Share your solution to transform communities in New York State through clean transportation.
Thank you for participating in the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge. As part of the New York Clean Transportation Prizes, this challenge will award scalable, long-term solutions that take an integrated approach to transforming transportation, reduce local transportation-related air pollution, and improve the quality of life in one or more disadvantaged communities in New York State.
We recommend reading all requirements for this proposal before you begin, as well as the scoring rubric that will be used to assess all eligible proposals. Your proposal will be shared with reviewers during evaluation.
Proposals must be submitted in English. The online proposal saves automatically, and the status of your proposal is available to view on your dashboard (you will not receive any automated emails). Please contact us with questions or technical issues.
Be sure to review your proposal as it will appear after it’s been submitted (link at the bottom of the page). When you have completed all requirements, a message will be displayed on the screen with the option to submit your proposal. Once you have submitted the proposal, you will no longer be able to make changes.
Proposals are due no later than Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
This is your opportunity to make a strong first impression. Offer a brief and compelling overview of your solution. Avoid using jargon, abbreviations, or language that a layperson may not understand.
SOLUTION TITLE (10 words)
Provide a title for your solution.
SOLUTION DESCRIPTION (25 words)
Provide a short description for your solution in one sentence.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (150 words)
Write a one-paragraph overview of your solution that answers the following questions:
Your Executive Summary should be a stand-alone statement of the problem, solution, and how you’ll measure success. It should not require any other context to clearly explain what you plan to accomplish.
Submit a video that captures your solution and why it should be funded. This is an opportunity to showcase your passion and pitch your story to a broad audience. Share your vision with reviewers in a way that is different from the written proposal format. This DOES NOT need to be a professionally produced video.
In order to complete this part of your proposal, you will upload a short digital film using YouTube. Set the Privacy Settings on your video to Unlisted – do not set them to Private or Public.
Your video may be extracted from your submission and made available to the public. Video submissions should follow these guidelines:
Here are general suggestions for delivering a high-quality video pitch:
Now that you’ve introduced your solution, focus on the structure, capacity, and leadership of your team. Successful execution is of paramount importance to the success of this prize – and a strong team is critical.
During registration, you identified the Principal Organization responsible for receiving and taking accountability for any funds, as well as providing the direction, control, and supervision of the solution. If Principal Organization and/or contact information has changed, please Edit Registration Form from the Profile menu to update this information.
A range of expertise will be required to successfully execute proposed solutions. In many cases, this may require multiple organizations working together as part of a team. If your team consists of two or more organizations, please list them using the legal name of each partner. If your team does not consist of two or more partners, insert “Not Applicable.” If you have more than five major project partners, you may list them as part of your TEAM STRUCTURE & CAPACITY response below.
TEAM STRUCTURE & CAPACITY (250 words)
Describe your team, its members, and partners. Show how you have the right leadership, transportation and policy expertise, execution capacity, partners, and commitment to ensure your solution is a success for your team and the impacted communities. Describe how your team will build a strong, long-term partnership with the selected disadvantaged communities to develop a solution that meets their needs.
TEAM MANAGEMENT (200 words)
Explain the proposed breakdown in responsibilities and capabilities between the team members. How do you plan to work together? Who will manage the team, and what governing authorities have you established between the parties? Describe the overall administration of your team.
ORGANIZATIONAL CHART (upload)
Upload a PDF of your team’s organizational chart. You must upload a single PDF file that does not exceed 10MB. The PDF should not contain additional text explanations of your solution set and should not be used to circumvent word counts in this proposal. Some brief labels and/or basic text descriptions are permitted.
TRACK RECORD (150 words)
Describe any relevant experience in the fields of transportation, engagement with and work in disadvantaged communities, local government, or other experience that demonstrates your ability to successfully implement the proposed solution. Explain how your team is uniquely positioned to deliver results and why your vision will be successful in solving your identified problem(s).
Here is your opportunity to explain the problem(s) you intend to solve and to demonstrate your nuanced understanding of the disadvantaged communities you aim to serve.
