Here you will find guidance, tutorials and all necessary information to do business.
Fusion for Energy (F4E) is the European Union's joint undertaking for ITER and the development of fusion energy. Our members include the 27 European Union (EU) Member States.
Our role is to provide Europe's in-kind and in-cash contribution to ITER, the world's largest scientific installation that aims to demonstrate fusion as a viable and sustainable source of energy. The seven parties of the project, including the EU, Russia, Japan, China, India, South Korea and the United States, represent half of the world's population and 80% of the global GDP.
F4E also supports international fusion research and development initiatives through the Broader Approach (BA) Agreement signed with Japan and in cooperation with the European fusion research community (EUROfusion), with the goal of reaching the commercial exploitation of fusion energy.
To achieve our goals, we work closely with industry and R&D organizations across Europe to design, manufacture, and test technical components for fusion installations. We also collaborate with external contractors for commodities, materials, equipment, and other items required for the support, management, and administration of the institution.
F4E publishes various procedures on its website and industry portal, which cater to different types of entities based on the nature of the process.
Here is a brief description of the different collaboration and business opportunities that your institution or company may be interested in:
F4E may require external highly specialized experts to assist in technical activities. For this purpose, F4E publishes Calls for Expression of Interest (CEI) regularly to select experts. Every CEI contains the selection criteria, required expertise, and model contract containing the conditions of remuneration.
Only natural persons can apply for the CEI, in order to be included in a prospective list of individual experts who may be called upon to perform tasks for which their expertise is suited. This list, containing the selected experts, is valid for 5 years. When required, F4E will select an expert from the validated expert list.
Experts are not F4E members of staff, they do not have an employment contract with F4E and are not a replacement for F4E staff members in any circumstance. Their tasks related to their appointment will be strictly defined in the expert contract. They might be of any nationality and not only EU citizenship.
How to apply?
A CEI is published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and on the F4E website. The CEI provides all the necessary information about the required expertise, profiles, the scope of tasks to be performed, selection and award criteria, and general rules for selecting and appointing experts. If you wish to apply, you need to register via the link and fill out the form.
Only experts with at least 5 years of relevant specific work experience (after obtaining a university degree) and meeting the minimum level of capacities requested should apply. CEIs are open for a maximum period of five years; therefore, applications may be submitted up to 3 months before the end of their validity.
Exceptionally, a specific CEI is published on a particular domain (E.g. Adjudicators)
Applications for CEI shall be completed and submitted online. Apply here.
For any queries or doubts, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ITER Calls are collaboration opportunities that arise within the ITER Organization. These calls are open to companies from F4E member states who can provide the required goods or services for the ITER project. These calls aim to address the specific needs of ITER, allowing companies to contribute their knowledge and support in various areas, engaging directly with the ITER Organization and assisting in fulfilling its objectives.
Call for Tender: A Call for Tender is a process through which ITER solicit bids or proposals from interested suppliers or contractors within the territory of its Domestic Agencies to provide goods, services, or works. The candidates proposed by F4E must be established in the territory of an F4E Member and have work experience, expertise, competence, and references suitable for the nature of the particular Call for Tender (CfT). The ITER Organization will then invite them to prequalify for the respective CfT. Suitable candidates shall express their interest by filling in a Company Info Template for each of the published Call for Tender and sending it to ITER-Calls@f4e.europa.eu. F4E will then prepare a list with the companies eligible which will be invited to prequalify by the ITER organization. You may find the latest CfN published, as well as all the information needed for application, here in our industry portal.
Call for Expertise (CFE): A call for expertise is a process through which ITER seeks to engage directly with external experts or organizations to provide specialized knowledge or advice in a specific area. It is typically used when ITER requires expert input, consultation, or review of technical, scientific, or operational matters. The call for expertise aims to identify and select individuals or organizations with relevant expertise and experience to contribute to the specific needs of ITER. The candidates shall send the application directly to the IO Procurement Officer in charge of the call indicated in the Expression of Interest form which can be found on the dedicated website.
ITER - Open Tender (OT): An open tender is a competitive procurement process used by ITER to solicit bids or proposals from interested suppliers or contractors to provide goods, services, or works. It is typically used when ITER needs to acquire specific products, equipment, construction services, or other contractual services. The candidates shall send the application directly to the IO Procurement Officer in charge of the call indicated in the Expression of Interest form which can be found on the dedicated website.
Once ITER has received your expression of interest, you will be invited to participate via their procurement portal I-PROC based on the SAP Ariba solution. If you are not yet registered with ITER on I-PROC, please use the below link to submit your “Self-Supplier Request” form:
The ITER team will check the data and have the Ariba system send you an invitation email to further complete your registration.
ITER Market Surveys: An ITER Market Survey is not exactly a call but a survey published by ITER to evaluate the market situation and to identify candidate suppliers having the interest, knowledge and capacity related to the supply of specific products or services. The details for participation in an ITER Market Survey are published on a dedicated website.
Pre-procurement activities are essential in any procurement process, and F4E engages in several activities to gather information about the market and establish its procurement strategy. These activities include market surveys, information days, contacts with the Industry Liaison Officer (ILO) network, direct contacts with companies, registered companies databases, and prior information CfT announcements.
