

Information provided through CORDIS is made available in several forms including:

- Structural bibliographical databases (over 160,000 entries);
- Document library (over 800 entries);
- Web pages (over 10,000 entries).

For this purpose, assessment, preparation, conversion, abstracting, indexing, editing, rewriting and user-friendly presentation of information is required in daily deliveries. The production system, which contains over 400 user forms, over 300 tables and over 150 relationships, has to be further developed and maintained in line with the global evolution of the service. The service also covers a multilingual help desk, user statistics and administration, systems and network operations, and servers for databases, Web, FTP, mail and security.

The contractor will ensure ease of user navigation, improved information recall and relevance to help user productivity in such a way that both experts and occasional users (SMEs, scientists, policy makers, etc.) get their specific view. The contractor will maintain and enhance communication services such as electronic mail and conferencing. Efficient communication services with and between the Innovation Relay Centres will be established.

To meet the needs of policy makers, the contractor will collect additional information such as the cost of individual projects, the outcome of calls for proposals and the type of participating organizations (academic, large industry, SMEs, etc.). The contractor will ensure high-quality data in terms of completeness, accuracy, consistency and timeliness. As the environment in which CORDIS operates evolves, the contractor will collect and deliver multimedia documents.

A multimedia Web magazine will inform the public about the development of EC research and its major achievements. All information is available in English. The contractor shall provide high-quality translations in French, German, Italian and Spanish for the 'News' and 'Programmes' databases, for the Web magazine, and the user interfaces. The contractor will improve the partner search service with better promotion, easier and faster user interaction and the technology exchange service with better data collection and usability.

The European Research Gateways On-line (ERGO) project is aimed at interconnecting national databases on R&D with CORDIS. The contractor will complete the ongoing pilot project and implement CORDIS's contribution to the full ERGO service. The contractor will regularly assess user satisfaction and requirements, paying particular attention to researchers in universities and research centres, and industry - in particular SMEs. Assessments will be done through the use of questionnaires and face-to-face interviews.

The contractor will define the promotion strategy and relevant tools, including training, and promote the CORDIS service to present and potential users. The contractor will identify value-added products and services which can be commercially exploitable and present proposals on how to share the revenues.

Existing activities will be taken over in a period not exceeding two months from signature of contract. Service providers must tender for the entire service. Tenders covering only part(s) of the service will be discarded. The existing contracts end in November 1998. The work will be contracted in two or more phases where the first phase will not exceed two years, with the possibility of extensions up to four years in total.

This invitation to tender is open to the GPA (Government Procurement Agreement) countries and to the EEA (European Economic Area) countries. Tenderers can be individual organizations or consortia. In the case of consortia, there are two possibilities:

- Only one partner, as indicated in the tender, will act as contractor to the Commission, all the others acting as subcontractors, or;
- The contractor will be a legal entity representing the consortium as a whole (e.g. a European Economic Interest Group, EEIG). In this case the tenders shall express their commitment to create such a legal entity, if their offer is selected.

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