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Not-For-Profit Framework (NFPF)


We are using a new framework to work with not-for-profit organizations, such as academic and research institutions.

National defence labs, as well as academic, scientific and research institutions from within the NATO Nations, will be able to receive funding for work with the Agency under this new framework.

Through this enhanced cooperation with not-for-profit organizations, the Agency has more access to specialized skills, expertise and innovation along the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA). At the same time, NATO will benefit from faster project delivery. NATO's perspective will also be brought into the work of the participating not-for-profit organizations across the NATO nations.

The framework complements existing cooperation and contracting processes with industry. NFPs will support the NCI Agency in its scientific programme of work, research and development studies, capability requirements, blueprints, change management or project and service provision assurance. To ensure integrity of NCI Agency procurements, organizations participating in the NFPF are excluded from participation in any tier of NCI Agency procurements addressed to industry and vice-versa.

The NFPF cooperation model is a two-step contracting procedure: 

  • Step 1: An agreement is signed between the NCI Agency and the not-for-profit organization to participate in the framework, subject to the provision of the NFPF Declaration of Eligibility by the NATO country of origin.
  • Step 2: Competitions for NFPF Task Orders will be conducted amongst the NFPF Agreement holders to support specific NCI Agency requirements.

Ready for Step 1?

Here is what you need to do next:

    A. Download the NFPF Terms and Conditions here.

    B.  Request the General Rules of Operation, template for the NFPF Agreement and/or editable version of NFPF Terms and Conditions template via the functional mailbox NFPF@ncia.nato.int

    C. Submit the NFP application to the NCI Agency, including:

      (1) filled-in NFPF Agreement template and
      (2) your NFP's expertise and skillset areas adopted from SFIA.

The Agency will subsequently request the NFPF Declaration of Eligibility via the respective national delegation to NATO. The NCI Agency must receive the Declaration of Eligibility to establish the NFPF Agreement.

The NCI Agency intends to launch the first NFPF competitions upon signature of the first five NFPF Agreements.

Q & A


Can industry-sponsored research organizations engage in the NFPF?

Organizations that are sponsored by industries are excluded from NFPF participation.

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Is there any time restriction for organizations to join the NFPF?

NFPF is always open for applications and without time restrictions.

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What are the Intellectual Property Rights for participation in the NFPF?

As per the clause 21 of NFPF Agreement, unless specified otherwise in the related NFPF Task Order(s), NATO retains property of all the Foreground IPRs resulting from the Task Order's execution. At the same time, these Terms and Conditions can be modified and agreed in the specific Task Order. Specific applicability of the IPR can be clarified during the standard clarification process for the given solicitation.

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Can a NFPF agreement be extended beyond five years with the consent of both parties?

As per the NFPF General Rules of Operation, the NFP Declaration of Eligibility, which is indispensable for establishing the NFPF Agreement, has a validity period of five years. Thus, the NFPF Agreements have validity period of five years and are be subject to renewal and provision of renewed Declaration of Eligibility (DoE).

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Are services also considered "deliverables" under the terms of the NFPF Agreement?

Yes, services are considered "deliverables" under the terms of the NFPF Agreement.

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NFPF Warranty calls for both parties to guarantee coverage of "all defects discovered within 12 months". Is this clause necessary?

The NFPF Agreement includes a standard set of Terms and Conditions. The terms and conditions of the NFPF Agreement can be modified and/or amended in the respective Task Order to accommodate the specifics of a given scope of work at hand.

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Can the work under the NFPF Task Orders be subcontracted?

As per the clause 26 of the NFPF Agreement, the work under the respective NFPF Task Orders cannot be subcontracted by the NFP. The terms and conditions of the NFPF Agreement can be modified and/or amended in the respective Task Order to accommodate the specifics of a given scope of work at hand.

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Can a NFP propose objectives for the NCI Agency to be taken into consideration?

The NFPF is envisaged as a sourcing framework through which the NCI Agency will contract out to the NFPs. Therefore, at the current stage it is not anticipated for the NCI Agency to receive unsolicited proposals from the NFPs.

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Can the research findings obtained as a result of scientific work be published by contractors?

As per the article 27.3.1 of the NFPF Agreement, the result of the work exercised under the NFPF Task Order remains the property of NATO. The terms and conditions of the NFPF Agreement can be modified and/or amended in the respective Task Order to accommodate the specifics of a given scope of work at hand.

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Does NCI Agency or NATO provide support during the realization of scientific or research works?

The NCI Agency Project Manager in charge will act with a view of the project success in mind. This includes providing reasonable guidance and clarification in the realization of the scientific and research works.

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What is the Governing Law for the NFPF?

Applicable law is the one of Kingdom of Belgium, as contracts have to be governed by a National Law from one of the NATO Nations. Being legally registered in Belgium, the applicable law to NCI Agency contracts is Belgian Law.

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What is the purpose of the provision dealing with background IPR?

This provision is to ensure that the Purchaser is able to use any background information that is required to use the deliverable produced as part of the project (that deliverable being foreground). The intention is not to acquire all rights on pre-existing information from the NFP organization participating to a project, but to ensure the Purchaser can fully use the foreground information.

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How strict is the proposed Framework Agreement, are they suited for the procurement of product or services, and research activity?

Terms and Conditions of the NFPF Agreement are the standard terms and conditions that can be adjusted, amended or waived depending on the type of requirements at the time of execution. At the time of the signature of the NFPF Agreement, the NFP Organization does not commit to any execution.

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How can NFPF organizations deal with arbitration and settle disputes?

NCI Agency/NATO is an international organization that enjoys immunity of jurisdiction. This means that it will not go to court to settle disputes that could arise from its contractual relationships. Arbitration provisions are provided to ensure that there is a forum to settle disputes.

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Are NFPF organizations, in particular higher education entities, required to comply with NATO restricted access requirements?

In principle, at this stage NCI Agency is looking at unclassified work, not requiring security clearances (personnel and/or facility). To sign the NFPF Agreement, no security clearance is required. Terms and Conditions of the NFPF Agreement are the standard terms and conditions that can be adjusted, amended or waived depending on the type of requirements implemented at the time of execution. At the time of the signature of the NFPF Agreement, there is no other commitment than becoming eligible to NFPF business.

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Would the definition of Force Majeure be extended for epidemics, quarantine restriction and delay by any parties?

This is not envisaged at the moment.

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Can several NFPF organizations join forces to address requirements?

Yes, consortia between NFP organizations enrolled in NCI Agency's NFPF would be admitted to solicitations.

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