Have you ever imagined to work for one of the European institutions? Maybe you never had in mind to cooperate in political parties’ campaigns or to participate with EU institutions, but there’s a wide range of opportunities to take advantage of. This is a review of King Eclient’s experience in the European environment that we want to share with you all!
There are plenty of issues you have to consider in order to apply to EU tenders. The lessons we have learned over time are structured into three steps, which you will forcedly have to follow to succeed if you have not already participated in any EU tender before.
1. Identify an opportunity
It may seem obvious but the main priority to enter the EU market is to have in-depth knowledge of European Union bodies and the common practices they fit into. The understanding of the European Commission with its respective General Directorates, The European Parliament, Council, Investment Bank and Committee, and Regional Committees, among others would be a good start to begin with. Assuming this knowledge… how should the procedure start?
The big questions you may ask yourself are where and how can I find opportunities for my company? Here are the steps that should be followed.
The Call for Tender would be your first move. It requires a framework contract which contains the tender and grants agreement. Tenders are published publicly in TED.
The Tenders Electronic Daily has to be checked regularly, but most importantly, you have to anticipate tender publications. How? Understanding how budgets are allocated, knowing when the contests will take place, keeping up to date with online calendars – you have 52 days to submit your proposal – and starting to contact with potential partners. Tenders use to take time… but do not despair!
- The Framework Contract has to be fulfilled. This process contains two steps to have into consideration:
- The Tender itself.
- The Grants.
- A ‘List of Amies’ has to be defined. This list preselects among 3 to 5 companies who then will complete for the tender. The tender proposal will be presented together with other partners
2. Find the perfect partner
What type of partners should we seek? Partners of all kinds. From powerful companies, to IT firms or within the communication industry, specialized companies or companies with a local presence in the country you want to work in.
Partners, as usual, can be found by networking, but there are plenty of networking specialized agencies that will make your job easy. In our case here in Barcelona, we contracted ACCIÓ, from the Catalunya governmental institutions.
3. Tender preparation
Now it’s time to get started! Time, dedication and resources of all kinds are going to be crucial to prepare your trip to the EU. In King Eclient we spent an average of 250 hours per tender that gave us a success rate of 30%. A reminder to you all: do not present proposals for all tenders you applied for, focus on the ones that interest you the most. Meet your partners and analyse the options carefully. Once they are determined, work closely with your partners to have a higher chance of winning.
Here is a list of tips to prepare the tender:
- The document should always be delivered in Word format
- In perfect English
- Giving an international image
- Ensuring that your company has all the relevant know-how
- The content of the document should be straight to the point, easy to understand and unambiguous.
- The first tender is always the hardest. After this you can reuse previous information you have gathered.
- You must always have a tender owner to ensure continuity.
- The same formats and information are used repeatedly for CVs, professional capacity, financial issues, etc.
Here you can see King Eclient’s experience with EU projects.
Applying for tenders, and winning them of course, provides you an enormous satisfaction for your work. Another advantage is that it ensures you work for a long time and the prospects to gather for future projects in other areas increase very substantially. It is also a pro because it provides a boost to international businesses and your team is motivated due to working with different countries and cultures.
A positive attitude will be your best partner into this experience, go fight for it!