Market surveys are the most frequently performed activity and have more weight in the preparatory activities of a procurement process. Market surveys enable F4E to establish the parameters of a procurement action from a quantitative and qualitative point of view. Market surveys help to acquire more detailed information about European industries operating in a given market, identify potential commercial and technical risks associated with a specific procurement strategy, check technical and/or commercial assumptions, facilitate the setting up of consortia agreements among potential bidders, provide input concerning potential selection criteria, and publish the incoming procurement opportunity to relevant market actors.
How to participate?
Market surveys are carried out using EU Survey and are announced through the F4E Industry Portal. Participation in market surveys is voluntary. Not participating in a specific market survey does not prevent an economic operator to participate in a related tendering process. The outcome of the market survey helps F4E taking an informed decision about the existing market conditions of F4E’s supply chain and of the available skills/technologies for establishing its procurement strategy.
Ongoing and past market surveys can be found at the following link.
Info Days are also carried out from time to time. Information days are meetings organized to present to the European Industries and laboratories a specific upcoming business opportunity in a given technical domain.
Information days serve to raise awareness, understanding and interest in an F4E procurement opportunity facilitating, where necessary, the creation of consortia capable of successfully responding to complex requirements, all with the final aim to improve the number and quality of the offers which will be submitted in response to F4E’s call. At the same time, an information day is a way for F4E to collect additional information concerning the level of competition, technical capability and professional experience existing in the relevant market, as well as to receive feedback on the intended/defined procurement strategy to be able to identify, in due time, any potential commercial and technical risks that will help to complete the assessment of the relevant market.
How to participate?
Info Days are announced through the F4E Industry Portal including indications for companies to register. To facilitate the attendance of SMEs by reducing costs and having regard to the implementation of video conferencing solutions, virtual Info Days are favoured. Not participating in a specific info day does not prevent an economic operator to participate in a related tendering process.
Ongoing and past Info Days can be found at the following link.
Procurement is the purchase of goods, services or works by public bodies (such as F4E).
It involves contracts for pecuniary interest, concluded between economic operators and F4E intended to obtain the supply of assets, the execution of works or the provision of services: in the case of a contract, F4E obtains a product or service it needs in return for payment of an agreed price.
Depending on the scope of the contract we can distinguish between:
Administrative Contracts are awarded to obtain the supply of assets, the execution of works or the provision of services to support the administrative set-up and functioning of F4E. For instance: contracts for IT equipment, office furniture, information and communication campaigns, training courses, legal support, publications, accessing databases, organising conferences, etc.
Operational Contracts are awarded to obtain the supply of assets, the execution of works or the provision of services for the implementation of the F4E's international tasks related to the construction of ITER and the implementation of the Broader Approach and Demo. For instance: design, manufacturing, testing, assembling, etc.
F4E follows the principles and procedures established in the EU Public Procurement, which requires fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory treatment of all tenderers and the use of objective and measurable criteria for the award of contracts
You may check open CfTs and submit your tender at the following link.
F4E's procurement processes are announced via ex-ante publicity of CfT on the F4E industry portal, F4E website and Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). The call for tenders will include general information about the needs to be supplied, requirements, deadlines, and documentation. Tenders must be submitted via the e-tendering tool. After the evaluation of offers and a decision on the winning offer has been made through the corresponding evaluation process, the award notice will be published. Any contract amendments or significant changes will also be published. Additionally, an annual report of the contracts signed throughout the period will be published, available at the following link, under the section “List of Contracts”.
Contracts are awarded according to EU regulations. F4E public tender procedures can take one of the following forms: open procedure, restricted procedure, negotiated procedure, competitive dialogue, competitive procedure with negotiation and innovation partnership.
The open procedure is the most widely used at F4E and is open to any interested economic operator who can prove their capacity to fulfil the requirements set for each specific CfT. Tenders are evaluated on the basis of the criteria published upfront (publication of a contract notice in the EU Official Journal, F4E Industry Portal and EU Supply).
Negotiations are not allowed under this procedure.
The restricted procedure is a two-step process:
In the first step, interested economic operators are invited to express their interest in the contract (Requests to Participate – RtP) and, based on technical and financial capabilities published upfront (via publication of a contract notice in the EU Official Journal, F4E Industry Portal and EU Supply), a number of companies are selected and invited to participate in the following step.
In the second step, a restricted number of candidates are invited to submit tenders. Tenders are then evaluated based on the criteria published upfront in the contract notice.
Negotiations are not allowed under this procedure. A minimum of five companies should be invited.
The negotiated procedure is a one-step process where F4E directly invites companies to submit their tenders. The purpose of the negotiation is to improve the content of the tender or to adapt it to the requirements set out in the procurement documents. However, it's important to note that the minimum requirements and evaluation criteria specified in the procurement documents cannot be modified during the negotiation process. Only the aspects that are not defined as minimum requirements in the tender specifications may be negotiated.
For middle to low-value contracts below the directive thresholds (€140k in 2023), a simplified negotiated procedure in one step may be used. In this case, F4E publishes a short prior information notice on the industry portal, inviting companies to submit their interests. The number of candidates invited to submit their tender will depend on the estimated value of the contract, with a minimum of one candidate for very low-value contracts (€1k-15k), three candidates for low-value contracts (€15k-60k), and five candidates for middle-value contracts (€60k-140k).
For contracts with a value above the directive threshold, a negotiated procedure can also be used in exceptional circumstances defined under point 11 of Annex I of the General Financial Regulation (GFR). This procedure allows F4E to invite economic operators of its choice (generally only one) to submit tenders without prior publication, for specific types of purchases or circumstances such as monopolistic situations, IP protection conditions, or absence of market availability. However, the selected economic operators must meet the exclusion and selection criteria and negotiate the terms of the contract with F4E.
