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. 

If this month’s notices are anything to go by, local authorities are anticipating the potential rewards of going digital right now in a way we’ve rarely seen. Cities, Towns and County Councils across England are seeking real usable technologies to support the delivery of their services, so act now if you have a solution ready to go. Check out the top live tenders below.

 

TOP LIVE TENDERS:

A digital clone for Bradford

City of Bradford Metropolitan Council is offering up to £24999 for a provider able to offer it a ‘digital clone’ of the city (i.e. mapping it out for planning purposes). The condition is that the clone be provided rights-free so that the data used can be made available under the Government Open Data License.

The deadline is tomorrow – 8 October – so make sure to get in quick.

Note to startups: If you’re reading this after the deadline, Bradford appears to be embracing digital at a rapid pace. Two months ago, we reported that it was seeking to procure a chatbot to ease the burden on its telephone staff. Keep an eye on tenders coming out of Bradford for similar opportunities. 

It never hurts to make yourself known to authorities who are proactively seeking solutions so that when the tender comes, you can put in the most attractive possible bid, knowing the exact problem they’re trying to solve. 

Traffic management provision for the Motorways Alliance

Another big infrastructure tender for the month comes from the Motorways Alliance – an alliance of Costain, Balfour Beatty and others working on the delivery of smart motorways. 

The Contract – worth up to £1m and suitable for SMEs –  seeks traffic management providers to be appointed into the alliance’s network. Apply by 11 October.

Build the next 5G Testbed!

5G Testbeds have been popping up across the country over the last 18 months, with incredible work being done in Liverpool, the West Midlands and elsewhere to demonstrate the value of the technology for public services. 

University of Sheffield is seeking a 5G provider able to build an end-to-end integrated testbed, with a view to supporting applications in the manufacturing industry (smart manufacturing, predictive maintenance and remote operations. 

The deadline for bids is 26 October and the provider will receive up to £125k.

Robotic Platoon Vehicle

An unusual notice from the Defence Science & Technology Lab, which is seeking to hire a Robotic Platoon Vehicle with accompanying support. Providers should note, the vehicle will need to be fairly advance; the tender notes the vehicle should be ‘capable of being armed with a medium or heavy machine gun and has a Surveillance, Target Acquisition (STA) system capable of detecting a human up to 2km away in all light conditions’ and suitable for use in both urban and rural environments. 

For the right solution, there’s up to £550k – so apply by 18 October. 

Engagement: Autonomous vehicles for Kent County Council

Kent County Council is exploring the possibilities for autonomous electric shuttles as part of its Fastrack Shuttle service serving the Kent Thameside developments.

Up to now, the service has been provided by Fastrack buses, but the Council has its eye on sustainable options and is keen to engage with autonomous shuttle providers which might be able to supply as part of a 1-2 year trial.

This is an open ended engagement process for now – but, if you’re a provider of these services, make sure to engage early ahead of any future procurement process. 

Engagement: VR training for the Cell And Gene Therapy Catapult

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult has issued a Pre-Information Notice for providers of virtual reality training in a lab environment; If you have expertise in VR and are looking to share – view the PIN for more information.

 

OPPORTUNITIES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

Local Government awards:

Some interesting contracts in the local government space that you may have missed over the last month include:

Cornwall Council awarded a £4,300 contract to Parker Software Limited for a WhosOnLive Chat system (essentially a chatbot). It’s one of a number of contracts we’ve seen in local authorities for chatbots, so we’d expect to see many more over the next 12 months.

There’s been a lot of movement in the transport and traffic management space, with Bristol City Council awarding a contract worth £24,996 to Vivacity Labs for AI-based traffic sensors, and Swindon Borough Council awarding a £116k contract to Idox PLC for an Urban Transport Management system using live data on vehicle position, passenger numbers and journey time to develop a management strategy.

Elsewhere LGSS awarded a similar contract worth £250k to Cambridge Enterprise Limited for use in managing South Cambridgehire’s transport network.

Coventry City Council awarded a contract worth £605k to Imosphere for a solution to resource allocation in the adult social care space – helping to calculate the right amount of money to meet an adult’s individual eligible care need.

Central Government awards:

Back in July – The department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) awarded two contracts focusing on the development of solutions to smart charging for Electric Vehicles.

The first – awarded to Samsung Electronics – (at a value of c. £1.5 million) centred around the development and trial of a smart charger for use in non-public settings, which would integrate into smart metering programmes.

The second – focusing more on public settings and valued at the same as the first – went to Element Energy Ltd.

Finally –  Awarded in April this year, but only published last month – the Department of Health and Social Care awarded a £2.3m contract to Faculty Science Limited for the ‘Provision of strategic support to the NHSX AI Lab’ – the new unit at NHSX that will be exploring possible further uses for Artificial Intelligence in healthcare settings such as diagnostics.

 

COVID-Tech:

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, dozens of contracts (worth nearly £27 million) have been published relating to awards going back to March this year – most of which were issued from NHS England. 

Of note, NHS Digital awarded Kainos a £7m contract for software to run their testing service, set to run until 2022

To assist with contact tracing – Public Health England published an award to AWS for the development of contact tracing software worth £313k, which concluded in July.

NHS England awarded Mastek (UK) ltd a £109k contract to support the technical delivery of the COVID-19 Operational dashboard. 

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.