RFP Questions and Answers

RFP2 Wave 4 Round 2 QUESTIONS and ANSWERS:

Any questions regarding this opportunity can be submitted to roadmapprojects.info@cesmii.org (an attempt will be made to answer all questions).

1Is there a forum for finding prospective team members?CESMII can facilitate such networking through our affinity groups, Smart Manufacturing Innovation Center network, and the extended CESMII team. Please contact Dale Turner( dale.turner@cesmii.org) and he can facilitate.
2Will all application data have to be exposed to demonstrate the project? How will proprietary information be protected?The project team can demonstrate the results to the CESMII team under NDA.  If possible to do so without exposing proprietary data, the team can extend the demonstration to the broader CESMII.
3Does the lead on the proposal need be from industry or can folks from academic institutes lead the effort/proposal?Any team member can lead the project, however, a manufacturer must be involved in a significant way to identify/own the use case, guide the development of the solution, and validate the impact of the solution.
4For confirmation, the industry partner/system integrator needs to join CESMII?All organizations that are part of the project team must be CESMII members before an award can be made.  However, if the team uses a vendor (to provide specific software, sensor, system integration support, etc but not a strategic partner in the project) that vendor does not have to be a CESMII member. Vendors provide standard goods and services on the open market.  Vendors cannot contribute towards the project cost share requirement, does not share in the IP ownership rights, and will not be officially named as part of the project team in the award documents.
5Is a manufacturing partner required on all proposals? Can “industry” be a software developer?Manufacturer representation on the team is needed because the use case must be defined and owned by them, and the solution needs to be verified and validated by them at a relevant manufacturing site.  
6If you already have a business problem being worked on as solution and are close to POC with Customer, does that qualify for an RFP?We strongly recommend NEW use cases with strong use of / contribution to the SM Innovation Platform and SM Profiles.  Exceptions may be considered if the project helps solve a fundamental manufacturing issue that results in a cross-cutting solution that can be applied across multiple key industries.
7Does the CESMII organization seek any particular industry?  Is there a preference for aerospace, automotive, contract manufacturing, etc.?We want the use cases to be as diverse as possible so any industry is OK, as long as the use case is manufacturing focused.
8Innovative solutions can often be difficult to forecast the results and deliverables (otherwise they wouldn’t be very innovative.)  Will the success criteria documented in the proposals be weighed against the potential if deliverables are difficult to quantify?While results may be difficult to verify/validate extensively in the given time frame, there must be a clear line of sight and demonstration on how the impact will be achieved, including quantification of the estimated impact and the assumptions made in quantifying that impact.
9Is there an email/forum to submit more questions?Yes: Forward your questions to roadmapprojects.info@cesmii.org.The answers will be posted at https://www.cesmii.org/RFP2-Wave-4-Round-2-QA.
10Can we integrate CESMII platform with an application running outside CESMII platform?Yes, through a CESMII defined GraphQL based API.
11What’s the difference between the project team & CESMII members – are project teams not also CESMII members?The project team does the work, owns the IP. They are indeed CESMII members, but we were referring to the broader CESMII membership outside the project team, that would benefit from the work.
12If the CESMII SM IP team builds the SM profiles/apps/pred. models for a specific manufacturer’s pain point(s) & then uploads this to the SM Marketplace, how does the manufacturer avail of this since the initial problem statement was that of the manufacturer?The project team owns the foreground IP on the solution (i.e. Profiles, Apps, etc) that is developed as part of the project work. As a CESMII membership requirement, the foreground IP will be made available (at no cost) to CESMII membership for R&D testing, evaluation, and educational purposes.The team (manufacturer included) and CESMII will make a good faith effort to negotiate a separate, commercial licensing agreement for CEMII members to use the foreground IP for production purposes by CESMII members. The manufacturer on the team can take advantage of the profiles and apps as needed.
13Is there a marketing mechanism as part of CESMII for the case study and results of the project to be communicated to the network? If so could you provide a quick overview?Projects can be highlighted by CESMII through webinars, panels and the web site – provided the project team approves of the content of the case study.
14Do projects which are currently in proof-of-concept with a Customer qualify as well for Innovation Projects?We strongly recommend NEW use cases with strong use of / contribution to the SM Innovation Platform and SM Profiles. Exceptions may be considered if the project helps solve a fundamental manufacturing issue that results in a cross-cutting solution that can be applied across multiple key industries.
15Where can we review a list of the existing applications and related technologies?Information on our current porfolio of projects (in flight) can be found at https://www.cesmii.org/technical-roadmap-projects-2/.

Several additional projects have been selected for launching during Dec’20 through Mar’21 – the announcements can be accessed through links provided here – https://www.cesmii.org/roadmap-projects/.

Additional content on these project will be made available when the projects launch. Information on the CESMII SM Innovation Platform may be found at https://www.cesmii.org/technology-smip/.

We are also aiming to launch the first version of the SM Marketplace in 2021, which will be a great place to learn about completed project output.
16These cost share examples talk about a longer project period (5 years) than this project envisions. Must all allowable cost share be captured during this project’s six month period? (Meaning you could only charge/define cost share for six months’ worth of space, facilities, staff, etc.?)Cost share must be captured for the duration of the project. If a project is 6 months, then only six months’ worth can be counted.
17These use cases for Cost share are very helpful, probably depends on each project and may need some handholding by project proposal – I am guessing it’s available prior to submission of RFP?The CESMII team can provide assistance in clarifying any questions around cost share as needed. Please contact us at roadmapprojects.info@cesmii.org.
18How do I get access to profiles?Profiles are being developed as part of previous waves, and aren’t available today. We are aiming to launch the first version of the SM Marketplace in 2021, which will be the destination for Profiles and related apps.
19In the event that the Innovation Platform is no longer maintained, what happens to the manufacturers that rely on that middleware tool?CESMII’s Platform is just one possible implementation of the open specifications and evolved standards that CESMII and its members are working to define. Any vendor can implement these standards and take the place of the middle tool at any time. CESMII is not creating an ecosystem lock — we’re working together with the industry to help all participants embrace standards.
20What connectivity options are available to me for the SMIP?We have direct connectivity to historical data sources, including OSI Pi, Wonderware Historian, and any other OPC HDA compliant source. We are working on OPC Live Data sources, to be available in 2021. We also currently provide for data ingestion and egress through the open-specification GraphQL API to connect to virtually anything.
21What are the costs associated with hosting?During the project, CESMII is paying for the hosting of the SM Innovation Platform, storage of data that goes into the platform, and bandwidth for data going in and out of the platform. The company is to come up with the hosting for their own application which is a consumer of data from the platform.
They can use their own Azure/AWS/or Server-under-a-desk for their application – but whatever they choose is at their own cost.  During the life of a project, CESMII hosts the Platform in our (provided by Microsoft) environment. Project teams do not host the Platform. Project teams only host their application, and they can host it in any environment they’d like.
22Given the smaller scope of Innovation projects, it doesn’t seem like there is any difference between deliverables and milestones.We recommend you follow the template as closely as possible – there needs to be only one milestone somewhere around the middle of the project in this case.
23If we have no experience in building SM profiles, is there guidance to help estimate the effort required to build them for a given process? This is to support the budget estimate.We’ll accept either an exported Type definition from the SM Platform (JSON structure), and an OPC UA NodeSet (XML). For the latter, we’re recommending the tool OPC Model UA Model eXcelerator Pro, from CESMII member Beeond. This free graphical tool can be used to build fully UA compliant Information Models – the same structure we will be using for Profile definitions. Additional background information on profiles can be accessed at https://www.cesmii.org/technology-smip/.


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