Competitive Procedure with Negotiation:
This procedure may be used only in specific cases defined in point 12 of Annex I of the GFR. 
The competitive procedure with negotiation is a procurement procedure that is used in specific cases where negotiations are allowed. The procedure involves two steps:
In the first step, a contract notice is published in the OJEU, and economic operators are selected based on their technical and financial capabilities.
In the second step, only the selected candidates are invited to submit their tender and, if necessary, engage in further negotiations. The tenders are then evaluated based on the criteria published upfront.
The competitive dialogue procedure is a multi-stage process that allows F4E to conduct a dialogue with economic operators to identify and define the best possible solution for its needs. It is used when F4E is unable to determine the means of meeting its needs or assess what the market can offer in terms of technical, financial, or legal solutions. This procedure can only be used in specific cases defined in point 12 of Annex I of the GFR. The competitive dialogue procedure consists of three stages:
The innovation partnership procedure is used for highly complex and innovative contracts where economic operators will be involved in developing new products, services, or works that F4E will subsequently purchase under certain conditions. It is imperative that the product is not currently available in the market or near the commercialisation phase.
This two-step procedure involves signing a framework agreement with at least three partners, followed by structured phases that correspond to the various steps of the research and innovation process. As the product development advances, the number of partners is reduced.
Grants are a form of direct financial contribution from F4E to external collaborators for the purpose of achieving scientific and technological research and development activities related to ITER construction, Broader Approach, DEMO, and other facilities that support F4E's objectives. These grants are given under the principles of non-profit and cooperation for a shared interest.
Grants are used to support R&D activities at shared costs with the beneficiaries, and ownership and use of results remain with the beneficiaries with free access for F4E. Intellectual property ownership remains with the beneficiary, as do ownership of procured items, and reciprocal liability is waived.
F4E launches a Call for Proposals (CfP) to search for suitable candidates who can perform the specified tasks. These CfP are published on F4E's Industry Portal, and any European-based entity that meets the minimum requirements can apply and be evaluated. Each published CfP contains general information and minimum requirements that entities must comply with.
There are two types of grant procedures: open call for proposals and unique beneficiary.
In an open call for proposals, any individual may apply.
In a unique beneficiary procedure, only a preselected candidate with specific capabilities and requirements for the procedure will be invited to submit a proposal.
How to apply?
F4E announces grant processes via ex-ante publicity of CfP on its Industry Portal. These announcements contain general information about the needs to be supplied, requirements, deadlines, and documentation.
Before submitting a tender, it's important to know the key details of the procurement process. In particular, you should familiarize yourself with the Contract Notice, which is the publication that informs potential suppliers of a new procurement opportunity (CfT).
All CfT above the Directive thresholds, organized by F4E, are published in the S series of the Official Journal of the European Union and on the Industry Portal or F4E website. They can be accessed via TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) or our industry porta. If your company is registered in F4E Database or TED for a particular activity domain, you will be automatically informed of such publications.
In the Contract Notice, you'll find essential details about the procurement, such as:
• Estimated contract value
• Type of contract (direct or framework)
• Contract duration
• Whether the contract is made up of lots, and a brief description of each lot
• Whether there will be a public opening of bids
• Selection criteria for taking part in the tender
• Criteria for awarding the contract
• location where you may find the better tender documentation and submission modalities
The Contract Notice is an important document, as it sets out the basic requirements and expectations for potential suppliers. It's essential to read the notice carefully to ensure that you meet all the requirements and understand the full scope of the procurement. The specific requirements for the CfT will be published in the rest of the documentation.
Note that you must comply with the deadline given in the Contract Notice for submitting your tender. Failure to do so will result in your application or tender being deemed inadmissible. In some cases, F4E may grant an extension of the deadline upon request or by its own initiative. If this happens, an addendum will be published.
An Invitation to Tender (ITT) is the initial step in the procurement process, where economic operators or potential contractors are invited to submit tenders for supply or service contracts. The ITT document outlines all the requirements of the procedure, including deliverables, services, and timelines, as well as the evaluation process that will be followed. It also details the rules for participation, documents to be submitted, minimum requirements for selection, and the evaluation and negotiation processes.
The specific requirements in relation to the offer and its contract implementation are described in the annexes.
A. Annex 01: Draft Contract: It contains the model for the general scope of the contract, including specific and general conditions as adapted for the particular CfT, Annexes A and B, and any other amendments.
Depending on the type of contract there would be different general conditions:
Model contracts for operational procedures:
Model contracts for administrative procedures:
The model contract will contain the Intellectual Property conditions applicable to the implementation of the contract. There are three possible applicable regimes and you may find below the general conditions or IP provisions applicable to each one of them.
For further information in relation to IP provisions and F4E’s approach in relation to Intellectual Property, please see the following link. You will find there also important information on how to fill in the IP documentation needed in a Cft (guidelines, FAQ, definitions, etc).
B. Annex A – Management Specifications: In Annex A, you will find the minimum quality requirements that the contractor must satisfy to qualify for the tender procedure, particularly with regard to compliance with nuclear safety and quality assurance requirements, internal documentation processes, etc. The general requirements on the Quality Management System of the suppliers are defined in the QA-115 document (see more in further section Quality Assurance) from where F4E will extract the correspondent management specifications for each CfT
C. Annex B – Technical Specifications: This annex contains information regarding the scope of work. It defines the required work or needs to be met or provided, and includes project milestones, deliverables, reports, deadlines, requirements, options and other relevant details. In most of the CfT, Annex 13 Technical Capacity Safety Criterion (Template) is required to be completed in order to comply with the requirements contained in the Annex B.
