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USTDA Announces Call for Digital Infrastructure Project Proposals in Latin America and the Caribbean

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WASHINGTON, DC - At today’s launch of the U.S. government’s Growth in the Americas Initiative, USTDA Acting Director Thomas R. Hardy announced a call for initial proposals from digital infrastructure project sponsors in the Latin America and Caribbean region, including from U.S. companies working with Latin American and Caribbean project sponsors. USTDA will accept proposals into February of next year.

“This initiative represents our continued commitment to the region, our ability to create trusted partnerships and our promise to advance quality infrastructure that is built to last,” said Hardy. “We are ideally positioned to ensure that U.S. industry can deliver American innovation where it’s truly needed.”

Proposals should include a brief description of the project’s size and status, including project location, economic fundamentals, equipment and technology requirements, legal and regulatory considerations, and the purpose and amount of USTDA funding requested. Proposals should also outline the project sponsor’s experience, potential options for financing the project, risks that the project faces, and estimated potential for U.S. content in the project’s implementation.

Interested entities are invited to submit an initial concept paper (not to exceed five pages) on digital infrastructure-related projects to USTDA via e-mail at GrowthAmericas@ustda.gov no later than Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 12:00 pm Eastern Time to be considered for funding. Grant funding from USTDA can be used for feasibility studies or technical assistance to create bankable infrastructure projects.

USTDA is an implementing agency of the Growth in the Americas Initiative, an innovative, whole-of-government approach to support economic development by leveraging private sector investment in energy and other infrastructure projects across Latin America and the Caribbean. USTDA’s investments under this initiative provide critical early-stage support to advance priority infrastructure projects in the region.

Digital Infrastructure Project Examples

USTDA encourages the submission of proposals covering the following types of digital infrastructure projects:

  • Subsea fiber optic cable opportunities
  • Emergency operations centers
  • Satellite communications
  • Smart cities opportunities
  • Broadband and IT connectivity opportunities
  • Digital television opportunities
  • Healthcare IT opportunities
  • Records digitization opportunities
  • e-Education opportunities
  • Weather and early warning opportunities
  • Utilities automation opportunities
  • Cybersecurity for utilities (water, power, etc.) opportunities
  • Electronic payment methods, transaction recoding, mission critical telecommunications and cybersecurity for transportation (ports, airports, freight and passenger rail, etc.)
  • Smart street lighting opportunities
  • Financial sector digitization and cybersecurity
  • e-Government and government procurement systems digitization and analytics

Eligibility Criteria

USTDA accepts proposals to support infrastructure project development in low/middle-income countries throughout the Latin America and Caribbean region. Teams comprised of qualifying U.S. businesses and eligible Latin American and Caribbean entities from the public or private sectors may submit proposals wherever the U.S. businesses meet USTDA’s nationality requirements. See USTDA’s Guidelines for Sole Source Project Proposals for more details. Eligible Latin American and Caribbean entities who intend to engage a U.S. business but who have not yet selected such a business may also submit proposals. If selected for funding, USTDA will assist in identifying a U.S. business to conduct a mutually agreed-upon scope of work.

Evaluation Criteria

USTDA will employ the following criteria among others to evaluate proposals and make programming decisions:

  1. Potential for U.S. exports. USTDA’s mission is to help companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. USTDA will evaluate proposals based in part on their U.S. export potential.
  2. Potential for financing and implementation. USTDA will evaluate proposals to determine their potential to obtain financing and, subsequently, project implementation. Offerors must demonstrate how USTDA’s funds will catalyze public and/or private investment, and lead to new infrastructure capacity. 
  3. Size of the project. USTDA supports large infrastructure projects. While there is no formal minimum or maximum for project size, projects most often range from US$40 million to US$400 million in total capital requirements.
  4. Potential for development impact.  USTDA helps catalyze public and private investment in the region’s aviation sector. USTDA will evaluate proposals based on their potential to add passenger or cargo capacity, modernize airports, advance air traffic management, and/or build aviation capacity.
  5. Strength of the offeror. USTDA will consider the credentials of the host country project sponsor and, where applicable, the expertise of the U.S. firm.

For further information or to ask questions about this call for proposals, please send an e-mail to GrowthAmericas@ustda.gov.

MEDIA INQUIRIES: 
Jonathan Wilcox at (703) 875-4357