GovTech in Focus: Top Tenders and Awards, August-September


Startups, we know that selling to the public sector is tough. In a monthly series, PUBLIC – in partnership with Tussell, the data provider on UK government contracts and spend – provides the GovTech community with the lowdown on the most valuable and exciting GovTech tenders issued by public-sector bodies every month – as well as the opportunities you might have missed.


CCS’s AI DPS IS OPEN NOWWe’ve been teasing it for months, but we’re excited to say that Crown Commercial Service’s shiny new £200m Dynamic Purchasing System for Artificial Intelligence opened properly this week. From yesterday (3 September), buyers will be able to award contracts to AI companies on the framework.This framework seems to be a cornerstone of Government’s plans to get the most out of AI - something we covered in our AI special report, back in April.As with every DPS, it will remain open for suppliers to join until its conclusion (in this case, July 2024). We strongly encourage startups working in this space to take advantage of the framework - it’s likely to be a first-stop for any buyers looking for AI solutions to a range of public-sector challenges.GOVERNMENT DATA LAKESAnother key piece of the government AI puzzle (but sadly a tender which is closing today, 4 September) - this tender invites bidders for development work on the government commercial function’s data lake.Large repositories of data are great to have if you know what to do with them, and Cabinet Office is looking for someone to help them out on ‘automating connections with source systems, improve data quality and implementing additional features.’ From there, the successful bidder will provide ‘analytics support including the piloting of machine learning models in the platform.’VR TRAINING FOR CARERSWe’re always excited by a new practical use for immersive technology - particularly when it means improvement in care services - and Northampton Borough Council have found one.The Council’s Children First Northamptonshire organization are looking to purchase an immersive virtual reality’ training resource as part of an enhanced training offer aimed at increasing the competence of Carers and professionals, improving training and selection of Carers, and Increasing ability to cope with more challenging behaviors.’The Care sector has been at the forefront of a lot of advancements in GovTech over the last five years and we encourage companies in the VR space to take a look at this tender, valued at £76k.Bid by 10 September. Help design the future model of social care:Our last big notice this month is this PIN from Staffordshire County Council, which is seeking a partner to ‘help us revolutionise adult social care beyond the current offering of traditional case management.’ The initiative is clearly looking to tech-enabled future for its adult social care offering - and is asking for feedback from potential suppliers on what budget and resource levels the Council should reasonably expect to commit on its side.It’s not yet a tender, but GovTech companies working in the care space should seek to engage early on this one - taking part in market exercises can set you up as a strong candidate for tenders in the future.


AI-driven opthalmic research:In medical research and diagnostic fields, AI is being used at the cutting edge to generate further insights: In the latest award of its kind, Moorfields Eye Hospital has given a £700k contract to Softwire Technology Limited for a research database that uses artificial intelligence to find new insights into ophthalmic research. March of the Council Chatbots:Last month, London Borough of Waltham Forest became the latest Local Authority to go out for a chatbot; when we find out who won the tender, we’ll let you know, but Chatbot developers should be aware of an increasing number of tenders in this area. Waltham Forest joins a line of authorities seeking solutions to easing burdens on call-centre staff, including Salford, Bradford and others - So keep an eye out for more tenders and be sure to take advantage of them when they arise.Smart Digital InfrastructureFinally, Birmingham University went out last month seeking to appoint an ‘Innovative Technology Collaborator’ to drive forward the use of new technologies at the University (primarily on its Edgbaston Campus, but with links to other campuses and university locations as well. While the £464k contract was open to SMEs, it was Siemens who took the final award, and will create a ‘true innovation collaboration’ with the University.


Whether it’s awards explicitly to companies seeking to tackle the virus and its impact on the health service, or just technology to adjust back office processes to the new normal, invitations to tender as a result of COVID continue to arise at a steady rate.Patient Data processing:NHS Arden & Gem Commissioning support paid £1.5m to Palantir back in June for its Foundry Data Management Platform on a 4-6 month trial. The platform will help the group to process sensitive patient data in support of efforts to tackle the pandemic.If you are a tech company that wants unparalleled insights into the key government opportunities and trends, get in touch with us about how we can help – you might be interested in applying to our GovStart programme! Using Tussell’s comprehensive database of UK public sector procurement and spend, you can get trends, analysis and live updates on the government’s procurement of technology. Essential for anyone looking to take a strategic approach to scaling up through public procurement.


Sep 20, 2021