Awarded to Rowe IT Limited

Start date: Tuesday 5 February 2019
Value: £870,000
Company size: SME
Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)

Defence technology Matrix (DTM) software development

22 Incomplete applications

18 SME, 4 large

6 Completed applications

4 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Tuesday 13 November 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 20 November 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 27 November 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Further develop prototype knowledge management software tool through refining: search, indexing, visualisation, print and user commenting functionalities.
Implement non-functional requirements e.g. scalability, user authentication, an Application Programming Interface, containerisation and quality assurance.
Coding changes to enable the software tool to be hosted on Defence networks.
Some support and maintenance.
Latest start date
Wednesday 31 January 2018
Expected contract length
Two (2) calendar years from start date
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)
Budget range
On the basis of the most applicable Government Estimated Value of Requirements Category, i.e. F1d: 348k – 870k GBP
It is expected that 100k will be expended in year 1 of the contract

About the work

Why the work is being done
Rapid and fundamental changes in the global security landscape will mean that the UK’s security, prosperity and risk will be tied to advances in new, innovative technologies and Defence’s ability to exploit these new technologies. Defence is required to identify the innovative technologies and services that could provide potential military application and operational advantage. Dstl has previously commissioned a software tool that allows the capture, sharing and analysis of emerging technologies across Defence in order to better understand and potentially invest in these opportunities.
Problem to be solved
Defence has developed a software tool that provides an easy access to a central internally hosted repository of emerging technologies that facilitates analysis and understanding of potential technological threats and opportunities. The task will involve an Agile approach on the development of the web-applications, analysis services and workflows designed to support Defence users. As part of further development, support is required for full integration of the tool on Defence networks as well as updates based on user feedback.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Staff in:
a.) Dstl to inform Science & Technology research; advice & analysis and to connect and communicate with wider Defence;
b.) Defence Science and Technology (DST) to shape MOD’s S&T strategy & research requirements; and
c.) MOD head office, front line commands and other defence organisations to inform policy & procurement question formulation and decision making.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The discovery and alpha phases have both been completed. We have a prototype with well- developed functionality which has been demonstrated to a range of users within the Defence community.
Existing team
Whilst the supplier will mainly be working with a team of Dstl staff they will be expected to collaborate with a Third Party undertaking work on another Defence contract. This collaboration is a critical success factor. Some interactions with other Defence users and stakeholders is expected during user testing and deployment.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Work can take place remotely except for but not limited to: requirements capture; progress meetings; acceptance testing and demonstrations. Most of these are expected to take place at Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire (PTN), although a number of occasional meetings may occur at Dstl Portsdown West, Portsmouth, Hampshire (PDW). Meetings will also be required at Defence user and stakeholder premises namely London; Andover; High Wycombe and Portsmouth. Collaboration work may require working at MOD Corsham and/or the Third Party's location.
Working arrangements
Face-to-face start-up meeting (PTN) to provide an overview of the project and familiarisation of the existing software tool.
At the start of each sprint the supplier shall work face-to-face with Dstl to agree a Statement of Work.
During the sprint build phase the supplier is to keep in regular contact with Dstl to shape delivery and provide progress reports.
During user acceptance testing the supplier shall demonstrate the software functionality face-to-face.
The supplier can, for the duration of the contract, utilise a local code repository (e.g. GitHub) to save and manage the source code and associated documents.
Security clearance
The supplier's key individuals (core team) shall have Security Check (SC) clearance at the time of contract award and for the duration of the contract. The introduction of additional staff will be subject to either obtaining SC clearance or Dstl's Research Workers clearance process before working on the contract.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
All outputs/deliverables will be Crown owned/copyright and the project specific Intellectual Property Rights shall not be granted by the Buyer to the Supplier
The supplier may be provided with Dstl/MoD personal data, including: Name, place of employment, email address and phone number. The supplier must act in accordance with latest Data Protection laws (i.e. GDPR) and DEFCON 532B. Personal data should be disposed upon contract closure according to the buyer’s instructions.
All Government Furnished Information (GFI) shall be returned at the end of the contract.

