MAURITIUS RESEARCH AND INNOVATION COUNCIL

OPERATING UNDER THE AEGIS OF THE

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, COMMUNICATION AND INNOVATION

Authorised under Section 24 (2) of the Public Procurement Act 2006

 

Request for Expressions of Interest MRIC/EOI/IPS/22-23/01

Expressions of Interest for the provision of Intellectual Property Services from locally accredited firms in relation to the Innovation Box Regime under Section 23E of the Income Tax Regulations

Introduction

The Mauritius Research and Innovation Council[i] has under S. 4 (e) of the MRIC Act 2019, the object to "Promote Commercial Utilisation of the results of Research and Development and Innovation, in the National Interest".

 

Further to the announcement of the budget measure regarding the "provision of an Innovation Box Regime for Intellectual Property assets developed in Mauritius to encourage innovation-driven activities by new companies" in the Budget Speech 2017 – 2018, a number of regulations were put in place to facilitate the process for a company to apply to the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) for the grant of a tax holiday.

 

The provisions for tax exemption under Regulations 23E of the Income Tax Regulations GN78 of 1996 (Consolidated October 2020) are set up as follows:

  • Newly set-up companies that are engaged in innovation-driven activities will be granted an eight-year tax holiday on income derived from their intellectual property (IP) assets developed in Mauritius.

  • On or after 10 June 2019, existing companies will now benefit from the eight-year tax holiday on income derived from their IP assets developed in Mauritius.

It is also understood that for the purpose of item 34 of Sub-part C of Part II of the Second Schedule to the Income Tax Act 1995 (Consolidated up to Finance Act 2020):

 

“the exemption shall be available only to a company which carries out the research and development leading to the creation of the patent, copyrighted software or, only in relation to smaller companies, other intellectual property that is similar to an invention which could be patented”.

 

In this regulation: "other intellectual property" means intellectual property in the nature of assets that are certified by the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council as being novel, non-obvious and useful.[ii]

 

 

Objective

The Mauritius Research and Innovation Council is seeking expertise for the evaluation and subsequent determination of assets in the context of Regulation 23E and item 34 as described above. It wishes to outsource the services of firms whose expertise and experience in IP will help in such determination.

 

The Innovation Box Regime mechanism will be a two stage process as discussed in the scope of work section.

 

Eligibility

  • Firms should be registered and operative in Mauritius.

  • The provision of specialized services in IP should be one of the core activities of the firm.

  • Firms should have necessary expertise and experience (of at least 5 years) to be able to evaluate company assets as being novel, non-obvious and useful in relation to the above mentioned Regulations.

  • Firm should have the ability to evaluate any company application, irrespective of its domain/ sphere of innovation.

 

Scope of work

Assignment 1 - To develop an application form to be used by the company applying to the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council under the Innovation Box Regime.

Assignment 2: First Stage of the Innovation Box Regime Mechanism

  • In the first instance, the firm is required to carry out a preliminary screening of a company’s application to determine whether the IP, in the nature of its assets generated through research and development meets the criteria of novelty, non-obviousness and usefulness. This preliminary screening is required to be carried out based on details submitted by the company using the application form developed by the firm.

  • An application fee payable by the applicant (to be determined by the firm) will be charged by the firm to carry out the preliminary screening.

  • A brief report should be provided to the MRIC by the firm indicating the outcome of the preliminary screening, i.e., whether the company’s application satisfies, or does not satisfy, the criteria of novelty, non-obviousness and usefulness.

Assignment 3: Second Stage of the Innovation Box Regime Mechanism

  • This second stage is dependent on the outcome of Assignment 2.

  • If the company’s application satisfies the criteria of novelty, non-obviousness and usefulness as determined by the preliminary screening, the firm will then be required to carry out an in-depth and final evaluation of the company’s application.

  • A fee payable by the applicant (to be determined by the firm) will be charged by the firm to carry out the second stage of the evaluation process.

  • The firm is required to provide the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council with a detailed report of its final evaluation.

The MRIC shall respond to requests for clarification received 14 days before the deadline for submission of the EOI. Requests for clarification received after the delay stated shall not be entertained. All queries should be addressed to the Executive Director, at the address given below.

 

Expressions of Interest (one original hard copy and a soft copy), in English language, together with all relevant information addressed to the Executive Director, in sealed envelope and clearly marked “MRIC/EOI/IPS/22-23/01 Expressions of Interest for the provision of Intellectual Property Services from locally accredited firms in relation to the Innovation Box Regime under Section 23E of the Income Tax Regulations” should be deposited in the Tender Box or submitted/sent by registered post /Courier Service on or before Tuesday, 16th August 2022 at 15.00 Hours Mauritian time (UTC/GMT+4hr) at the address mentioned below:

 

 

Mauritius Research and Innovation Council

Level 6, Ebène Heights,

34 Cybercity, Ebène 72201 Republic of Mauritius

Tel: (230) 465 1235; Fax: (230) 465 1239

Email: contact@mric.mu

           Website: http://www.mric.mu

NOTE:

  1. Assignment 2 and 3 has each, its own fee and own report.

  2. The MRIC reserves the right not to make any award or to accept or reject any EOI application following this advertisement.

  3. All costs associated with the preparation of the EOI will be borne by the applicant.

  4. The Applicants are encouraged to submit any other additional information they deem necessary for providing Intellectual Property Services in relation to the Innovation Box Regime under Section 23E of the Income Tax Regulations.

  5. This service is time-bound. 

  6. The shortlisted firm(s) may be required to make a power point presentation to a Panel at a given date and time in Mauritius.

 

15th July 2022

 

 

 

[i] Effective 1st September 2019, Mauritius Research Council has changed its name to Mauritius Research and Innovation Council.

[ii] Intellectual property is also covered under the Industrial Property Act 2019 and the Copyright Act 2014.