Frequently Asked Questions

Further questions may be submitted in English and must be submitted electronically by no later than 6:00 PM ICT on Friday, May 06, 2022 via email to

About USAID Vietnam Urban Energy Security

2019 – 2023 | IMPLEMENTER: DAI Global, LLC |
PLANNED BUDGET: $13,974,519
As Vietnam experiences steep increases in energy demand and rising air pollution, there is growing recognition that cleaner, more reliable sources of energy are needed and greater capital investment is required to develop these renewable energy sources. The USAID Vietnam Urban Energy Security works closely with the Government of Vietnam (GVN) at the city, provincial, and national level to improve legislation related to clean energy, mobilize investment, and increase the adoption and deployment of innovative energy solutions.


USAID and the GVN will work together to harmonize national strategies, policies, and regulations that encourage the deployment of cost-effective clean energy. This includes drafting regulations and standards for rooftop solar or electric vehicle charging, facilitating technical exchanges, and creating a national network of experts, among other
actions. While activities will be implemented at the city level, USAID will engage a broad array of stakeholders to ensure buy-in at all levels.


USAID Vietnam Urban Energy Security works with the GVN, private enterprises, and financial institutions to facilitate deployment of 400 megawatts of renewable energy generations and energy efficiency gains. The project will also mobilize $600 million in new investment to overcome key challenges in clean energy financing by building innovative partnerships.


To achieve the above objectives, USAID will provide funding and technical assistance for innovative solutions that address urban energy and environment issues. The project will balance its portfolio between early stage activities that are testing new approaches and developed projects ready for commercialization. The knowledge and data generated through these innovative activities will be captured and shared widely to increase the broader energy community’s
understanding of the best approaches to improve Vietnam’s urban energy security.


DAI Global, LLC is a private development company based in Bethesda, Maryland, United States with additional corporate offices in London and Hemel Hempstead in the United Kingdom.
DAI operates worldwide, with a particularly strong presence in Central America, South America, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, and the Asia-Pacific region. It has worked in 160 developing and transition countries in the areas of water and natural resources management, energy and climate change, governance and public sector management, private sector development and financial services, economics and trade, agriculture and agribusiness, crisis mitigation and stability operations, and HIV/AIDS and avian influenza control.
More information about the company can be found at

About the Innovation Challenge Fund

The Innovation Challenge aims to fund 20 pilots and/ or demonstrations of new products, business models, or financing models for advanced, distributed urban
energy systems.
Advanced energy solutions exist in areas such as building efficiency, transportation, and electricity generation. These can contribute to the goal of greater urban energy esilience
and energy security, however, there is resistance to their uptake for reasons that include:
– proof of concept has not yet been demonstrated
– potential customers do not know solutions exist and are therefore unaware of the potential benefits
Through the Innovation Challenge, the Project will support the piloting and/or demonstration of innovative ideas in Da Nang and/or Ho Chi Minh City that have the potential to achieve scale and commercialization.
Organizations that are registered in Vietnam, particularly female-led organizations (including U.S. and local nongovernmental organizations, universities, private for-profit organizations, technology suppliers/developers, and training institutions) with bold ideas across the following categories will be encouraged to apply:
– Transportation
– Building efficiency
– Electricity generation
– Electricity delivery and management
– Water efficiency

Advanced energy encompasses the technologies and services, both emerging and established, that make the energy system secure, high-performing, clean, and affordable. It is a dynamic and complex combination of resources, technologies, and services working together to collectively meet the evolving energy needs. These solutions are roughly broken down into six main categories: 1) electricity generation, 2) electricity delivery and management, 3) building efficiency, 4) water efficiency, 5) transportation, and 6) fuel production and delivery.

Distributed energy refers to energy generated at the point of or near to point of consumption (mostly connected to the distribution grid) and encompasses a diverse array of distributed energy assets (i.e. generation, storage, etc.), digital services, electric vehicles (dynamic charging), management solutions and value-added services that include financing. They reduce costs, improve reliability, and offer monetization of energy assets, e.g., through participation in flexibility/ demand response markets.

The ICF provides an opportunity for firms to:
– Showcase solutions to government, the private sector, and other important stakeholders, and gain recognition;
– Commercialize and scale their solution; and
– Help Vietnam achieve energy and climate change goals

There will be four Rounds between 2021 and 2023

The Innovation Challenge Fund aims to fund a total of 20 pilots/demonstrations that will be spread across four separate funding rounds.

Organizations that are registered in Vietnam may apply, including U.S. and local non-governmental organizations, universities, private for-profit organizations, technology suppliers/developers, and training institutions.
Female-led organizations are particularly encouraged to apply

Under the authorized geographic code for its contract, DAI may only procure goods and services from the following countries.
Geographic Code 937: Goods and services from the United States, the cooperating country, and “Developing Countries” other than “Advanced Developing Countries”: excluding prohibited countries. A list of the “Developing Countries” as well as “Advanced Developing Countries” can be found at:, respectively.
DAI must verify the source and nationality of goods and services and ensure (to the fullest extent possible) that DAI does not procure any goods or services from prohibited countries listed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as sanctioned countries. OFAC sanctioned countries may be searched within the System for Award Management
(SAM) at The current list of countries under comprehensive sanctions includes Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
Offerors must be legally recognized organizational entities under applicable law and must be legally able to perform or participate in subcontract activities in Vietnam.