PROBLEM STATEMENT (250 words)
Set the stage and describe how your proposed solution intends to reduce transportation-related air pollution through electric and active transportation and improve the quality of life for the disadvantaged community (or communities) in which it operates. Identify who is impacted by the problem(s) and specifically how. Demonstrate your understanding of the relevant systems and local conditions that affect the identified problems and/or challenges in those disadvantaged communities and how your team will execute given these conditions. This includes how your team will work with local government and other stakeholders that need to be engaged to ensure success.
DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITY BACKGROUND (200 words)
Use this interactive map to identify the disadvantaged community (or communities) you plan to serve, as defined by New York State. In your response below, tell us the story of one community that best represents how your solution will serve intended beneficiaries. This could be a community that you are currently serving or planning to serve through your proposed solution, and the story may include its history, assets, challenges, and opportunities (as you have defined them in partnership with the communities with which you will work). Explain how the story of this community represents larger issues that you intend to resolve, and discuss its context for the elements of your solution. In the COMMUNITY & STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT section, you will have opportunity to describe how you plan to work with disadvantaged communities as you implement your plan.
E. YOUR SOLUTION & ITS EXECUTION
Here’s your opportunity to more fully explain how you intend to solve the problem(s) you have outlined above. It is important to convey both that you have a sound strategy and also that you have a sound approach to execution.
SOLUTION OVERVIEW (250 words)
Describe your solution and how it uses electric and active transportation to meaningfully transform disadvantaged communities. Summarize the short- and long-term impact that your solution will have including, but not limited to, reducing transportation-related air pollution and meeting other community needs identified in partnership with the disadvantaged community or communities your solution aims to serve.
Proposals are encouraged to encompass a wide range of activities that are necessary to advance transportation electrification in a community. The proposal may choose to achieve the goals of the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge by harnessing local planning capacity and ability to change local rules, regulations, and rights-of-way usage, and infrastructure supportive of electric transportation options to encourage or require more future transportation electrification. Proposals may also encompass solutions that advance active transportation options alongside electric options. For a full description of solution eligibility, please review the Rules.
VISUAL REPRESENTATION (upload)
Upload a PDF that includes schematics, photos, and/or other visual representations of your solution. You must upload a single PDF file that does not exceed 10MB. The PDF should not contain additional text explanations of your solution set and should not be used to circumvent word counts in this proposal. Some brief labels and/or basic text descriptions are permitted.
EVIDENCE OF EFFECTIVENESS (250 words)
Show clear and compelling evidence that the solution is feasible and will succeed within any boundaries of your proposed budget and project. Present any internal or external evidence you may have of projected success, including any results from related or previous work. You may cite academic literature or papers. Use brackets and numbers to indicate relevant citations [#]. Please be specific and quantitative.
OPERATING MODEL FOR YOUR SOLUTION (250 words)
Explain how your solution will operate, including the equipment, software, data, processes, or other assets needed for successful implementation. If you are building on an existing solution, describe the baseline and specific changes you intend to make to ensure the solution fits the specific needs of the communities in which you plan to operate. Summarize any usability and/or functionality testing you have on your solution that informs the intended functionality of the solution. This is an opportunity to highlight your ability to quickly and efficiently operationalize your solution and demonstrate your ability to pivot if needed based on changing circumstances or needs of the communities in which it operates.
TRANSPORTATION DATA & PRIVACY (150 words)
Open data standards are a critical precursor to successful collaboration between the public and private sectors. Data should be classified as personally identifiable information and treated as such in policies around management, storage, dissemination, and use. Please reference data management and privacy practices, and approach to share diverse data streams with municipal partners to better manage transportation networks asset information. Please review NYSERDA’s Information Security terms in the Sample Agreement (section 8.01(f)). For reference, here is the complete list of Information Technology Services Security Policies.
