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Sustainability and Risk Assessment for National Project Proposals
Name

Administrator

Date

2011.07.07

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2226

This presentation discusses:
ㆍ l The need for sustainability in National Project Planning
ㆍ l How to present sustainability issues in proposals
ㆍ l Risk assessment and mitigation within National Project Proposals
Model Project Criteria
l Includes “sustainability” defined as a demonstration of government commitment
(such as staff, equipment, facilities, funding)
l This remains essential, but sustainability is receiving even greater emphasis within the Agency
l The Interpretation of what is meant by sustainability has become more complex
2002 Review of TC Strategy (Board of Governors)
At a national or institutional level:
ㆍ A key challenge is the sustainability of the benefits from TC programmes
ㆍ A key measure of sustainability is the technical & financial self-reliance of institutions
ㆍ Sustainability Objective ? to strengthen the capacity……….to become more technically and financially self-reliant.
2002 Review of TC Strategy
ㆍ Institutes should encourage the development of “markets” or “customers” for their products and services as a path to greater sustainability
ㆍ Self-reliance is the endpoint of capacity building
Sustainability of National Projects
ㆍ Institutions and national programmes are made up of their individual projects
ㆍ Therefore sustainability and self-reliance should be built in to individual projects
Definitions
Sustainability
ㆍ “maintain or keep going continuously”
ㆍ “continue to represent adequately”

Self-reliance
ㆍ “Trusting to one’s own abilities”
ㆍ “Reliance on one’s own resources”

Agency Funding
The requirement for sustainability and self-reliance does NOT indicate any lessening of the commitment of the Agency to assist Member States

However, the demand for technology continues to increase, but available funding does not. This means that projects must eventually become self-reliant in order to free Agency funding from established projects to develop newer capabilities

Agency Investment
ㆍ When choosing which projects to fund, the Agency has a responsibility to ensure that most projects will ultimately become self-reliant and contribute to the sustainability of the national institution
ㆍ Therefore, the Agency increasingly looks at its national project funding as a long term investment
National Project Proposals
ㆍ Proposals must demonstrate their technical feasibility and deliverable benefits
ㆍ In addition, they must show that they are a wise investment by demonstrating ?
A Pathway to Sustainability
A Credible Assessment of the Risks
A Plan to Mitigate Significant Risks
Pathway to Sustainability
The path will become more clearly defined as proposals move from:
basic capability development
early stage R & D
advanced development work
technology transfer
Note
ㆍ Some sustainability issues will be discussed in other parts of a proposal. Use cross-references to avoid duplication
ㆍ Not all the following issues will be applicable to all proposals
Sustainability:
All proposals must show
ㆍ The eventual service or product
ㆍ Likely end users
ㆍ Involvement of the end users in project planning and on-going development
ㆍ Organizations involved in the development or funding of the service or product, and their role
ㆍ Organizations involved in the delivery of the service or product, and their role
Other Sustainability Issues
Proposals may develop new capacities or have specific requirements for success.

For example - Scientific skills
Equipment & instrumentation
End user relationships
Technology transfer
Long term use & funding

How will they be sustained in the future?

Scientific Skills - in house
ㆍ Are sufficient numbers being trained
ㆍ Are sufficient numbers available to be trained
ㆍ How will trained staff be retained?
ㆍ How will staff losses be replaced?

ㆍ Documentation of the skills for new or replacement staff
ㆍ Workshops, training courses, seminars

Scientific Skills - Outside Links
ㆍ Is a support network of scientists, laboratories or institutions being created?
ㆍ Is a National or Regional Resource Unit likely to be created and used by institutions in other countries?

ㆍ Relevant links to University (or other advanced education) courses or research
ㆍ Can the Universities support the new skills?
ㆍ Are students using the new skills
ㆍ Are new teaching materials available?
ㆍ Is the new work to become included in the University curriculum?
Equipment & Instrumentation
ㆍ Is there in-house capability to fully maintain equipment?
ㆍ How many staff have been fully trained?
ㆍ Have the suppliers guaranteed on-going support?
ㆍ Is there full documentation to support the servicing of equipment?
End User Relationships
ㆍ Are the interests of the end users long term?
ㆍ Do they want access to the products and services or do they want to absorb the products or services into their own operations?
ㆍ Are contractual arrangements in place?
ㆍ Have IP issues been decided?
Technology Transfer
ㆍ Has QA/QC documentation been prepared?
ㆍ Have end users been trained?
ㆍ Will the institute be involved in on-going training?
ㆍ Has the training material been prepared?

ㆍ Is there a commitment for any further research to be carried out by the institution?

Long Term Use & Funding
ㆍ Has a survey been conducted of the potential market size?
ㆍ Are there competing services & products?
ㆍ Evidence that development funds secure?
ㆍ Would alternative suppliers of development funding be available if needed?
Risk Assessment & Risk Mitigation
Definitions
Risk assessment is the assessment of the chances that the project will fail to meet its various objectives (low, medium, high).

Risk mitigation concerns the factors in a project, inherent or planned, to reduce the chances of failure

A consideration of risks should lead to a flexible plan for implementing a project with a greater chance of success.

It is important for the funding agency to know that you have made a realistic assessment of the chances of failure and have taken steps to minimize those chances.

It provides them with confidence that they are investing in a professional organization.

Some, but not all, private sector agencies have a low tolerance of risk. The Agency is an agency dedicated to capacity building & R & D, and has a reasonably high tolerance of risk.

Risk & Mitigation
1) Research may not achieve its goals
Discussion points:
Relevant experience of staff
Stage of research, results to date
Links to more experienced labs
Availability of relevant technology

2) Equipment may fail
Discussion points:
Age of equipment; spares
Plans for purchase of new equipment
Warranties from manufacturers
Staff training in maintenance


3) Experienced staff may leave
Discussion points:
Numbers of staff with relevant experience
Recruitment and retention policies/issues
Loss of senior scientists to administration

4) Development of a final product or service from R&D prototype may not succeed
Discussion points:
Status (success to date) of research
Availability of pilot scale/industrial facilities
Availability of sufficient funding
Experience of staff in development work

5) Transfer of technology may not occur. Or End user support may be lost
Discussion points:
History of end user involvement
Evidence of end user commitment or need
Alternative end users
Regulatory issues
Funding availability
Opportunities for demonstrations

6) Financial support may be insufficient
Discussion points:
Evidence of funding commitment
Alternative sources

Writing Proposals
ㆍ Many issues must be covered
ㆍ Use short simple concepts and avoid detail unless requested
ㆍ Each risk or mitigation issue usually requires no more than 3 sentences
Example of writing a risk assessment
See the separate 1-2 page Word document as an example of a Risk Assessment and Mitigation section for a ‘typical’ nuclear applications project.

The sustainability issues can be the subject of an initial action plan to clarify and establish what needs to be done.

As a project progresses, this could be converted to a business development or marketing plan.

In-House Assistance with Proposals
ㆍ Writing proposals is an acquired skill
ㆍ Not all scientists have sufficient skills in writing proposals
ㆍ Most institutes have a few people who regularly communicate with outside organizations. They may be in a technology transfer or marketing unit.
RAS/0/032
ㆍ This Project assists with self-reliance and sustainability
ㆍ A key objective is the establishment or enhancement of management skills related to increasing the utilization of nuclear technology, such as communication.
ㆍ Use the communication skills available, or being established in, your institute and seek advice from people with these skills in writing proposals