Before the launch of the DISC contract notice, an extensive market analysis was implemented. It aimed, first, to evaluate the right procurement route to procure the research and development and subsequent purchase of innovation, and second, to gather insights regarding the capabilities of the market in order to inform the structure of the challenge and project.
As part of this market analysis, the following elements have been implemented:
- Two Prior Information Notice published on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) 08/08/2018, and 18/03/2019
- Targeted emails and call with IoT and digital health hubs: 210 specialised universities and incubators contacted
- A general reach to Scottish suppliers: CEC press release, dedicated DISC page on the ET website, communication through ET and CEC’s social media, e-blast to all suppliers registered on Public Contracts Scotland (c70k registrations on PCS),
- 2 bidder information session events organised 01/10/2018, 08/10/2018
- An even to foster the creation of partnership between potential bidders organised 01/04/2019
- 14 one-on-one discovery meetings
- 29 discovery calls
- a participation in the UK health show
The market analysis revealed that while many different sensors and data analysis platforms were either available or under development, no solution integrating both fatigue and health monitoring was available in the market. Given the interest of both Edinburgh Trams (ET) and other Authorities to purchase a solution developed as part of the challenge, (provided it can perform adequately and at an affordable cost), both the project team and Board decided that the DISC should be procured as an Innovation Partnership.
An Innovation Partnership PPI (public procurement of innovation) enables both the research and development phase and subsequent purchase of the good or service. The process allows the Authority to go to tender with a needs-based approach, presenting bidders with a “problem to solve”; thereby providing suppliers flexibility to suggest possible solutions and, if successful, to work towards their creation through a R&D phase.
As part of this, the project was included in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government in order to support for Scotland the consolidation of a public procurement of innovation guidance.