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
  • Must have knowledge and experience of designing, building and testing software knowledge based tools with user interfaces, search, visualisation and community building capabilities.
  • Must have an understanding of, experience of designing and implementing: data analytics, data sciences and ontological approaches within knowledge management software tools.
  • Must have experience hosting bespoke software applications on networked corporate IT infrastructure.
  • Must have an understanding and experience of a broad range of software programming languages, software applications, development environments & database technologies.
  • Must have experience of designing, implementing and testing non-functional software requirements such as: user account authentication, performance speed, availability, capacity, scalability and reliability.
  • Must have experience of designing and implementing an API (Application Programming Interface) in a bespoke software tool.
  • Must have experience of designing & implementing software containerisation platforms.
  • Must have experience of undertaking software quality assurance such as verification and validation testing and follow best practice for software development.
  • Must have a good understanding and experience of Agile principles and practices and proven experience of collaborating with 3rd party suppliers on agile contracts.
  • Experience of successfully building secure web applications that collect and manage personal/sensitive information with appropriate controls in-line with JSP 440 and mitigate OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) risks.
  • Experience of providing the necessary security evidence necessary to satisfy JSP 440 and Defence accreditors for both platforms and applications.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of working with MoD to transfer software onto military networks and maintaining the software in a stable state once it has been deployed.
  • Understanding and experience of using JSON programming language
  • Understanding and experience of using containerisation platforms specifically DOCKER or Kubernetes
  • Evidence of attaining the following certifications or standards: ISO/IEC 12207:2008, ITIL, TickITPlus.
  • Understanding and experience of using the following which forms part of the current software stack - ElasticSearch. Alpha software currently uses ElasticSearch v5.2.2 (
  • Understanding and experience of using the following which forms part of the current software stack- Apache Tomcat. Alpha software currently uses Apache Tomcat 8.5.23 (
  • Understanding and experience of using the following which forms part of the current software stack - Vaadin. Alpha software currently uses Vaadin 8.1.6 (
  • Understanding and experience of using the following which forms part of the current software stack - Spring Boot. Alpha software currently uses Spring Boot 1.5.8
  • Understanding and experience of using the following which forms part of the current software stack - Waffle. Alpha software currently uses Waffle 1.8.3
  • Understanding and experience of using the following which forms part of the current software stack - D3. Alpha software currently uses D3 4.10.2 (
  • Understanding and experience of using the following which forms part of the current software stack - JDK. Alpha software currently uses JDK 8 Update 131

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • How the proposed approach for collaborating and delivering through sprints aligns with Agile principles and practices.
  • How broad and deep the knowledge and experience required for software developments like this can be demonstrated.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Interested in exploiting Science & Technology for the benefit of defence, security and prosperity of the UK.
  • Interested in identifying and implementing sustainable solutions that provide value for money for UK tax payers.
  • Willing to be agile and innovative, share and collaborate on ideas and have a no-blame/learn from your mistakes culture.
  • Has a team working attitude and is able to work closely with our own organisation and other defence and government suppliers.
  • Seeks to maintain a reputation for good quality in their industry and takes responsibility for delivering their work.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please could you confirm the required start date: we assume there is a typo (Wednesday 31st 2018), and that end of January 2019 is meant.
The Latest Start date should read Wednesday 31st January 2019 and not Wednesday 31st January 2018 as stated
2. Could you clarify the budget statement please? Are you expecting to spend up to £100K in the first twelve months of the contract and then up to £870K over the whole two year period? Is there a reason you are expecting this level of split?
This is just to indicate that we are expecting a spend of up to £100k within this Financial Year (FY) and the rest later.
3. What is the team size and structure you think for this project ?
Regarding the size of the team there is no guidance. There is a desire to be able to conduct two sprints this FY.
4. Can you advise as to which company built the Alpha? Are they eligible to tender for this phase?
The discovery and Alpha phases were delivered under contract by a supplier to Dstl. They will be eligible to tender for this requirement as they are part of the DSO3 Community of Suppliers
5. Please can you confirm if the Discovery and Alpha phases were delivered by a supplier or in-house. If delivered by a supplier, please could you say who it was.
The discovery and Alpha phases were delivered under contract by a supplier to Dstl. They will be eligible to tender for this requirement as they are part of the DSO3 Community of Suppliers
6. Please could you provide approximate dates by which we must supply the written proposal, case study and presentation?
The current timetable for dates are as follows:
Written Proposals and Case Studies delivered by 04/01/2019
Presentation at Porton 09/01/2019
Please be aware these dates may be subject to change.
7. Can the data involves in this system be categorized as big data?
It can not be categorized as Big Data under the Concise Oxford dictionary definition "Extremely large data sets that may be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions". In time there will be a large data set but will not have all of the characteristics of Big Data.
8. Does the system involve any predictive analytics of Machine Learning?
In the future it is expected to have more predictive/analytic functionality that aids the users, such as finding entries of interest to them.
9. As the winning supplier will be expected to collaborate with a Third Party undertaking work on another Defence contract and this collaboration is a critical success factor. Can you please confirm who this Third Party is so that we can judge whether we will be able to successfully collaborate with them?
Due to contractual constraints we are not able to confirm who that Third Party is at this time.
10. You mentioned that the alpha was delivered by a "supplier to DSTL". Can you please provide the actual name of this supplier?
Alpha stage was delivered under contract by Riskaware Ltd.