GovTech in Focus: Top Tenders & Awards, November-December


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. This month brings a number of major healthtech contracts both up for grabs and awarded – as NHS London Procurement Partnernership and NHSX make the list of organisations beefing up their tech capability through startups. The steady stream of smart city and transport ITTs coming out Local Authorities continues, and there’s an interesting award to BAE Applied Intelligence relating to data on COVID-19.

Top live tenders:

London needs HealthTech

Our biggest opportunity this month comes from NHS London Procurement Partnership, which has launched a new framework: Clinical Digital Solutions for the Integrated Health Economy Framework This framework appears to be a catch-all healthtech framework for London NHS Bodies – allowing direct award to listed suppliers. If you’re producing digital health solutions, we strongly recommend getting yourself on the framework as a priority.

Opportunity for a cleantech startup

Startups looking to be part of the road to net-zero, look no further than this opportunity to support the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult in its delivery of the ‘Multi-platform Inspection, Maintenance and Repair in Extreme Environments (“MIMRee”) Project.The winning company will provide a solution to deliver the simulated testing environment used to deliver the project, currently titled the Synthetic Test and Unified Demonstration System…or STUDS.If you have experience in providing simulated environments for testing and demonstrating systems, apply before 13 January

Smart Cities & Connectivity

Adoption of 5G continues in major cities as Sunderland City Council seeks a strategic partner to invest in and form a joint venture to build and operate a 5G Neutral Host. It’s not an opportunity for startups so far as we can see, but a strong indication of the direction of travel.Connectivity startups, Keep an eye on announcements that follow in 2021.While you wait, check out this framework agreement for professional and technical services from Lancashire County Council – providers of traffic modelling, transport planning, as well as intelligent transport systems and new mobility solutions are encouraged to get on the framework.

Don’t miss DSTL’s Swarm AI Hackathon

Finally – an interesting event coming up that AI developers shouldn’t miss. In May, the Defence Science and Technology Lab – in partnership with the US Air Force Research LAb -will host The Swarm and Search Artificial Intelligence Competition Series 2021 Challenge: Capture the Flag – “a competitive hackathon to explore the best approaches to delivering autonomy within swarming platforms”As things stand, there’s no commitment to develop the winning solution, but interested parties should participate. It’ll be a good opportunity to engage with potential buyers on both sides of the Atlantic.

Opportunities you may have missed


The future of AI in healthcare

The most notable award this month is DHSC award of a £930k contract to Faculty, the data science startup – for strategic support to NSHX’s AI Lab. The award will help support NHSX’s response to COVID19, but also its business as usual, as the unit seeks new approaches to using technology in healthcare.

Urban Traffic Control

Derbyshire Country Council have awarded nearly £2million in contracts in relation to its Urban Traffic Control System – using smart technology to manage traffic and improve local transport. Both contracts were suitable for SMEs, but in the end went to Siemens Mobility (£1.065m) and Dynniq UK (£835k). Dynniq picked up a similar contract from Staffordshire County Council to migrate its Urban Traffic Control system to the cloud.

Another Council adopts a Chatbot

Finally – another award for a chatbot from a local authority as East Riding of Yorkshire Council awarded £20k to Inform Communications Ltd. More and more local authorities are seeking chatbots to help manage the burden on their call centres, so keep an eye out for opportunities in this space.


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, another 24 contracts worth just over £8.5million have been awarded by public bodies to resolve challenges associated with COVID-19.Many continue to be organisations seeking adequate solutions to the requirement for employees to work from home; indeed, the biggest contract in this section this month was £2million for Microsoft Cloud Licenses for NHS Test and Trace. Other contracts include modifications to offices to ensure COVID-secure workplaces.Aside from these – the biggest non-WFH related contract came from Public Health England, which awarded BAE Systems Applied Intelligence a £990k contract to develop and provide “3rd line support to a Second Generation Surveillance System (SGSS) Solution. The solution is responsible for capturing and transferring information relating to the spread of infectious diseases using the results of medical test data from laboratories, including Covid-19.”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