D. Other annexes: Depending on the type of procurement procedure and its specific requirements, there may be other annexes that need to be completed. These may include the Financial Information Form, Legal Entity Form or Identification Form, among others. You can find all of the standard documents for tender preparation at this link, under the section “Standard Documents for Tender Preparation” (*please note that not all of these documents need to be completed for every single procurement procedure. The required annexes may vary depending on the specific tender requirements. It is important to consult the Invitation to Tender to see which annexes are needed in each particular case).
Depending on the scope of the procurement needs, different types of contracts may be chosen by F4E when launching the procedure. F4E uses several contract types to support the procurement of assets, services or works, and each type of contract has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice depends on factors such as the complexity of the requirement, the duration and frequency of the need, and the degree of flexibility required. It is important for tenderers to carefully review the type of contract that F4E intends to use and to understand its implications before submitting a tender.
F4E typically enters supply or service contracts with economic operators/external companies to meet its needs. The main difference between these two types of contracts lies in the nature of the obligation undertaken by the contractor. In a supply contract, the contractor agrees to deliver goods, while in a service contract, the contractor undertakes to perform a specific service.
Supply contracts can include the delivery of raw materials, manufacturing components, or equipment needed for the construction or operation of the ITER project; also the supply of goods such as IT equipment or furniture to guarantee the implementation of the tasks of the Joint Undertaking. Service contracts can cover various services, such as maintenance, repair, transportation, consulting, or training.
The choice between a supply or service contract depends on the specific needs of each procurement procedure. In cases where both supplies and services are required, such as in mixed contracts, the model contract type will be determined based on the scope of the contract that holds the highest value. This includes incorporating clauses that cover the dispositions of the other contract type.
F4E is also launching CfTs for the construction of buildings and other works within the site, which fall under work contracts. Considering the specific legislation and applicable national rules, the model contracts for this scope are tailored accordingly and are based on FIDIC models.
When conducting a procurement process with F4E, it is important to understand the different types of contracts that may be used. In the previous section, we explained the different types of contracts based on the nature of the object of the contract: supply or service contracts and works, depending on what is being acquired through the procurement procedure. The characteristics and implementation mode of these needs also influence the selection of the appropriate contract type:
Direct contracts and framework contracts are two primary types of contracts that F4E may use in their procurement processes (public contracts are always documented in written form)
Direct contracts are definitive and self-sufficient contracts that can be used for all types of purchases, including services, supplies, and works. These contracts stipulate the subject matter, remuneration, and duration of performance at the outset, along with all necessary legal conditions. They can be implemented without further formalities.
On the other hand, framework contracts stipulate the subject matter of the purchase, the price list, the parties, the legal setup, the duration, and the method of making purchases. However, the other necessary elements of the contractual relationship are defined at a later stage in a specific contract or an order form, which indicates the ultimate aspects of the contract such as the quantities and date of delivery. Framework contracts do not give rise to a direct obligation for F4E, and only the specific contracts concluded under a framework contract constitute a direct binding commitment to purchase from F4E’s side.
In addition, F4E may use purchase orders for simple, low-value purchases that do not exceed €15k. Purchase orders typically include details such as the item or service to be purchased, the price, the delivery date, and the terms of payment.
In summary, it is important to understand the different types of contracts that may be used in F4E's procurement processes, as well as the specific requirements for written contracts and purchase orders. These guidelines will help tenderers understand the implementation modalities of the contracts and the risks and flexibility associated with each case.
As indicated in the previous section, a framework contract is an agreement between F4E and an economic operator(s) that sets out the terms and conditions governing contracts to be awarded during a specific period. The details of the contractual relationship are later defined in a specific contract. They can take the following forms:
Single Framework Contracts
A single framework contract is established with one contractor to provide the required service or supply. The contract is valid for a fixed period, and the contractor is expected to supply the required service or supply whenever requested by F4E. The same contractor will cover all the scope of the contract.
Cascade Framework Contracts
F4E establishes a framework agreement with several economic operators, who are ranked based on the result of the evaluation of the CfT as announced in the award criteria. When F4E needs to procure a specific service or supply, it first contacts the highest-ranked economic operator on the list. If that economic operator is unable or unwilling to provide the required service or supply, the contracting authority moves on to the next economic operator on the list, and so on until conditions are met to sign the specific contract. Generally, two or three contractors in cascade are foreseen.
Unavailability of an economic operator is given under the scenarios of the correspondent framework: when the economic operator does not send a task offer, without justification or not within the deadline specified; when no agreement is reached between F4E and the economic operator; when a of conflict of interest arises or when there are consecutive failures to perform during the previous implementation.
This type of framework contract provides a backup in situations where the security of supply is endangered.
Framework Contracts with Re-opening of Competition
A framework contract with reopening of competition is a type of framework contract in which the contracting authority periodically reopens the competition for certain purchases or tasks covered by the framework. This means that after the framework contract signature, F4E will invite all successful tenderers that signed the multiple framework contract to submit tenders for the task orders, in view of the signature of the specific contract. The purpose of this is to ensure a certain degree of competition. This ensures that F4E gets the best value for money and encourages competition among contractors, increasing the business opportunities available for successful contractors.
