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Midwest Innovation Exchange (MIE) Project Evaluator Services – Request for Proposal (RFP)

Complete a neutral and unbiased assessment of this project’s impact across two regions – City of Cleveland and City of Milwaukee.

Services Required:
Provide a proposal (including a scope of work, project timeline, pricing, and team qualifications) specifying their approach to accomplish the following:

  • Evaluate Project Purpose
    • Assess the project purpose, process and impacts of the Cooperative Agreement for the MIE Project
  • Review of Project Structure
    • Evaluate the organizational structure of the MIE Project Team
    • Assess the process of the MIE Project Team in determining pilot activities and to establish a sustainable organizational structure and process for the potential continuance of providing Federal Lab assistance to applicable and appropriate companies, entrepreneurs, etc.
  • Impact Assessment of the MIE Project in the Cleveland and Milwaukee Regions:
    • Recommend additional data measurements to measure the impact of the MIE project
    • Measure the overall impact of the engagement efforts, such as system building, network collaboration for the companies, partners/organizations involved in the project activities
      • This should be primarily based on a review of the pilot projects and deliverables performed by the MIE Project Team for the Cleveland and Milwaukee regions to determine the economic benefit, including job creation and private investment, for these distressed regions
    • Capture success stories for companies and partners/organizations impacted by the MIE Project
    • Evaluate the density and strength of the partnerships and networks formed between industry and government
    • Assess potential next steps and recommended future actions


  • Open to all non-federal entities, but those with demonstrated economic development experience preferred
  • Must have a demonstrated experience evaluating federal programs or federal grant/cooperative agreement projects
  • Experience with technology-based economic development from a regional and national perspective
    • Relevant experience must include working with or for national labs, technology companies, academic institutions and business/economic development organizations as well as the U.S. Economic Development Administration
  • Knowledge of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program
  • Knowledge and experience working with partnerships and collaborations

Overview of the Midwest Innovation Exchange (MIE):
Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI) and Milwaukee 7 (M7) Economic Development Partnership has developed a collaboration framework for the broader entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem in Cleveland & Milwaukee’s distressed communities through connecting activities, such as backbone collaboration of networks/organizations and system building among stakeholders, that leverages federal laboratory core technology capabilities to help meet the innovation development needs of industry.

For example, OAI and M7 has introduced a pilot program as part of the Midwest Innovation Exchange (MIE) Project called MIE SBIR Tech Expertise Sessions.  This pilot project has provided a new, collaborative approach for national laboratories and small businesses to bridge the Phase II to Phase III SBIR commercialization gap(s) and accelerate small businesses innovation.


  • Proposals should assume a budgeted amount up to $35,000 to perform the above scope of work in this RFP
  • All proposals must be submitted by COB (i.e. 5:00 pm ESTFriday, Feb. 28, 2020
  • The selected consultant is expected to be notified by March 6, 2020
  • Work is on the proposed effort is expected to start by Friday, March 13, 2020
  • Work must be completed by April 24, 2020

Submit the proposal via email to the following contacts below by 5:00 pm EST on Feb. 28, 2020:

Anthony Gillespie
Ohio Aerospace Institute

Elizabeth Thelen
Milwaukee 7