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Keystone Column 24 – Innovation opportunities and challenges

By 17th June 2016 No Comments
Innovation opportunities

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Keystone Column where we focus on innovation opportunities and how they help with the development of winning bids and propositions in the public procurement and general procurement ecosystems.

Business stories

Keeping up with innovation opportunities  is a challenge for the Central Bank 

Innovation opportunities often occur in circumstances not envisaged by regulators. Keeping abreast of the changing technological environment in financial services is “quite challenging”, according to the Central Bank Governor Philip Lane. The Central Bank is responding to the challenge by committing significant resources to improve its data architectures and establish quantitative analytical teams for its banking, insurance and markets directorates.

Since the crash, the ffinancial services space has seen the entry of new players, in the peer-to-peer lending arena, such as LinkedFinance and the Grid, while new mortgage players such as Frank Money have also been seeking authorisation. Mr. Lane believes that regulators must try to strike a balance between encouraging innovation opportunities through these companies without diminishing its duty to protect consumers.

Technological innovation may also alter the role of central banks in managing the money supply and acting as a lender of last resort, Mr. Lane said, given the widespread adoption of private-sector digital currencies (e.g. Bitcoin).

Interesting trends – innovation opportunities through innovation partnerships

An interesting report released this week assesses the entrepreneurial ecosystem in six city and combined authority regions in the North of England. It focuses on the performance, potential for innovation opportunities, and entrepreneurship in the context of devolution in the Northern Powerhouse region.  The report makes a compelling case for embracing the digital economy, noting that jobs in the digital economy are increasing at 10 times the rate of non-digital sectors in the North, and productivity for the digital economy at 4 times the rate of non-digital sectors. The report also outlines how, with 36 percent of UK jobs are at risk of automation, innovative companies are creating the skills and ideas that cities will need to compete in an increasingly digital global economy. Leading cities are increasingly engaging with outside ideas and innovators to improve services, develop new skills, and jointly create solutions to complex problems.

The report found that the characteristics driving greater exploitation of innovation opportunities across city regions are:

  1. Having a clear mandate to lead on innovation opportunities: The critical mass of combined authorities is generating increased leadership capacity and acumen towards innovation and entrepreneurship. City regions are harnessing their unique specialisms and prioritising new ways of doing things, crafting their own destinies.
  2. Demonstrating a willingness to collaborate: The solutions to city challenges, both internal and external don’t reside solely in city hall. The leading city regions engage their ecosystem as a valuable resource for ideas, working with entrepreneurs, universities, and their regional and global peers, to share, learn, and jointly develop solutions.
  3. Actively curating the marketplace: Leading cities actively curate the marketplace and promote innovation opportunities for growth by providing startups and innovators with the platform, workspace, data, and financial support to develop commercially valuable products and services.

Edovo is an excellent example of a startup using innovation opportunities through partnerships to address these types of tough challenges.  You can read more about its innovative approach to rehabilitating offenders in this week’s Innovation section below.

Innovation opportunities – rehabilitating offenders

Edovo is an American startup which provides a wireless, tablet-based education platform for incarcerated inmates. Edovo’s founders noted that constraints on prisons and the incarcerated mean that there’s not enough opportunity for meaningful rehabilitation and that the vast majority of the 2.2 million incarcerated in US prisons spend more time on daytime television than on anything else. Despite the fact that education is shown to decrease recidivism by 43%, 4 out of 5 of those in custody don’t have regular access.

Edovo’s tablets provide prisoners with self-directed learning alternatives to simply watching television, without the need for additional staff to run educational programmes. It has developed and sourced digital content to cover a range of educational, vocational, legal, and treatment needs of those in prison. To drive consistent engagement, Edovo’s incentive-based structure allows users to be rewarded with access to entertainment. The company provides each prison with all the hardware and software needed to make the system work.

Note: we are in the sourcing & procurement business. We highlight things we like or that are novel or innovative. Innovators should be encouraged.

New public procurement tenders this week 

Visit the Keystone website to view our take on the 400+ active public procurement opportunities with more than five days until their deadline. There is a vast range of services, supplies, and construction related to public procurement opportunities in the following sectors (there are many more sectors than the sample list below). Don’t delay, focus on your winning bids today:

  • Construction and related trades, 
  • Professional & Advisory Services, 
  • PR, Media, Advertising and related,
  • ICT supplies and services, 
  • Training,
  • Property & facilities management,
  • Vehicle & automotive,
  • Catering and related services,
  • Cleaning and related services,
  • Waste Management,
  • Maintenance and related services,
  • Horticultural supplies & services,
  • Research & environmental monitoring,
  • Printing, office supplies and related services,
  • Trades,
  • Medical and scientific research, supplies and services,
  • A vast range of other services and supplies.

Businesses interested in any of these public procurement opportunities that are unsure of how they can follow-up to submit winning bids can contact Keystone at any stage. We would be happy to discuss your needs and where they may fit with your business growth plans for public procurement tenders. These public procurement opportunities are sources of business growth and deliver innovation opportunities for companies across the country.

Keystone E-Tenders Report Open YTD as at 1606 (by date of publication)

Keystone E-Tenders Report Open YTD as at 1606 (by sector)

Please note, e-tenders often has public procurement opportunities incorrectly categorised so people relying on e-tender alerts for winning bids could easily miss out on opportunities if they are dependent on it. E-tenders is only as reliable as the people inputting tenders and mistakes are made. The Keystone Column includes all live tenders posted on e-tenders since January 4th 2016 that have five or more days until their deadline as at June 16th 2016.