Specific contracts are awarded based on the award criteria specified in the framework.
It is used for non-standard purchases, when the technical specifications of the framework contract are not precise or complete enough to cover its assignments or when the evolution of the market is such that it is economically beneficial to update the prices and reopen the competition. Also when the previous tasks are not interconnected to the new ones.
Mixed Framework Contract
Both cascade and re-opening of competition can happen within the same framework contract.
A mixed framework contract is a type of FWC in which some of the terms are precisely defined, while others may not be clearly defined. This means that some aspects of the contract may be subject to reopening of competition, while others will follow the cascade system.
It is important to note that this possibility must be explicitly stipulated by F4E in the procurement documents. This includes specifying which purchases will be subject to reopening and which will be automatically ordered through the cascade system. This ensures transparency and fairness in the procurement process and allows all parties involved to be aware of the terms and conditions of the FWC.
To increase the chances of success in a CfT, it is important to have a clear understanding of the main concepts explained in its documents. This will help in becoming familiar with the key notions and requirements and enable better preparation of your tenders.
The exclusion criteria are a set of conditions outlined in a CfT that, if met, would disqualify an economic operator from participating in the process. The purpose of these criteria is to ensure a fair and transparent process, without any conflict of interest or distortion of competition. These criteria apply to all types of CfT, and their main objective is to protect the financial interests of the EU budget.
The exclusion criteria help to prevent potential economic operators who may have engaged in fraudulent activities, or who have been found guilty of violating certain laws, from participating in the tendering process. By doing so, the exclusion criteria ensure that only qualified and reputable economic operators are eligible to participate in the process.
To check whether your company meets exclusion criteria please refer to article 136 of the Financial Regulation. The Guidelines for Tenderers document has been prepared to assist you in identifying the exclusion criteria and the evidence accepted to prove that your company does not fall under any of them. In each procurement procedure, a Declaration on Honour on Exclusion and Selection criteria should be signed and submitted to confirm compliance with these criteria.
Selection criteria are a set of requirements that economic operators must meet to ensure they have the capacity to provide the necessary goods or services that are the subject of the correspondent CfT. These criteria are defined in a way that allows for an absolute judgement of whether the company meets the requirements or not, with no discretion involved. They are not negotiable and they cannot be changed throughout the procurement procedure. Compliance with these criteria is mandatory during the whole duration of the contract.
The selection criteria aim to demonstrate the minimum technical and financial capacity of the tenderer, which are necessary to implement the contract (CV requirements, certifications, technologies, project experience, etc) and they must be met before the submission deadline.
To meet these criteria, the economic operator can tender together with other companies (Joint Tender) or rely on third parties through a subcontracting relationship.
The award criteria in a CfT allow F4E to assess and compare the tenders received based on predetermined and transparent criteria related to the subject matter of the contract. These criteria may be based solely on price or on a combination of price and quality. Unlike the selection criteria, the award criteria are not intended to evaluate the overall merit of the tenderer or the company, but rather to assess the value and relevance of the specific offer they have proposed for the ongoing CfT.
The evaluation process for the award criteria includes two methods: the automatic award based solely on price and the best value for money method based on a combination of price and quality.
The automatic award evaluates compliance with the requirement, specifically with Annex A, B, and draft contract requirements, without considering the merit of the offer. This evaluation method is a simple yes or no judgment.
The best value for money method involves a relative judgment by an F4E staff committee who will award points to the criteria announced in advance and rank the tenders received to select the most advantageous tender in the interest of F4E. This method considers both the price and quality of the offer.
The CfT specifies the required documentation to support the tender, which is necessary for the evaluation of each award criterion. The documentation cannot be provided after the deadline nor supplemented, except for clarifications if requested by F4E. Therefore, it is important for economic operators to carefully review the required documentation (the absence of a certain document might not allow to proceed to the evaluation of certain criteria, which will lead to a disqualification of the offer.
Moreover, economic operators should pay attention to the weighting of the award criteria, as this will help you tailor your tender to better meet F4E's priorities and interests. It is important to note that the evaluation process is solely based on the submitted documentation and will not take into account any prior experience or contractual relation that F4E might have had with a particular tenderer.
Safety is a key element for F4E when assessing procurement documentation.
ITER is a nuclear facility which will use nuclear materials such as tritium and produce high-energy neutrons. The objective of nuclear safety is to achieve proper operating conditions and to prevent or mitigate accident consequences, resulting in the protection of workers, the public and the environment from undue radiation hazards.
Nuclear safety is the discipline to predict and control hazards against the public and the environment, in and around a nuclear facility, in order to predict, prevent and control any harmful effect. It comprises the set of all technical and organisational dispositions taken to achieve the objectives, and the corresponding demonstration and evidence.
(Nuclear) Safety has to be taken into account throughout the whole project lifecycle from design, manufacturing, testing, assembly, commissioning, and operating to decommissioning phases.
F4E has set up a policy (Nuclear Safety Management Policy) that defines basic principles and rules related to nuclear safety, environmental protection and protection of public health; this policy applies to F4E's staff and contractors who design and manufacture systems, equipment, buildings or carry out activities that play a role in the protection of these interests.
For certain calls for tenders, where nuclear safety is particularly a sensitive factor, tenderers will be required to comply with certain nuclear safety requirements.