UPTAKE MODEL FOR YOUR SOLUTION (200 words)
Explain how you will achieve uptake (usage) for your solution in disadvantaged communities. Describe some of the needs and important attributes of potential disadvantaged community users of the proposed solution, as well as potential use case(s) (the ways in which they might use the solution).
YOUR APPROACH (150 words)
This prize aims to solve problems, many of which are not new. Solutions may include novel approaches to problems through new business models, policies, processes, financing structures, or myriad other creative or unique-to-this-application approaches. Identify what is new or different in your approach, technology, or in the communities served that will make your solution a success where existing or past efforts have not successfully solved the problem. Share how your solution improves upon, creatively integrates with, and/or bolsters existing methods, practices, systems, policies, and/or infrastructure where applicable.
RISK & RISK MANAGEMENT (250 words)
Identify risks to your successful implementation of the solution. Describe the circumstances, sequence of work, and actions by others that are necessary to achieve success (such as obtaining local permits). What challenges are the most important to you and what unintended consequences can you foresee? Explain how you plan to overcome, minimize, or mitigate the impact of any of these risks.
INTEGRATION (200 words)
Explain how you’ll effectively, efficiently, and safely build upon, modify, and/or integrate within existing systems, services, infrastructure, and/or technologies. Describe any community engagement required to successfully implement your solution. If you are seeking to enact policy, regulatory, and/or statutory changes, describe current conditions and the specific changes you intend to make, as well as examples of other jurisdictions where these policies have been implemented. Show your understanding of local conditions, your solution’s effects on systems, services, infrastructure, and/or technologies currently available, and a future state that includes projected results you plan to deliver. Show us your understanding of the pros and cons of your solution within the broader community and transportation context.
INSTALLATION & MAINTENANCE (150 words)
Describe how your solution will be installed and maintained, and the infrastructure, systems, platforms, mobile devices, and other environments that work with your solution. Describe plans for ongoing maintenance, funding, and/or other support for your solution. Note any specific codes or standards that your solution may be required to meet and how you plan to meet them.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (150 words)
Explain who currently owns any intellectual property and/or trade secrets of your proposed solution, if any is required. If you are building on existing technology, detail the permissions you have to use that technology, if any are required. If you are part of a team, indicate which team members own or control the intellectual property and/or trade secrets, if applicable.
LOCATION OF CURRENT/FORMER WORK (100 words)
List the location(s) where you and/or members of your team have implemented work relevant to the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge. Please note: We are looking for evidence-based solutions that are ready to scale. Proposed solutions that do not demonstrate a clear path to successful deployment as part of this competition are not likely a strong fit.
MAP OF PRIMARY LOCATION(S) OF PROPOSED WORK (upload)
Upload a PDF showing the eligible disadvantaged community (or communities) where you will further develop plans to implement your proposed solution if awarded a planning grant from the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge. These locations may or may not be the same as the locations where you have implemented work relevant to the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge (listed above).
Use this interactive map to clearly identify, confirm, and display the locations as eligible disadvantaged communities as defined by New York State. Use the instructions provided with the interactive tool to enter the location and generate the map in order to upload a PDF screenshot file that does not exceed 10MB. The PDF should not contain additional text explanations of your solution set and should not be used to circumvent word counts in this proposal. Some brief labels and/or basic text descriptions are permitted.
ELECTRIC UTILITY PROVIDER
There are up to five Phase One awards and up to three Phase Two awards available through the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge for projects located within communities served by electric utilities regulated by the New York State Public Service Commission. These utilities are: Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Con Edison, National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas, Orange and Rockland, and Rochester Gas and Electric.
Subject to the availability of funds, up to one additional Phase One award may be made for a project located within a community served by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) through the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge. Up to one additional Phase Two award may be made for a project located within a community served by LIPA across all three challenges in the New York Clean Transportation Prizes program.
Projects located in other electric utility service territories are eligible to participate in the submission and evaluation process, but are not eligible for Clean Neighborhoods Challenge awards and must secure alternative funding. Up to one additional Phase One project may be selected from the other electric utility service territories for access to expert consultants and other support services to prepare a Phase Two proposal. This additional project is not eligible to receive the planning grant, grand prize, nor funding for community partners from NYSERDA.
