Utilizing the support of USTDA grant funding, overseas project sponsors select U.S. firms to perform USTDA-funded work in one of two ways. The first method is through a competitive proposal process via an announcement posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website. The second method is through "sole-source" grants, in which the overseas project sponsor has already identified a U.S. firm as a partner or preferred supplier on the project. U.S. firms that are selected by overseas project sponsors to perform work under sole-source USTDA grants are expected to submit a separate, detailed project proposal to USTDA, and typically share the cost of the work with the Agency and participate in a success fee program. This eligibility checklist applies to sole-source grants.
We have developed the following questions to help you determine whether or not your U.S. firm may be eligible to submit a sole-source project proposal to USTDA:
Are you a U.S. firm?
Please review USTDA's Nationality Requirements.
Are you requesting assistance for an infrastructure-related project in a developing or middle-income country?
USTDA supports project development and planning in emerging economies. USTDA's sole-source grants are available for feasibility studies, technical assistance, and pilot projects in priority infrastructure sectors such as transportation (Aviation, Surface Transportation), Energy (Renewable Energy, Electricity Transmission & Distribution, Traditional Energy & Power) and Telecommunications.
Please note that USTDA does not offer financing for project implementation, marketing, or export sales. If you are seeking export financing, we recommend that you contact the Export-Import Bank of the United States or the Small Business Administration’s Office of International Trade. If you are seeking direct financing or political risk insurance, we recommend that you contact the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
Will the project be located in a country where USTDA programs are available?
USTDA's programs are available in many developing countries and emerging markets. Please note that USTDA assistance is not available in countries classified as high-income. (Please refer to the World Bank's List of Economies to see a specific country's income classification.) U.S. firms are urged to contact USTDA directly for information regarding the availability of USTDA's programs in specific countries. From time-to-time, a country previously eligible for USTDA assistance may become ineligible, or vice versa, for legal or policy reasons.
Have you partnered with a project sponsor in the country where the project will be located?
USTDA provides grant funding to overseas project sponsors who are partnering with U.S. firms to undertake a project. The overseas project sponsor may be a government institution at the national, state/provincial/department, or municipal/city level, or it may be a local private company. Please note, however, that the overseas project sponsor must be identified and engaged before a U.S. firm submits a sole-source project proposal to USTDA; proposals should not be submitted if the U.S. firm has not yet found an appropriate project sponsor.
Is your project not moving forward because of obstacles or gaps preventing implementation?
There are many obstacles that a project may face as it moves toward implementation, such as weak regulatory structures, insufficient institutional or managerial capacity, lack of proper financial and legal expertise, or the absence of adequate tariff structures, among others. USTDA can provide gap funding for feasibility studies, technical assistance, and technology familiarization activities to help address the specific obstacles that are preventing a project from being successfully implemented.
Does the project have potential for U.S. exports upon implementation?
USTDA activities are designed to facilitate U.S. private sector participation in overseas projects that have the potential to generate substantial exports of U.S. goods and services. As a result, the project should have the potential to generate significant commercial opportunities for U.S. exporters. While the amount of exports generated per project varies, USTDA’s average export multiplier is $76, meaning that for every dollar the Agency programmed, $76 in U.S. exports were generated.
Does the project involve commercially available technology?
USTDA activities are intended to promote U.S. exports of commercially available technologies and equipment. Please note that USTDA does not provide support for non-commercial scale technologies or for research and development activities.
Does the project sponsor have a successful track record in developing projects?
All entities involved in the project (both the U.S. firm and the overseas project sponsor) should demonstrate their experience by providing a record of success in similar or closely related projects and/or by providing three years of audited financial statements that show a record of successful business operations.
Have you identified potential sources of financing for the project's implementation?
USTDA activities are intended to support projects that have a reasonable likelihood of obtaining financing for project implementation. Likely sources of debt or equity financing (such as the Export-Import Bank of the United States, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, multilateral development banks, commercial banks, or other institutions) should have been identified and should have expressed interest in providing such financing.
What is the typical size of a USTDA grant?
USTDA grant funding for feasibility studies, technical assistance, and pilot projects is intended to provide overseas project sponsors with critical early-stage project development support to facilitate the attainment of implementation financing. The size of USTDA grant funding varies, although the grants are typically in the $500,000 range, and rarely exceed $1 million.
What is the typical size of the U.S. firm cost share?
U.S. firms interested in partnering with an overseas project sponsor on a sole-source USTDA project are expected to share the cost of the work with the Agency and also typically participate in a success fee program. By law, USTDA is required to seek these contributions from U.S. firms to the maximum extent practicable.
Cost-Sharing demonstrates the U.S. firm's commitment to the work and interest in project implementation following the completion of the work. The level of the U.S. firm's cost share contribution varies based on various factors, including the amount of funding requested from USTDA and the potential commercial benefits to the U.S. firm as a result of the project.
Success Fees are intended to recoup USTDA's grant funding in instances where the U.S. firm commercially benefits from the USTDA-funded activity. Examples of commercial benefits for purposes of USTDA's success fee program include project investment, return on financing, and revenue generation from the sale of goods and services. The U.S. firm's obligation to pay a success fee is thus triggered if the U.S. company earns revenue following the completion of the USTDA-funded project work that is related to that work.
If you have answered "yes" to the questions above, your U.S. firm may be eligible to submit a sole-sourced project proposal to USTDA.