The purpose of this policy is then to define the specific (nuclear) safety requirements to be considered by tenderers and implemented by F4E Suppliers and their Subcontractors involved in tasks concerning Protection-Important Components or Protection-Important Activities. (PIC & PIA activities, where is especially critical to comply with the requirements and specifications involving such a safety sensitive activity).
As an overview, these requirements consist of:
Depending on the scope of the CfT tenderers should satisfy the requirements by themselves or may rely on a third party to comply with the whole of the Nuclear Safety policy.
Quality assurance (QA) comprises all planned and systematic actions that are necessary to provide adequate confidence that a structure, system, or component will perform satisfactorily in service. It refers to the expansion throughout the organization of a culture of good practices, of their implementation within the processes of the management systems of nuclear facilities and describes how they are managed through interfaces with suppliers and subcontractors.
F4E will require certain QA requirements are met by companies in order to be considered with the required minimum capacity (selection criteria).
In addition, QA considerations (award criteria) are weighted and taken into account during the evaluation of the offers.
Almost every Cft will include at least one QA selection criteria and one QA award criteria, and the tenderer as a whole/or individually (depending on each contract) will have to comply with those. For most of the operational Cft, Annex A will include the QA requirements (technical requirements are included in Annex B)
In the following link, you can check the supplier quality requirements that will be taken into account and further developed in the CfT documentation and correspondent evaluation process, with the guidelines, handbook, forms to fill out and instructions on how to satisfactorily comply with the established quality requirements. Some of them are part of the Selection criteria (the absence of them automatically eliminates the possibility of the tender being considered) and others of the award criteria via the evaluation of the merit of the proposed PQMP (Project Quality Management Plan). Compliance of offers is always mandatory and thus compliance matrix documentation might be required in relation to quality assurance systems.
F4E requires the management of Intellectual Property (IP) in their contracts and grants.
As a potential candidate, you may find useful the definition of background, that you will see repeated in several parts of the contract:
The term "background" is defined as any information or IP that is necessary to carry out the contract or to use the goods or services supplied under the contract, which is held by the contractor or developed outside the scope of the contract and not funded by F4E.
This definition covers IP rights that the contractor holds, including patents and copyrights, as well as rights acquired through a license or other agreement. Additionally, Know-How can also be considered as background.
For more information related to the management of IP at F4E please see the following link.
Good luck! We are looking forward to doing business with you in the future and having you on board in our ITER project.
If you have any feedback or questions regarding this Guidelines for Tenderers document, please do not hesitate to send them to the following email address:
Intellectual Property (IP) management is an important aspect in Fusion for Energy (F4E) contracts and grants. In this section of the F4E Industry Portal you can find useful information to help you to understand the main IP related concepts and how to fulfil the IP requirements in F4E contracts.
F4E needs to have access to the intellectual property and information brought by its contractors (directly or through subcontractors) which is necessary to carry out the contract or for using the services or goods supplied under the contract (a.k.a. background). In addition, a decision needs to be taken about the ownership regime of the generated intellectual property and information (a.k.a. foreground) for each contract having regard its nature. The provisions for the management of the different regimes for the generated IP are included below.
To ensure that F4E contractors can preserve the integrity of their background intellectual property and information, it is necessary that they declare it as such. Likewise, a foreground declaration is needed to ensure that pre-existing intellectual property and generated one are not mixed-up and that these results can be protected where necessary. A background/foreground declaration is necessary for each contract unless explicitly excluded by F4E for a given contract.
A comprehensive guide on how to fill in the background and foreground declaration and a template can be found below.
To complete the background and foreground declaration, the technology categories and codes can be found in the following List of Technologies.
The definition of background used in F4E contracts stems from the Annex on Information and Intellectual Property of the ITER Agreement. The definition establishes that background is any information or IP which is held by the contractor or developed outside the scope of the contract, i.e. not funded by F4E, which is necessary to carry out the contract or for using the services or goods supplied under the contract. There are two main aspects to be highlighted in the definition. On the one hand IP held by the contractor may consist in IP rights on its own, i.e. patents or copyright, but also it may consist in rights acquired through a license or any other analogue agreement for using the IP rights. On the other hand, Know-How may be considered as background.
A good background declaration is a declaration which includes the following:
Foreground is defined as any Information and Intellectual Property whether or not protectable which is generated in the course of the execution of a contract with F4E by the contractor directly or through a subcontractor.
A good foreground declaration is a declaration which includes the following:
The foreground declaration has a defined use, which is to clarify the IP situation for a contract. This is particularly relevant when the foreground of the contract will have to be used by another supplier and/or IO. By supplying a proper declaration the supplier is allowed to establish a clear relationship about how some background may be incorporated in the foreground.
A design should be declared using a formulation in the title and/or the description such as “design of…” the type of protection should be at least ‘copyright’. It is necessary to point out that a design may be protected in different manners. Thus, if the design includes any invention or there is a patent application covering at least part of the design, then the relevant patent box should be checked. Additionally, if the design is confidential or it includes confidential components or parts, then ‘trade secret’ should also checked.
A design should be declared using a formulation in the title and/or the description such as “drawing of…” The type of protection should be at least ‘copyright’. It is necessary to point out that drawings may be protected in different manners. Thus, if the design includes any invention or there is a patent or patent application covering any element in the drawing, then the relevant patent box should be checked. Additionally, if the design is confidential or it includes confidential components or parts, then ‘trade secret’ should also checked.