Indicate below which of the following utilities will serve your project location(s). Please select one.
PRIMARY LOCATION(S) OF PROPOSED WORK (150 words)
List the eligible disadvantaged community or communities where you will further develop plans to implement your proposed solution if awarded a planning grant from the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge. Include each community’s corresponding electric utility provider.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS (100 words)
This is your opportunity to describe any outstanding issues that you could not explain in any other sections when describing your solution, as well as to provide any additional context that demonstrates why and how your team and your solution are a strong fit for the community (or communities) in which you plan to operate.
Demonstrate how your solution will better meet the transportation needs of disadvantaged communities, improve health, and increase the quality of life and opportunity for community residents and others.
YOUR VISION OF SUCCESS (250 words)
Succinctly and clearly describe what success looks like for your solution from the perspective of your team, as well as the communities you’ll serve, local government entities, and other stakeholders. Identify key indicators of success and explain how users will experience increased access to electric and active transportation and improved quality of life. Include your vision of the future for disadvantaged community members impacted by your solution.
METRICS & OUTCOMES (250 words)
Share your projected measurable results, other outcomes, and processes for monitoring, evaluating, tracking, and gathering metrics to substantiate your claims. At a minimum, this should include, but is not limited to:
NOTE: Teams selected as final Awardees will have access to a third-party contractor to verify performance and, in some cases, to collect additional data, during implementation.
QUALITY OF LIFE CONSIDERATIONS (250 words)
Explain how your solution improves the health, quality of life, and quality of economic opportunity for disadvantaged community members you aim to serve. Identify ways you may disrupt the underlying conditions that contribute to and/or drive inequity. Describe how your solution contributes to leveraging additional support and making your selected neighborhood or community more attractive for further investment or residency. Include any potential repercussions and how they will be addressed.
IMPACT FROM MULTIPLE AWARDS (150 words)
If you are applying for two or more of the New York Clean Transportation Prizes, describe in detail any additional outcomes, cost savings, or other value that would accrue if you were to receive more than one award. If you are not applying for more than one of the New York Clean Transportation Prizes, insert “Not Applicable.”
Illustrate detailed plans as to how you will collaborate with the communities in which you will deploy your solution.
PAST / EXISTING COLLABORATION (200 words)
Identify the key organizations, local government, utilities, individuals, and other stakeholders you have worked with on this proposed solution to date and why. Detail your past/current engagement with these stakeholders and how you’ve developed a shared vision for the outcomes of a potential Clean Neighborhoods Challenge award.
ONGOING COMMUNITY & STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT (250 words)
Share how you plan to continue to communicate with and involve residents and relevant decision-makers, funders, technology/service providers, media, and other stakeholders to ensure your solution is successful and able to reach its goals in the long term. Describe how you will address any concerns from the communities in which you propose to operate. Describe any endorsements or commitments you have received from leaders in the communities that you intend to serve (letters of support are not required at this time).
MARKETING APPROACH (200 words)
Describe your approach to marketing your solution to potential customers. How do you intend to introduce the solution and demonstrate its advantages to potential users and the broader stakeholder community? Summarize any market or community research, identifying the needs and appetite for your intended solution, as well as any future/ongoing research or feedback.
NOTE: Teams selected as final Awardees will have access to NYSERDA’s Outreach and Engagement Contractor to strengthen outreach efforts and ongoing engagement during project implementation.
Clearly describe the potential and plans to scale, expand, repeat, and/or replicate your solution.
ABILITY & PLANS TO SCALE OR REPLICATE (200 words)
Describe how your solution may be scaled and/or replicated by your team and/or others both within New York State and globally. If applicable, explain adjustments to the operating or uptake models, funding requirements, new beneficiaries/user types, or other key changes that may be required with expansion. Finally, share any thoughts you have on useful ways to document and disseminate lessons learned, tools, training materials, etc., that would support any future plans to repeat, replicate and/or scale.
