Competition Launched For Third Sector Innovation Partner

Ed Miliband, Minister for the Third Sector, has launched the Government’s search for a partner to deliver a new £1.2m Innovation Exchange – a programme to support the third sector’s capacity to innovate.

The Innovation Exchange programme – being put out to tender today by the Office of the Third Sector (OTS) in the Cabinet Office – aims to provide third sector innovators with access to the people and potential capital they need to make their ideas a reality.

First proposed in last December’s Partnership in Public Services action plan, the three-year pilot programme is a response to the sector’s concern that too often insights that could transform people’s lives are lost because innovators struggle to find the advice, support and contacts they need to advance and grow their ideas.

Combining online and offline approaches, the Innovation Exchange will facilitate peer-to-peer collaboration and offer tailored support for the sector’s ground-breaking innovations and most promising innovators.
Ed Miliband, Minister for the Third Sector, said: ‘A clear message has come through from the sector about the need for better mechanisms to ensure peer-to-peer learning and to connect innovators with appropriate types of support.

‘The Innovation Exchange aims to support the sector’s ability to make this happen. We are looking for a partner who can use these resources to find new and effective ways of connecting, supporting and developing the best innovators the sector has to offer.’

Tender Details

The OTS is looking for creative bids for the contract, which will be awarded in June 2007 and is worth a total of £1,225,000. Bids are expected to show value for money, the capacity to attract and engage the third sector, the ability to integrate the Innovation Exchange with existing policies and public services, and to demonstrate expertise in combining high quality online and offline activity.

This tendering process is an open procedure in which any organisation from within the EU may submit a bid. The last day on which Invitation to Tender documents can be requested is 7th May, 2007 and tenders must be received by 14th May, 2007. It is expected contracts will be awarded during June, 2007.

To request the Invitation to Tender documents, please email John Craig in the Office of the Third Sector, Cabinet Office at [email protected]

To find a copy of the tender publication, click here.