Patrick Cahill, deputy director of the strategic partnership programme of the UK’s cabinet office talks to FINN about a new marketplace where SMEs can sell their private goods to government.

The Crown Commercial Service has created a dynamic purchasing system (DPS) allowing SMEs to interact with public sector buyers. He explained: “There are lots of good suppliers out there both at the SME and the large corporate section but they have to find a way into government, which can be quite a difficult place to navigate.”

Cahill added: “This DPS will allow SMEs to join the DPS marketplace at any point when they’re ready so they can actually make their goods and services in the space-based technology area available to government especially the public sector, police and local government.”

“DPS will create innovation”

“The good thing about the DPS is you can go on the shelf and be a DPS member, but you still have to compete for the business that the public sector will place out there. DPS is not a god-given right to get work from government but it will create innovation by having a government competition for a problem-solving solution that the companies need to solve. We’ll have public sector organisations like local governments trying to solve problems around waste collection or traffic management or fly tipping – anything that you think would have a space-based solution hidden behind it somewhere.”

“It won’t look like it’s a space-based solution but behind it there’s a satellite and there’s some comms and there’s some data being manipulated. Now we need to open the mindset of the public sector to space and make sure that they realise space is affordable, space is available and this marketplace is where they’re going to get their hands on it.”

Cahill said the marketplace would cover the whole of the UK and all areas of the public sector. The DPS opened last month for suppliers applications and the marketplace will be opened up to public sector buyers next week (October 10) and will run for at least three years. For more details click here.

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