Virtual Connections Café: Challenging Procurement

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Event finished: 14th April 2021

SME innovation support webinar

At this Connections Café we will be focusing on the sharing of best practices between SMEs and local authorities in procuring new solutions that can be deployed at city scales. In connection with the wider Connected Places Catapult Challenging Procurement programme, we will be welcoming SME and local authority speakers to share examples of successful collaboration work that have delivered innovation and impact across the connected places sectors to address different industrial challenges.

Connections Café is our series of SME innovation support webinars that explore developments and opportunities in the built environment and mobility sectors that enable new levels of physical, digital and social connectedness. They offer support and guidance to growing businesses to help them bridge the gap between new innovations and commercial success.

We welcome all SMEs and businesses who work within these exciting sectors.

Challenging Procurement Programme

Connected Places Catapult is the UK Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Mobility, Smart Cities and the Built Environment. It works with local and national government, academia and industry to accelerate the integration of innovations which boost physical, digital and social connectivity in our countries, cities, towns and communities.

CPC launched a new initiative, Challenging Procurement, in 2019. The objectives are to unleash the potential of public procurement to deliver innovative products and services, while engaging innovative providers, especially SMEs. We have been collecting information and engaging experts from across the ecosystem, bringing together place leaders, procurement professionals, commissioners and innovators in local services, to share experiences of public procurement and identify examples of pioneering practice. CPC has initiated a monthly webinar series to showcase the potential of public procurement to deliver innovative products and services and stimulate further discussion on the topic.

In March 2021, CPC published a detailed response to the government consultation on ‘Transforming Public Procurement’, considering the opportunities to promote innovation through new approaches. This builds upon our recent report on Radical Innovation for Places, which was accompanied by a webinar and a blog to discuss the questions and opportunities raised.

The Challenging Procurement team also contributes to CPCs international outreach programmes. Recently publishing a review of innovation procurement strategies globally with the UK Government: Public Procurement of Innovation. This report was accompanied by a series of webinars organised by the UK Embassy in Brazil.