The future of innovation procurement

Every year the UK spends £380bn on third party suppliers – £60bn of that is spent by local authorities – so it is vital to ensure we are getting the best value from the goods and services we buy. A big part of any public budget is not just the question of what things to buy, but how can we be more creative in how we buy, especially when it comes to innovation.

So, in this episode we want to revisit what’s happening in the world of public procurement, and what’s being done to not only improve the UK’s procurement landscape, but also make it more innovation-friendly.

We were recently up in Leeds at UKREiiF – the UK’s Real Estate Investment & Infrastructure Forum – where we hosted a panel on the future of innovation procurement.

We were joined by Emma Frost, Chair of the UK Innovation District Group, Amabel Grant, Chief Executive of Bloom Procurement Services, and the Catapult’s own Rikesh Shah, Head of the Innovation Procurement Empowerment Centre.

Theme music on this episode is by Phill Ward Music (

Show notes

Applications for the SES Awards are open until 31 July 2024. Interested organisations are invited to submit their programs and initiatives for consideration here.

You can learn more about the work of the Innovation Procurement Empowerment Centre (IPEC), a new partnership created to inspire, upskill and empower public authorities in innovation-friendly procurement procedures.

You can also learn more about what the UK Government is doing to improve our public procurement regime by visiting the Transforming Public Procurement landing page where you can find webinars, factsheets, summary guides and even a checklist to help prepare for when the new rules come into force.

To find out more about the work of Bloom, a professional services facilitator specialising in public procurement, click here.

If you’d like to get in touch with your feedback, comments and suggestions on what you’d like to hear more of on Connected Places, please email: We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

To find out more about what we do at the Connected Places Catapult and to hear about the latest news, events and announcements, visit and do sign up to our newsletter!

Follow the show

Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Please also take a moment to write a review and rate us so that more people can hear about the podcast and what we do at Connected Places Catapult.


A full transcript of the episode including all participants is available here.