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Maximizing Returns on Corporate Issued Requests for Proposals

Project Champions:

Academic:   Wayne Watkins, University of Akron
Industry: Robert Gruetzmacher, DuPont

Project Summary:    

Several companies (i.e., Hewlett-Packard, Dow Chemical, Cisco, Microsoft) have issued one type of request for proposals (RFP’s) known as “open call”. Open call RFP’s are requests for new ideas and proposed solutions in broad areas of interest to the company. The research could be blue sky or sufficiently basic that it would be of strong interest to the academic community while also addressing the longer term research aspirations of a company. Open call RFP’s can significantly expand the number of potential researchers who are active in areas of interest to a company, bring new ideas and approaches to the company’s attention and expose the company in a positive way to potential recruits. For the purposes of this project we define an "open call" RFP as a corporate solicitation for proposals targeted at a wide variety of respondents. Open call requests are in contrast with a corporate solicitation for proposals targeted at a specific person, department or university.

Initially,   this project was to focus developing parameters to maximize the value of “open call” RFP’s: however, participants at the RFP workshop at the UIDP meeting in Irvine of April 2009 agreed that the UIDP membership would be better served if the focus was strategically broadened to include open, targeted RFPs and versions in-between.
Project Goals:
  • Complete formal project proposal for Board approval
  • Having reviewed the results from the first survey, modify the survey questions and answer options to be consistent with project deliverables below
  • Reissue survey to UIDP membership and others (to be determined)
  • Solicit RFP examples from the membership and elsewhere (a solicitation may also be built into the above survey as well)
  • Review examples and survey results (may carry out interviews as well)
  • Digest results and develop a series of recommendations/strategies and a decision process to determine in each instance the best type of RFP model to use.
Development of specific templates will be considered.
Project Deliverables: Presentation, report and model templates
Project Audience:
  • Industry and universities interested in improving the RFP process
  • Long term—all industry
Project Status: In Process
Last Updated: August 2010