NOTE: Teams selected as final Awardees will have access to a third-party contractor to verify performance measurement and, in some cases, to collect and disseminate information and additional data, during implementation.
CONDITIONS TO SCALE OR REPLICATE (150 words)
Illustrate the ideal environments, circumstances, and/or conditions to successfully scale or replicate the proposed solution. Describe characteristics of other disadvantaged communities that would make them good opportunities for expansion. If your proposed solution is specific to any intended population, geographic or demographic constraints, explain how you would overcome these limitations in order to scale your solution.
Illustrate your plan and the resources required to successfully implement your solution. Please be as informative as possible, clearly portraying important activities the funds will be used for and when.
TIMELINE & MILESTONES (250 words)
Provide a timeline to implement the proposed solution for a period of up to three years beginning in July 2022. Describe the chronological sequence of key tasks and identify important milestones and outcomes you will track to indicate success. If applicable, briefly explain any start-up or other one-time expenses or requirements (permitting, change of rights-of-way, etc.) that will increase cost or complexity for implementation and/or decrease costs of scaling.
TOTAL PROJECTED COSTS
Provide the total projected cost of your solution, including expenses to be covered by sources other than a Clean Neighborhoods Challenge award, if applicable.
BUDGET NARRATIVE (200 words)
Offer a narrative overview for how your team would use the $10 million award including the projected needs by category. You may include any explanations of existing resources you have already secured. Costs may cover up to a three-year project period.
Funds from Phase Two awards must be used for the solution described in the proposal and go toward achieving transportation-related outcomes. The solution must be implemented over a period of up to three years. Proposers may include overhead costs that are necessary to implement the proposed project.
To help us understand your priorities, provide a detailed budget for how the $10 million award would be spent. Your Detailed Budget should follow these guidelines or risk ineligibility:
1. Your budget must total $10 million (USD).
2.Your budget must allocate some funds to support measurement and verification activities. Please note: NYSERDA will require that you work with a third-party contractor to independently support performance evaluation.
3. Your budget may not provide funding for any of the following ineligible project types:
Using the following table, present a budget identifying cost categories described in your project plan and budget narrative and within your specified duration of up to three years. This budget should not exceed $10 million.
While your Budget Narrative may identify or describe any additional costs and funding sources secured by the time of the award, this Detailed Budget may not. Your proposal should read as one unified narrative, and the Detailed Budget must clarify the efficiency with which you intend to use resources to achieve your goals, as previously described. You must specifically describe the incurred costs as part of each line item.
Provide a list of up to ten project personnel types and their hourly billing rates. The hourly billing rates should be expressed as a range, if appropriate, and inclusive of the Multiplier to present the fully burdened bill rate for each title classification proposed to work on this proposal. Include any escalation to rates over the duration of the three-year project. If you have fewer than ten title classifications, enter “not applicable” for the remaining Title Classification fields and “0” for the remaining rate fields.
FINANCIAL LEVERAGE (150 words)
Please describe any potential to leverage additional resources to realize your solution. Expand upon any descriptions of additional sources of funding identified in your Total Projected Costs and Budget Narrative, if applicable. Explain how those additional resources will improve feasibility, scalability, and adaptability of your solution. Include name(s) of any current other funder(s), amounts, and type of resources (cash or in-kind). Be sure to delineate between funds that are secured versus potential funding you may secure in the future (but is not guaranteed). If you have not secured or do not plan to secure additional resources, insert “Not Applicable.”
TOTAL RESOURCES ACQUIRED & USE OF FUNDS (100 words)
If your total projected costs exceed $10 million, explain how you have secured or plan to secure the balance of any necessary funds, and provide an overview of how those funds will be used. If your total projected costs do not exceed $10 million, insert “Not Applicable.”