Offerors must be legally recognized organizational entities under applicable law and must be legally able to perform or participate in subcontract activities in Vietnam.
This solicitation is issued to firms or organizations holding a valid business registration.

Firms can partner and submit a consortium-based proposal.
The proposal should clearly state which firm will be the prime subcontract holder, for whom (first-tier subcontractor) a DUNS number is required.

The pilot/demonstration phase is not expected to last more than six months. Only in exceptional circumstances will a longer implementation phase be allowed.

Successful firms will enter into contract with DAI LLC.

Pilots/demonstrations will take place in Da Nang and/or Ho Chi Minh City only. Within these cities, appropriate sites will be identified for the pilots/demonstrations and may include factories, commercial buildings, etc.

USAID and the Government of Vietnam have determined that the geographic scope of the Project should be Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, in partnership with Department of Industry and Trade (DOIT) in both cities.

Each award (for piloting/demonstrating) will have a maximum value of USD 100,000. This threshold is subject to change at the discretion of USAID/DAI LLC.

The ICF is able to support the following activities/expenses:
– Transportation (of equipment and people)
– Hiring premises for the pilot/demonstration
Venue hire for workshops; trainings, etc
– Staff time
– Technical assistance (through consultants)
– Costs associated with installing the pilot/demonstration
– Etc.
The ICF is NOT able to support the following activities/expenses:
– Loyalty programs
– The owners of the demonstration sites purchasing the innovation
– Etc.

About the Innovation Challenge Fund Selection Process

The ICF design envisages supporting twenty pilots/ demonstrations over four funding rounds between April – June 2021 and January – March, 2023. Each funding round will involve a two-step process for applicants, which is envisaged to take three months.

The selection process is expected to last at least three months, between the Project issuing an Expression of Interest and contract signing.

Yes. The ICF design envisages supporting twenty pilots/ demonstrations over four funding rounds. If a firm/ consortium misses the deadline for one round, they may apply during a later funding round.

Yes. A firm/consortium may submit the same application, or a modified version, in later funding rounds.

Yes, but only if the pilot/demonstration is different from the one that has already received funding.

Please check the Call for Expressions of Interest and the Request for Proposal

At the end of the pilot/demonstration, all firms will attend a workshop facilitated by a Project partner. Results of each pilot/demonstration will be discussed with stakeholders that include USAID, HCMC DOIT, Da Nang DOIT, an Accelerator, project staff etc. (Accelerators are organizations that offer a range of support services.)
Additional support may be available for pilots/demonstrations that are successful and that have the potential to be commercialized and scaled and contribute to improve urban energy resilience and energy security in Vietnam.

About submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) or Request for Proposal (RFP), and Award Management

The contract award and management will be administered by DAI, the prime contractor to USAID under the USAID Vietnam Urban Energy Security

Cover letters and Technical and Financial Proposals should be sent to the following email address:
The electronic submission of proposals is adequate. No hard copies are required.
Technical proposals should be submitted in both PDF and Word format.

The award will be issued to the responsible and reasonable offeror who provides the best value
to DAI and its client, using a combination of technical and cost/price factors. DAI may award to a higher priced offeror if a determination is made that the higher technical evaluation of that offeror merits the additional cost/price.

By submitting a proposal, offerors agree to fully comply with all the terms and conditions specified and all applicable U.S. federal government clauses included in the RFP. The winning offeror will be asked to sign these Representations and Certifications upon award.

Offerors must provide full, accurate, and complete
information in response to this solicitation. By submitting an offer, offerors certify that they have not/will not attempt to bribe or make any payments to DAI employees in return for preference, nor have any payments with terrorists, or groups supporting terrorists, been attempted.

The proposal should clearly state which firm will be the prime subcontract holder, for whom (firsttier subcontractor) a DUNS is required. A DUNS is not required for other consortium firms.

Technical proposals should be limited to ten pages excluding appendices and supporting documents, e.g., the three one-page summaries of past performance and proposed staff CVs.

Offerors are asked to limit their one-page summaries of similar work to the three most relevant awards of similar scope and duration. Additional activities may be listed in the table, but only three relevant activities will be considered in the evaluation of the proposal.

Proposals should be submitted in Word and PDF, in English, and respond to the Statement of Objectives and criteria as laid out in the RFP. There is no set format

The contract award and management will be administered by DAI, which is the prime contractor to USAID for the management of the USAID Vietnam Urban Energy Security. The contract will be signed by DAI Global, LLC, which is based in the United States.

DAI prefers offerors to include their DUNS numbers in their proposal submission. Without a DUNS number, DAI cannot deem an Offeror “responsible” to conduct business with. The determination of a successful offeror resulting from this RFP is contingent upon the winner providing a DUNS number to DAI. Offerors who fail to provide a DUNS number will not receive an award and DAI will select an alternate Offeror.

More information

If you have more questions about the ICF, please write to