The Sheep CRC and AWI have developed a suite of three programs for the management of worms, flystrike and lice. The WormBoss, FlyBoss and LiceBoss programs are computer-based sources of detailed management information and regional programs that offer assistance to manage the major parasite risks for sheep. These programs have been developed by expert panels of parasitologists and veterinarians from across Australia. ParaBoss is the name that has been given to the umbrella web-site that provides the links between the three web-based programs.
The Sheep CRC has a finite life and will terminate at the end of June 2014. There is therefore a need to find an alternative host organisation to take on the management and delivery of the ParaBoss program well before the wind up of the Sheep CRC. Expressions of interest are invited from organisations, or a syndicate of two or more
organisations, that consider that they have the appropriate skills and resources for the management and delivery of the ParaBoss program from July 2013.
Outline of EOI process and essential requirements
The Sheep CRC is coordinating the call for expressions of interest, working closely with MLA and AWI who have agreed to provide funding during a period of transition and establishment. However, expressions of interest should provide a budget that covers an establishment period and a transition to independent funding. A detailed document is available describing the current ParaBoss programs and business plan. The expression of interest does not necessarily need to follow the current business plan but should indicate how the organisation plans to deliver the functions summarised below. The expression of interest should include details of a business plan for the ParaBoss program that does not require industry funding from MLA and AWI, other than for specific projects, beyond the establishment and transition phase (maximum of 3 years). Future funding of the ParaBoss program can be based on any of the following sources of revenue and is likely to include a combination of revenue streams.
There should be no possibility that funding from any company might compromise the independence and technical accuracy of the ParaBoss content and advice.
It is recognised that potential host organisations may have very different approaches to managing the ParaBoss program and its delivery. It is however, expected that the ParaBoss program will have a part or full time Executive Officer to supervise the day-to-day running of the program. A steering committee will be appointed and funded by MLA, AWI and the Sheep CRC to review progress and delivery against KPIs established with the new host organisation in the ParaBoss license agreement.
Criteria for selecting a host organisation
1. The ability of the host to deliver the specified functions required for the ParaBoss program.
2. The reliability of the proposed funding model covering the transition and independent delivery phases of the hosting operation.
3. The ability to maintain independent control over the content and delivery of ParaBoss material without conflict of interest.
4. Value for money – particularly during the establishment and transition phases.
The current ParaBoss program is designed to provide an integrated national source of independent and current information for best practice sheep parasite management in different environments within Australia. In future the scope could be broadened to include additional hosts (e.g., cattle and goats) and a wider range of parasites (e.g., ticks, Buffalo Fly). It is also possible that the ParaBoss business model could be expanded to include countries beyond Australia, provided that there are benefits for Australian producers through an appropriate revenue stream and differential pricing model.
Functions to be provided by the host organisation
1. Website maintenance
The host must maintain and keep current the three main websites: WormBoss; FlyBoss; and LiceBoss as well as the umbrella program linking these sites, ParaBoss. The web based programs can be hosted on an in-house computer or via an external web resource provider. It is essential that the host organisation has a person responsible for day to day updating of the web content, if necessary, with sufficient knowledge of parasitology and computer systems to modify content in a timely manner.
2. Maintain active communication program
The communication program should include regular media releases in relation to updates or general advice on parasite management at different times of the year that is region specific. There should also be provision for a regular electronic newsletter that specifically deals with ParaBoss issues and parasite management in sheep.
3. Industry training and partnership with service providers
The host should have the capacity to initiate industry training programs independently and also have plans for partnering with other service providers and resellers.
4. Monitoring and evaluation
There must be a defined process for monitoring the level of use, awareness and application of ParaBoss advice by producers and service providers. Results of website visits and annual surveys must be reported to the steering committee.
5. Technical review and oversight
The host organisation must appoint and regularly convene a technical committee with high level expertise in management of internal and external sheep parasites to oversee the technical development of the website, to identify research and extension needs and to provide feedback to the steering committee on technical issues. The host organisation must also ensure that there is a mechanism for maintaining an open forum to harvest ideas and expert comment from parasitologists, veterinarians and producers. During the establishment period the technical committee will be appointed and funded by CRC, AWI and MLA.
6. Manage and convene the steering committee appointed by AWI, MLA and the Sheep CRC
The host organisation must arrange at least two meetings a year of the steering committee. The host does not need to cover the costs of the steering committee members attending meetings. During the first three years the host must provide quarterly progress reports summarising activities and use of the web-sites.
Expressions of interest should reach the Sheep CRC by the end of January 2013. The host organisation should be prepared to take responsibility for managing the ParaBoss program from 1 July 2013. The host organisation will have six months to finalise the proposed commercial arrangements for ongoing funding and the successful completion of these arrangements will be reviewed in December 2013. A decision will be made at that point whether the host continues to hold a license for hosting and delivering ParaBoss.
IP and form of agreement
The Sheep CRC Ltd has rights to the Intellectual Property associated with the ParaBoss suite of programs and associated trademarks and URLs. The CRC will license the successful host organisation to deliver the ParaBoss program according to a schedule agreed between the host and the steering committee. The CRC and its participants reserve the right to terminate arrangements following the review in December 2013, or at any time in the future, if the host organisation has not met the targets
indicated in their expression of interest document and the agreement schedule.
Additional information regarding the ParaBoss EoI can be obtained by contacting the Sheep CRC:
Contact Helen Sisson via email email@example.com or phone 02 6773 1317.
A national program to support better sheep parasite management (download the business case below).
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