Strengthening U.S.-Ukraine Business Relations while Addressing Social Issues through “Serious Game Jam”

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Funding Opportunity ID: 326935
Opportunity Number: PAS-UKRAINE-2020-012
Opportunity Title: Strengthening U.S.-Ukraine Business Relations while Addressing Social Issues through “Serious Game Jam”
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Opportunity Category Explanation:
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Category of Funding Activity: Arts (see “Cultural Affairs” in CFDA)
Business and Commerce
Humanities (see “Cultural Affairs” in CFDA)
Science and Technology and other Research and Development
Category Explanation:
CFDA Number(s): 19.900
Eligible Applicants: Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Additional Information on Eligibility:
Agency Code: DOS-UKR
Agency Name: Department of State
U.S. Mission to Ukraine
Posted Date: May 08, 2020
Close Date: Jun 15, 2020
Last Updated Date: May 08, 2020
Award Ceiling: $100,000
Award Floor: $75,000
Estimated Total Program Funding: $100,000
Expected Number of Awards: 1
Description: The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to carry out a program to strengthen U.S.-Ukraine business relations and cultivate a better business environment in Ukraine while addressing social issues through “serious gaming.” Please carefully follow all instructions below.Program Objectives:Summary: A successful applicant will introduce U.S. companies to the Ukrainian gaming industry and promote good corporate governance by creating a platform for U.S. developers to collaborate with their Ukrainian counterparts on tackling social issues through “serious games.” In doing so and through supplemental activities, you will offer Ukrainians an alternative to competitor technology sectors while promoting STEAM education and U.S. study.The overarching strategic goals are to 1) strengthen U.S.-Ukraine business relations by providing a transparent platform for collaboration; 2) cultivate a better business environment; and 3) address Ukrainian social issues through the development of “serious games.”Program Structure: You will work with the Public Affairs Section (PAS) and, as applicable, a Ukrainian sub-awardee to recruit approximately 50 established and aspiring Ukrainian game developers from across Ukraine for a two-day social issues workshop and two-day “game jam.” During the workshop, participants will work in small teams to begin designing “serious games” focused on Ukrainian social issues. The workshops will take place at the Kyiv America House in the first week of September 2020 to coincide with Comic Con Ukraine. PAS will assist in determining project themes. Your proposal should include plans to invite 8-10 local and American mentors – including representatives of U.S. video game companies – to advise participants on their projects and provide career-path mentorship.Program plans must incorporate the ability to work with the Foreign Commercial Service to introduce U.S. game development companies to the Ukrainian market and facilitate relationships with their Ukrainian counterparts. These interactions may focus on good corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, and/or intellectual property rights. A key component of all activities will be safeguarding against outsourcing and, ideally, creating jobs for American workers.The game jam will take place in the days before Comic Con Ukraine, scheduled for September 5-6 with an anticipated crowd of 35,000. Program plans should envision coordinating with the Comic Con organizers (with PAS assistance) to arrange a “pitch contest” on September 5, when the game jam participants will have the opportunity to present their ideas to potential investors (including participating U.S. companies) and gamers. The winning team(s) will receive seed money to continue their projects, and participating U.S. companies will have co-production rights to winning games on which their representatives provided mentorship, if interested. Additionally, you will assist PAS in programming U.S. mentors on the sidelines of Comic Con for events promoting STEAM education, women in STEAM, and U.S. study.Note: Given the COVID-19 outbreak, proposals must also include plans for transitioning to an online format in case in-person programming should be unfeasible.Sample Timeline:· Two months before program start date: Publish call for participant applications; identify U.S. and local mentors; solicit U.S. company involvement· Two months before program start date: Logistical planning· One month before program start date: Select participants; propose final agenda· Days before program start date: Program coordinators and mentors arrive in Kyiv; final logistical coordination· August 31 – September 6: Program runs, monitoring and evaluation· After program ends: Follow-on activities, monitoring and evaluationMonitoring and Evaluation: You must demonstrate your organization’s capacity to monitor program activities and evaluate your program’s results by measuring performance and impact (results). Indicators of success should relate directly to the strategic goals outlined above. You budget must cover the costs of monitoring and evaluating your program.The evaluation plan should address the following: 1) What data will you collect to determine whether the program is on track? 2) How will you collect the data (e.g., pre- or post-surveys, focus groups, interviews, media monitoring, etc.) and what type of data will you collect (quantitative and/or qualitative)? 3) How will you organize and report your data? Your evaluation plan should be submitted in the format of a “logic model,” a link to a sample of which is included in Section D.Sample Indicators of Success:1. Within six months of the program, at least one team is continuing work on the project they designed or a similar initiative (measured via follow-up interviews). 2. Within six months of the program, at least one quarter of the participants are maintaining a relationship with their U.S. mentors, either through collaboration or ongoing mentoring (measured via follow-up interviews). 3. Within one year of the program, at least one new U.S. video game company has established or plans to establish a presence in Ukraine or has collaborated or plans to collaborate with a Ukrainian company (measured via follow-up interviews). 4. Based on pre- and post-program surveys, participants in the game jam demonstrate stronger technical skills and a greater aptitude for innovation and entrepreneurship. 5. Based on pre- and post-event surveys, attendees at talks promoting STEAM education, women in STEAM, and U.S. study show more interest in and understanding of these topics. 6. Based on pre- and post-event surveys, workshop and game jam participants show more interest in and understanding of the social issues of focus. Participants and Audiences:You will target amateur Ukrainian game developers and recent graduates of relevant educational programs with ages ranging 18-30 for participation. Developing a plan to include women and marginalized communities is highly encouraged. Depending on the theme, you may focus recruitment further.
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