Highways England Company Limited

Outline Digital Twin Policy

16 Incomplete applications

8 SME, 8 large

1 Completed application

0 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Published
Wednesday 13 January 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 20 January 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 27 January 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
Development of Highways England’s outline Digital Twin Policy.
Latest start date
Monday 15 February 2021
Expected contract length
Completion by 31st March 2021
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Highways England Company Limited
Budget range
Maximum spend £60,000.

About the work

Why the work is being done
At Highways England we want to ensure that our investment in Digital Twins meets criteria such as:

1. Delivers value for money;
2. Creates an even-playing-field for suppliers;
3. Avoids supplier lock-in;
4. Utilises open-data standards;
5. Minimises technical debt;
6. Reflects diverse use cases from across the business;
7. Aligns with industry best practice (particularly the CDBB National Digital Twin programme);
8. Aligns with our Information Vision & Strategy.

To this end we have drafted an outline Digital Twin document (available, on request, here: https://highways.sharepoint.com/sites/DaaS/SitePages/Digital-Twin-Policy.aspx ).
Problem to be solved
We are looking for a supplier to provide a short, targeted project of works to review and develop our existing Digital Twin document into an outline Policy.

This will mean formalising the structure of the existing document, identifying use cases across the business, and ensuring that the document is informed by external best practice. It should develop the principles and architecture proposed within the existing document, align these to identified use cases, and suggest a roadmap for development within the organisation.

The result of the work should be an outline Policy that is ready for wider review within Highways England and the supply chain, and which can form the intellectual basis for further investment.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Within Highways England Chief Data Office (CDO) we need to be able to ensure that we can design and develop data platforms that are able to scale to support Digital Twins. This will include investment in Ontologies and graph databases, as well as IoT.

Within Highways England IT we need to understand the types of products and solutions that are likely to be required to support Digital Twins, and the capabilities that IT will need as a consequence.

Within Highways England Directorates we want to be able to design, develop, and deploy Digital Twins so that they can serve a wide range of use cases (construction, maintenance, operation) whilst drawing on common platforms/solutions/capabilities/data.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
To this end we have drafted an outline Digital Twin document (available, on request, here: https://highways.sharepoint.com/sites/DaaS/SitePages/Digital-Twin-Policy.aspx )
Existing team
The winning bidder will need to work alongside the existing CDO team, as well as stakeholders across Highways England.
Current phase
Alpha

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Highways England, Woodlands, Manton Lane, Bedford, MK41 7LW
Working arrangements
Our business is located across the whole of England and so are our teams and suppliers. We would expect our supplier to work flexibly and be mobile when required, but also support remote working and the utilisation of collaboration tools.
Security clearance
We expect all our suppliers to have BPSS as a minimum.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Digital Twin Strategy
  • Ontologies and graph databases
  • Data standards for Digital Twin and BIM
  • Open Data Standards
  • Specification of use cases for Digital Twins
  • Digital Twin solution design
  • Horizon scanning / thought leadership
  • Alignment to the CDBB National Digital Twin programme, other external best practice, and emerging academic research.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Transport / Infrastructure sector experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • How will you quickly work with stakeholders to identify use cases?
  • How will you incorporate best practice from the wider Digital Twin movement?
  • What will you hand back to Highways England? And how will you make it accessible to non-technical users?
  • How will you quality assure the outline Digital Twin Policy before handover?
  • How will you incorporate data architecture / solution architecture into this work?
  • Where have you successfully delivered similar work elsewhere?
  • What specific skills does you proposed team bring to deliver this work? (e.g. the skills and experience of the individuals who will deliver this contract).
  • How will you ensure value for money in the work that you conduct, and the solution that you deliver?
Cultural fit criteria
  • How do you excite and engage non-technical staff?
  • How do you excite and engage IT staff? (e.g. solution architects, enterprise architects, service delivery managers, etc.)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

