IT Systems and Data Protection

11.06.19

New marketplace improves public sector access to latest tech

The Government has launched a new marketplace for innovation, providing a smarter way for public sector customers to access the very latest technologies.

Spark: The Technology Innovation Marketplace has been designed by Crown Commercial Service (CCS) to support cutting edge products and markets that aren’t catered for in traditional commercial agreements.

Spark will enable customers to use new but proven technologies which can drive public service innovation and cost-savings across the public sector.

Seven suppliers have already signed up to offer their goods and services, which could include innovative solutions in AI, the Internet of Things and wearable technology. The DPS remains open for applications and suppliers with suitable technologies are encouraged to apply.

Niall Quinn, director of Crown Commercial Service’s Technology Pillar, said: “Spark is the result of a wide-ranging review into how the public sector adopts new technologies. It has been developed to support SMEs through government buying power while stimulating growth in the UK technology sector.

“Because it is a DPS it will be continually open to new suppliers and will have functions built into the system that will help customers and suppliers to match capabilities to their needs.”

Spark was unveiled by the minister for implementation Oliver Dowden during the launch of the government’s Technology Innovation Strategy, in a keynote speech at CogX, The Festival of AI and Emerging Technology, on Monday 10 June.

Spark is a dynamic purchasing system (DPS), enabling new suppliers to join and add new service offers at any point during the lifetime of the marketplace. CCS estimates that £20 million will be spent through the marketplace in its first year, and 70% of the first year spend is likely to be with SMEs.

Interested suppliers can sign-up for access to the DPS via the Supplier Registration Service where full details of the Spark DPS, and all other Dynamic Purchasing Systems run by CCS can be found.

Suppliers began applications to join the new marketplace in April 2019.

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