Software should be declared using a formulation in the title and/or the description such as “software for…” The type of protection should be at least ‘copyright’. It is necessary to point out that drawings may be protected in different manners. Thus, if the software includes any invention or there is a patent or patent application covering any functionality in the software, then the relevant patent box should be checked. The description should also include the following information:
Copyright is an IP right which is generated by the mere act of the creation of the work (publication, software, etc.). Whether the work is kept confidential or not is irrelevant to the copyright. For example it is common for software developing companies to keep the source code of their applications, which is protected by copyright, secret from competitors, i.e. as a trade secret.
While a patent application eventually is published, this only happens 18 months after the filing date of the patent application. Thus, if the patent application is declared during this period, it has to be considered as confidential until publication.
It is the owner of the foreground, be it F4E or the contractor, who decides whether the item is kept confidential or not. It is important to note, though, that even if the contractor is the owner and decides to keep an item confidential, F4E keeps enough access rights to carry out its tasks for the ITER project. This is particularly important in respect of communicating information to ITER IO.
The foreground declaration includes a field where the contractor can communicate the relationship between the foreground item and any declared background item. Thus, the foreground includes everything that was not included in the background item.
In case that indeed there is nothing to declare as either background or foreground, this statement is acceptable. It is important to note however that a “nothing to declare” statement within a Background Declarations establishes that all the intellectual property and information within the contract is to be considered as Foreground. Foreground is subject to the IP regime for the generated IP foreseen for that contract.
In case that the “nothing to declare” statement is included in a foreground declaration, the contractor relinquishes any rights whatsoever on the generated Intellectual Property and F4E will decide independently how to deal with it.
The below set of documentation serves as a fundamental framework for Fusion for Energy (F4E) and are crucial references for complying with technical requirements. It is important to consult the relevant documentation specified in each call for accurate and up-to-date information.
The Regulations below represent the main pieces of legislation that regulate F4E’s procurement and grants’ activity.
This section contains a range of informative documents that offer detailed guidance on Fusion for Energy's procurement processes. These resources provide valuable insights and instructions for tenderers looking to participate in F4E's procurement opportunities.
Guidelines for tenderers
This document serves as an introductory guide for tenderers, providing an overview of Fusion for Energy, our mission, and the various business opportunities available for your company. It also explains key concepts and provides valuable information to help you prepare a successful tender, including the necessary documentation and considerations.
Guidance on supporting documentation for the Exclusion Criteria
This document provides comprehensive guidance on the supporting documentation required to demonstrate compliance with the exclusion criteria. It outlines the necessary documents and information that tenderers need to submit to meet the requirements.
Guidance on how to submit a tender
The below links provide valuable resources to guide companies through the process of registering, preparing, and submitting a tender. It includes two instructional videos and a presentation that offer step-by-step guidance on the tender submission process. These materials aim to facilitate a smooth and efficient tendering experience for potential tenderers.
Below you may find comprehensive guidelines for organizations interested in applying for grants. These guidelines aim to assist potential grantees in understanding the necessary steps and requirements for successful grant applications, ensuring transparency and fairness throughout the process.
- Reimbursement Guidelines for Fusion for Energy (F4E) Grants - applying to grant agreements signed after 1 June 2016
- Reimbursement Guidelines for Fusion for Energy (F4E) Grants - applying to grant agreements signed before 1 June 2016
- Model report on use of resources - applying to grant agreements signed before 1 June 2016
The Annexes below are to be used in those procedures that require them as indicated in the Invitation. Please, consider that each call for tender requires different Annexes, not every and all of them are always applicable and/or needed. Consult the Invitation to see which Annexes are needed in each particular case. Annexes not listed below are obtainable as indicated in the related Invitation (for example, Annexes 01, 02, 11, 12 will be provided by other means).
Please, check which Annexes are applicable to the specific procedure in the related “Invitation” (to tender/to participate).
-Annex 03 Declaration on Acceptance of Contractual Conditions
-Annex 04 Declaration on Honour on Exclusion and Selection criteria
-Annex 05 Identification Form
-Annex 06 Legal Entity Form
-Annex 07 Financial Identification Form
-Annex 08 Agreement and Power of Attorney
-Annex 09 Technical Third-Party Undertaking Form
-Annex 10 Financial Third-Party Undertaking Form
-Annex 13 Technical Capacity Safety Criterion (Template)
-Annex 16 Letter of intent for subcontractors
-Annex 17 Declaration of background
-Annex 18 Transportation Services and related Insurance
-Annex 19 Model Transportation Contract
-Annex 20 Compliance Matrix of the Preferred Carrier
-Annex 21 F4E CL Direct Costs Table
-Annex 22 Payable Services Direct Costs
-Annex 23 Third Party’s Joint Liability Form
(for the draft contract of the correspondent procedure please refer to the CfT documentation)
- Model General conditions for Purchase Order
- Model Direct Services Contract
- Model Direct Supply Contract
- Model Framework Contract for Services
- Model Low Value Contract (Supply)
- Daily subsistence allowances
- IP Provisions for model contract (joint ownership)
- IP Provisions for model contract (contractor’s ownership)
- IP Provisions for model contract (F4E’s ownership)
- General Conditions Framework Service Contracts
- General Conditions Framework Supply Contracts
- General Conditions Direct Service Contracts
- General Conditions Direct Supply Contracts
- General Conditions for Low value Contracts
- Cost Reimbursement Model Grant Agreement for Single Beneficiary
- Cost Reimbursement Model Grant Agreement for Multiple Beneficiaries
- Framework Partnership Agreement for Single Beneficiary
- Framework Partnership Agreement for Multiple Beneficiaries
The below set of documentation serves as a fundamental framework for Fusion for Energy (F4E) and are crucial references for complying with technical requirements. It is important to consult the relevant documentation specified in each call for accurate and up-to-date information.
