GovTech in Focus: Top Tenders & Awards, March-April


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.


Local authorities

A number of exciting tenders coming out of Local Authorities this month as councils across England embrace the opportunities for better service delivery presented by tech such as 5G and IoT - While not immediate opportunities, two further PIN’s provide a route to engage with Councils on future use or delivery of connectivity:Of these - Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council intend to launch a 5G Living Lab in Basing View. Their newly published prior information notice is seeking to determine whether there is interest from the private sector in working in partnership with the council to deliver the project. Meanwhile North Yorkshire County Council is “implementing a number of IOT use cases, with an aim to test a developing LoraWan network across the County using a range of Class A and C sensors.” In their recently published PIN - the Council says it is “exploring the market, developing use cases that are relevant to its geography and ambition to create a digitally empowered region”. Startups and companies with relevant case studies are encouraged to engage early. The most tangible of opportunities in local government comes from Suffolk County Council, which “intends to conduct a procurement exercise for the award of a contract to produce a safe and accessible software platform to enable interactive VR experiences designed for people with dementia to support reminiscence and improve emotional and mental wellbeing” - the procurement exercise is also seeking an app for use by those in carer role to monitor experience.


Elsewhere, a number of Government departments have published PINs for upcoming structural projects which should be of interest for startups and developers:Top of the list is this tender from the Rural Payments Agency (an executive agency of DEFRA), seeing information around remote sensing services. With activities under the eventual contract expected to cover workforce and use of remote sensing techniques for compliance and enforcement of the agency’s remits, its worth relevant companies getting involved.Further PIN’s include this one from Crown Commercial Service - valued at £550m PIN - and centring around the provision of debt resolution services, which will be utilised by all public sector bodies. “The lot structure will be dependent on the market engagement” - so it makes sense for interested companies to engage and inform the eventual opportunities that arise. Finally - an opportunity for companies working on robotic process automation - Torfaen County Borough Council, acting as the contracting authority for the SRS partners - a consortium of public sector organisations - are “looking to explore the possibilities of RPA technology”. With a Supplier day set to take place next Wednesday 21st , we recommend registering for one of the ten 30 mins slots available.


A number of awards have been announced in the last month that show how strong the opportunities within the GovTech space are currently - both in software and hardware. Across, health, defence, energy and further afield, use of technology is changing the delivery of public services more than ever. Here are just a few of the most notable contracts published over the last month.Two awards stand out in the health space, where Faculty have won a £500k contract from DHSC to deliver the NHSX: AI Labs - National COVID Chest Imaging Database (NCCID) Validation Service and Enginer Partners UK have been awarded a contract worth £82.5k to assist Health Education England “in using predictive analytics to better understand our trainee doctor pipeline.”Also based on better understanding and use of available data, the Health and Safety Executive have awarded three contracts (totalling approx £1.5m) to The University of Manchester and John Wood Group PLC as part of their ‘Discovering Safety Programme. The research programme will help HSE to “understand how to access and use routine safety and health data in new ways”A similar contract from BEIS to Aimi ltd includes the procurement of data scientists to produce data models for ‘AI, Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning Data’.

Local authorities:

Topping the list of awards coming from local authorities, this purchase of a mass-people moving connected autonomous vehicle by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council as part of their “Low CCarbon Future Mobility Project”. Richmond Design & Marketing will receive £250k for provision and service for two years to demonstrate the vehicles application.Elsewhere, Barnsley Metorpoltan Borough Council has awarded IOT Tribe £120k a contract to deliver “A programme of intensive support focused on attracting technology startups into Barnsley and the DMC tech hubs” - definitely an exciting opportunity for IoT startups seeking opportunity to support local authorities looking for more sustainable use of urban spaces.


Every month, we’ve been looking at the contract awards relating to COVID-19, whether issued to directly respond to challenges around the virus, or side effects such as the shift to remote work and infrastructure needed to support this. Over the last month, a further 59 contracts with a total value of £32.5 million have been published, with most spent on contracts that will ensure continuity of service for departments working remotely. Others will make sure that remote care and remote learning solutions can be delivered more effectively.In this vein - alongside a number of other similar contracts, Computacenter received an £351k award from the Department for Education for the provision of up to 14,000 4G Router/MiFi devices to enable vulnerable children to access the internet for remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.On the other end of the spectrum, Jigsaw Systems were awarded a £6m contract for provision of Tablet devices to care homes.Other contracts helped to drive efficiency in testing - Sensyne Group won a contract from DHSC worth £274k for Lateral flow test Device Vision Readers , which “allows citizens to report results without professional assistance through computer vision technology that will automatically analyse test results from photos captured by users.”The drive to increase efficiencies in healthcare administration during COVID continues, with Econsult Health Ltd awarded a £558k contract for their Online Consultation System - while Accurx Ltd - which provides similar services was awarded a £205k contract with NHS Wales Shared Services to ensure that the Cadwaladr University Health Board to continue to have access to the services after cessation of the free-to-use agreement that had been in place.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