OTHER RESOURCE NEEDS (100 words)
While your budget is essential, teams may need more than financial support. Please indicate if you have any specific needs that do not require financial assistance. For instance, if you need help connecting with a particular community leader or set of leaders or market participant, access to data sources/climate projections, or if your success requires a change in policy or permission(s) from any governing authorities. Please note any obstacles that cannot be addressed through your proposed budget.
This section is required for due diligence purposes.
EMPLOYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (5 words)
Provide the Principal Organization’s employer identification number (EIN). While we understand this may be pending or in progress, an EIN is required in order for Awardees to enter into a contract with NYSERDA. If your EIN is in progress, insert “Pending approval.”
Provide the Principal Organization’s total annual operating budget by selecting one of the options below.
SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES (50 words)
List the social media handles for the Principal Organization. If your organization does not have social media handles, insert “Not Applicable.”
CONFLICT OF INTEREST (100 words)
Teams shall disclose any existing or contemplated relationship with any other person or entity, including any known relationships with any member, shareholders of 5% or more, parent, subsidiary, or affiliated firm, which would constitute an actual or potential conflict of interest or appearance of impropriety, relating to other clients/customers of the proposer or former officers and employees of NYSERDA, in connection with proposer’s rendering services as proposed. If a conflict does or might exist, please describe how your company would eliminate or prevent it. Indicate what procedures will be followed to detect, notify NYSERDA of, and resolve any such conflicts. If you do not have any conflicts, insert “Not Applicable.”
CERTIFICATION OF NON-RESPONSIBILITY
With the submission of this proposal, proposers certify under the State Finance Law to disclose any Prior Findings of Non-Responsibility – this includes a disclosure statement regarding whether the proposer has been found non-responsible under section 139-j of the State Finance Law within the previous four years.
Do you have Prior Findings of Non-Responsibility to disclose? If the answer is yes, you will be required to provide a disclosure statement after the submission deadline and during administrative review.
DISCLOSURE UNDER STATE FINANCE LAW
Teams are required to disclose any indictment for any alleged felony, or any conviction for a felony within the past five years, under the laws of the U.S. or any state or territory of the U.S. and shall describe circumstances for each. When a proposer is an association, partnership, corporation, or other organization, this disclosure requirement includes the organization and its officers, partners, and directors or members of any similarly governing body. If an indictment or conviction should come to the attention of NYSERDA after the award of a contract, NYSERDA may exercise its stop-work right pending further investigation or terminate the agreement; the contractor may be subject to penalties for violation of any law which may apply in the particular circumstances. Teams must also disclose if they have ever been debarred or suspended by any agency of the U.S. Government or the New York State Department of Labor.
Do you have felony indictments, convictions, and/or suspended or debarred team members to disclose? If the answer is yes, you will be required to provide a disclosure statement after the submission deadline and during administrative review.
NYSERDA will execute contractual agreements which will outline the terms of any award provided to any Principal Organization through the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge and will also monitor the implementation of the awarded project. Please review our Rules and Terms & Conditions for the Sample Agreement and more details.
Up to five Phase One Awardees will each enter into an agreement with NYSERDA for the $100,000 planning grant. In order to ensure NYSERDA is timely with the procurement and contracting of these planning grant awards under the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge, NYSERDA will not allow any exceptions to NYSERDA’s standard terms and conditions in the Sample Agreement. All proposers should review these standard terms and conditions in the Sample Agreement in detail before deciding to move forward with a proposal to ensure they do not have any exceptions with them. NYSERDA will terminate contract negotiations with any proposers selected for funding that attempt to retroactively negotiate the terms and conditions during the contracting process.
If chosen as an Awardee, additional information will be required. The following list is intended to illustrate some basic requirements, and NYSERDA reserves the right to require other information, as necessary.
As provided in the Rules, NYSERDA, at its discretion, may conduct broad due diligence to validate any or all elements of an application and to assess applicants’ prospects of success, including gathering information to assess a Proposal relative to any of the topics listed in evaluation criteria, whether or not such topic is explicitly addressed in a Proposal.