QA and Nuclear Safety Documentation
The purpose of this document is to supply information relating to dimensional metrology to all Fusion For Energy suppliers and project teams.
Fusion for Energy is publishing the award of the procurement procedures and the signature of amendments above the Directive threshold in the correspondent section of the EU Official Journal (TED-tenders electronic daily) within 30 days after their signature.
In accordance with the provisions defined in point 3 of Annex I of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/10461, Fusion for Energy is publishing the main information about low value contracts (below the Directives thresholds) awarded by Fusion for Energy during the previous financial year
In accordance with the provisions defined in point 3 of Annex I of GFR , Fusion for Energy is publishing the modifications of contracts of an impact below the Directive thresholds signed during the previous financial year
In accordance with the provisions defined in points 2 and 3 of Annex I of GFR, Fusion for Energy is publishing the contract signature resulting from a negotiated procedure without prior publication of a contract notice referred to the procedures stated under points (h) and points (j) to (m) of the second subparagraph of point 11.1 of Annex I of the contracts signed during the previous year
In the below list you can find a compilation of the above referred contracts per year.
Fusion for Energy processes the personal data in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data. The purpose of the processing, legal basis, rights of the individual experts, recipients and other aspects of the personal data processing in Fusion for Energy are provided in the following Privacy Notices
Among others, you can find there the following Privacy Notices:
- Industry Portal
- Procurement and Grant Procedures
- Contract and Grant Implementation (Excluding Claims)
- Experts (with and without contracts)
- Info Days and Market Survey
The glossary below contains definitions of key terms related to F4E procurement and the ITER project. Understanding these terms is important for companies interested in tendering for F4E contracts or participating in the ITER project. The glossary is intended to serve as a helpful reference tool for those new to the field, as well as for those who are familiar with the terminology but need a quick reminder and better understanding of the terms you may have seen over this page.
The predetermined standards or criteria used to evaluate and select a winning tender or proposal in a public procurement process. These criteria are used to determine which tender or proposal offers the best value for money/lowest price, taking into consideration various factors such as price, quality, technical merit, sustainability, and other relevant considerations.
In the context of F4E contracts and grants, background refers to any information or intellectual property that is held by the contractor or developed outside the scope of the contract, which is necessary to carry out the contract or for using the services or goods supplied under the contract.
Broader Approach (BA)
A cooperation framework was established between Europe and Japan for advancing fusion energy research and development.
Call for Expression of Interest (CEI)
A notice published by a contracting authority inviting potential bidders to express their interest in a future procurement procedure.
Call for Nominations (CfN)
A procedure used to select candidates for a specific position or task, typically in a public sector organization or program.
Call for Proposals (CfP)
A process in which an organization invites interested parties to submit a proposal for a particular project or initiative, typically funded by the organization.
An individual or organization (company) that has applied or been nominated for a position or task.
An organization or entity responsible for awarding contracts, typically in the public sector. (F4E)
A fusion power plant that is designed to produce electricity from fusion reactions, with the goal of demonstrating the commercial viability of fusion power.
A company or individual that is engaged in economic activity, such as buying, selling, or providing services. (Your company)
An e-procurement platform that F4E uses to manage its procurement processes.
A consortium of European fusion research institutions that coordinates fusion research activities in Europe.
The E-submission tool is a web-based tool that vendors/economic operators use to submit their bids electronically.
The specific conditions or grounds that disqualify a potential tenderer from participating in a public procurement process within. These criteria are set by F4E and may include factors such as past convictions for corruption or fraud, failure to pay taxes or social security contributions, bankruptcy, conflicts of interest, or other legal or financial reasons that may indicate a lack of integrity, reliability, or suitability to participate in the procurement process.
Fusion for Energy (F4E)
A European Union organization is responsible for providing Europe's contribution to ITER, the international nuclear fusion project.
Intellectual Property (IP)
Refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names and images used in commerce, for which exclusive rights are recognized.
Invitation to Tender (ITT)
A document that is issued by a contracting authority to invite bids for a particular contract or project.
International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)
A major international project to build a large-scale experimental nuclear fusion reactor.
It refers to knowledge, expertise, and skills that are not necessarily protected by intellectual property rights but are still valuable and can be used to achieve a particular objective.
National Industry Liaison Officer (ILO)
A representative in each EU Member State who promotes participation in F4E projects by companies and organizations in that state.
The set of measures and regulations that are designed to ensure the safe operation of nuclear facilities and the protection of the public and the environment from nuclear hazards.
Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU)
The official journal of the European Union, publishes information related to EU legislation, tenders, and public procurement.
Protection-Important Components (PIC)
The measures taken to protect the most important components of a nuclear facility from damage or failure.
Protection-Important Activities (PIA)
The measures taken to protect the most important activities of a nuclear facility from disruption or failure.
Quality Assurance (QA)
The set of activities and processes that are designed to ensure that products or services meet certain quality standards.
The criteria that are used to evaluate the suitability of tenderers for a particular contract or project.
Tender Electronic Daily (TED)
An online database that provides information on public procurement notices and tender opportunities in the European Union.
A limit beyond which certain rules or regulations apply, such as the minimum value of a contract that must be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union.