Francis Maude was in Cambridge today to encourage technology firms to pitch their ideas to government. The intention is to gain earlier engagement with companies and to garner new approaches to saving money and improving public services.
Although the meeting was to discuss a new web portal for viewing the ‘challenges’ set by different government departments, my interest was the mention of the Contractors Finder website where it is possible to view all the current tenders and those in the pipeline. These are real opportunities available now. There was also discussion of mystery shopper facility where companies can report particularly gruelling pre- qualification procedures. More information is on Stephen Allot’s website.
The technology sector offers the potential to contribute significantly to the economy, if the government was genuinely to embrace new approaches and act as an earlier adopter it could provide a significant boost to these high growth companies. Many of the companies represented at the meeting are operating in an international arena but ironically several have found it easier to engage with US and Chinese governments than that of the UK.
The crucial difference is that while the Chinese are looking to invest in innovation to drive their economy forward, the UK government is looking to save money. Hopefully by creating an opportunity to showcase what new thinking is available then both these mutually beneficial objectives can be achieved.