70%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can the link to the SharePoint document be updated please as it says that it is unavailable.
You should see a 'Request Access' option, which if you submit we will be able to provide you with access. If this does not work then please email daas@highwaysengland.co.uk
2. We are unable to access the link (it is requesting login information) https://highways.sharepoint.com/sites/DaaS/SitePages/Digital-Twin-Policy.aspx
You should see a 'Request Access' option, which if you submit we will be able to provide you with access. If this does not work then please email daas@highwaysengland.co.uk
3. Hello, is there any chance we can get a copy of the outline digital twin document which describes work that has already been done.
You should see a 'Request Access' option, which if you submit we will be able to provide you with access. If this does not work then please email daas@highwaysengland.co.uk
4. Please can you confirm/allow me access to the https://highways.sharepoint.com/sites/DaaS/SitePages/Digital-Twin-Policy.aspx
You should see a 'Request Access' option, which if you submit we will be able to provide you with access. If this does not work then please email daas@highwaysengland.co.uk
5. I cannot access the document through the link provided. Please can you provide me with a link.
You should see a 'Request Access' option, which if you submit we will be able to provide you with access. If this does not work then please email daas@highwaysengland.co.uk
6. Under the heading About the Work it states: To this end we have drafted an outline Digital Twin document (available, on request, here: https://highways.sharepoint.com/sites/DaaS/SitePages/Digital-Twin-Policy.aspx ).
Digital-Twin-Policy.aspx shared via Sharepoint
However we do not have a login for the page it leads to, please advise how we can access the aforementioned Digital Twin Document?
You should see a 'Request Access' option, which if you submit we will be able to provide you with access. If this does not work then please email daas@highwaysengland.co.uk
7. The document at https://highways.sharepoint.com/sites/DaaS/SitePages/Digital-Twin-Policy.aspx is not openly accessible. Can you please share an open version with suppliers.
The document at https://highways.sharepoint.com/sites/DaaS/SitePages/Digital-Twin-Policy.aspx is not openly accessible. Can you please share an open version with suppliers.
8. The document at https://highways.sharepoint.com/sites/DaaS/SitePages/Digital-Twin-Policy.aspx is not openly accessible. Can you please share an open version with suppliers.
You should see a 'Request Access' option, which if you submit we will be able to provide you with access. If this does not work then please email daas@highwaysengland.co.uk
9. Please can we request access to the draft outline Digital Twin document (available, on request, here: https://highways.sharepoint.com/sites/DaaS/SitePages/Digital-Twin-Policy.aspx ).
Thank you
You should see a 'Request Access' option, which if you submit we will be able to provide you with access. If this does not work then please email daas@highwaysengland.co.uk
10. To request a copy of the Outline Digital Twin document, do you have an email address we can request this through please? We weren’t able to request via the Sharepoint link. Thanks.
You should see a 'Request Access' option, which if you submit we will be able to provide you with access. If this does not work then please email daas@highwaysengland.co.uk
11. Please provide access to https://highways.sharepoint.com/sites/DaaS/SitePages/Digital-Twin-Policy.aspx – how do we gain login credentials for this document?
You should see a 'Request Access' option, which if you submit we will be able to provide you with access. If this does not work then please email daas@highwaysengland.co.uk
12. Can the client confirm if bidding for this policy work will preclude or conflict any engagement in future delivery of Digital Twin projects or programmes?
No, this will not create any conflict.
13. Do you realise your advice to go to the ‘Request Access’ page when attempting to access https://highways.sharepoint.com/sites/DaaS/SitePages/Digital-Twin-Policy.aspx is not possible for external suppliers, as we see only the Microsoft Login page for your SharePoint site, and we cannot reach the ‘Request Access’ page? Only your organisation’s staff have login details for your SharePoing site. Your advice applies only to internal staff, not external consultants.
Thank you for letting us know. Please send an email to daas@highwaysengland.co.uk to request access.
14. We have successfully received the ‘Digital Twins at Highways England’ PDF from you by email. However, the document references at least 5 other documents that are only available from your SharePoint system which is not publicly accessible, namely: ‘Information Vision and Strategy’, ‘Information Management System’, ‘Corporate Ontology ‘, ‘Data Modelling ‘, and ‘Data-as-a-Service SharePoint page’. We have been advised that these supplementary referenced documents will not be made available at this time during the application process. Please advise how we may make a successful application without all the relevant documentation. Do other suppliers have access to these documents?
We will share these documents with the successful supplier.
15. Is there an incumbent supplier?
No.
16. Do you have an anticipated value for the work that follows?
No.
17. Regarding the max £60k budget shown, does this include VAT?
No.
18. We note that you have already drafted a lot of good content for the policy. Do you see the supplier’s focus as being on developing the policy, providing content/guidance on Digital Twins and/or helping communicate the policy to a wider audience?
1. Structuring the content and making it easier to communicate.
2. Setting out a taxonomy of Twins and their relevance to Highways England.
3. Roadmapping the development of capability to support Twins, and identifying areas of early investment.
4. Benchmarking our Policy against other organisations, e.g. what should HE learn from others, and what is unique to our organisation.
19. Your draft policy content includes a mixture of policy statements, scene setting (explanation of Digital Twins and their uses) and justification. What do you see as the (suite of) deliverables from the work – do you plan to split these out into separate documents or have a larger policy?
Open to ideas.

It needs to be easier to communicate within and beyond the business, and set out a clearer vision to inform future development.
20. The responses appear to place a lot of weight on technical understanding (ontologies, open data, etc.) and less on developing clear, concise and compelling policies. How will you make sure your shortlisted suppliers have both the technical capability and experience of communicating Digital Twins and their value to non-technical audiences (which is a question in the main proposal)?
We believe that an understanding of the technological aspects of Digital Twins is a precursor to setting out a clear Policy. So we are happy to filter initially on a technical basis, and then select the technically-informed supplier who is best able to articulate and communicate the vision.
21. How broad a scope do you expect the definition of Digital Twin to encompass? Are you expecting to include twins of organisations and processes for example, and are you looking to develop twins for training, simulation and decision making as well as network / asset / operational twins?
We want to map out, with broad strokes, how Digital Twins will vary across the asset lifecycle, at different levels of granularity (e.g. assets, teams, organisations, networks), at different time periods (e.g. historical, real-time, predictive), and with different treatment of external factors and probability.
We are particularly interested in exploring use cases that are beyond the 'BIM+' paradigm, and focusing on how twins can realistically aid 'data-driven decision making' in the operation of networks of assets.
22. Is it expected that we have experience writing policy documentation for government bodies or other organisations?
Preferably the former, but we are open to both.
23. For our response to the essential skills and experience section, is there more of an emphasis on essential skills than experience given Digital Twins is still an emerging technology?
Yes, that is a fair assumption.
24. For our response to the essential skills and experience section, do you require us to respond following the standard DOS evidence structure of ‘a) what the situation was b) the work the team did and c) what the results were’ ?
"You should follow DOS Guidance as below:

Writing evidence
Buyers find it easier to understand how your skills and experience match their needs if you provide evidence that includes specific examples of work you’ve done or skills you’ve used in the past.

Be specific about:

what the situation was
the work you did
what the results were
You should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement (unless the buyer specifies otherwise). Use up to 100 words for each bit of evidence.

You can reuse examples across different essential or nice-to-have requirements if you need to.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-sell-your-digital-outcomes-and-specialists-services

The deadline for asking questions about this opportunity was Wednesday 20 January 2021.