Highways England Company Ltd

Virtual Reality and Immersive Technology Portfolio

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
2 SME, 3 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
9 SME, 5 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Wednesday 12 December 2018
Deadline for asking questions Wednesday 19 December 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Wednesday 26 December 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work A VR Development Team will deliver a number of linked, unity based virtual training environments for our traffic officer service staff utilising solo, multiuser and projected room solutions. The team will also support a number of major schemes through provision of virtual scheme models for customer engagement
Latest start date Monday 14 January 2019
Expected contract length Completion by 31 March 2020
Location No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for Highways England Company Ltd
Budget range The value of the portfolio is estimated at £0.7m

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done Highways England intend to embed virtual reality and immersive technologies throughout our network lifecycle design, build, operate and maintain.
Over 12 months we are required to deliver against a portfolio of tasks delivering into our Major Projects (Road Schemes), Operations, Learning and Development and Communications directorates that will build on our early successes in utilising these technologies and creating a value stream that leverages 3D scheme designs and VR development techniques throughout our business.
All elements of this outcome are to be completed by March 2020 with each expected to take no more than 4 months to complete.
Problem to be solved At Highways England, Safety is our first imperative. We do not want anyone to step on to our network unless it is necessary, and they can work safely. We need to deliver several virtual training and scheme environments based around the themes of driving, safety, incident management and customer engagement that ensure that we meet our requirement for a capable workforce that is prepared for their work and customers who understand what we do.
Who the users are and what they need to do As an Operational Training Specialist I need to be able to request, design and deploy new virtual training requirements so that Traffic Officer Service users can achieve the required capabilities for safe working.

As a Road Scheme Sponsor I need to be able to use virtual environments based on our scheme drawings so that our customers can fully understand the outcomes of our work and I can react to their feedback.
Early market engagement No specific early engagement has been undertaken for this outcome. However, the need to move from single task based outcomes to a team based approach linked to a portfolio has been seen as preferable to aid consistency, qulaity and innovation based on feedback from previous similar tasks procured through other frameworks
Any work that’s already been done Highways England already have a small number of Unity based VR Traning and Demonstration models in place. Digital assets created for these models will be available for reuse and our Variable Signs and Signals Training is currently being actively rolled out across 400 staff.
Existing team This work will be lead by our IT Service Design Team who have specialist supplier support for managing delivery of virtual reality works. Our team report to the Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
In addition we maintain strong links with our Learning and Development Team who define and validate training outcomes and with our Major Projects and Communications directorates who will be the customer for consultation/scheme linked outcomes
Current phase Not started

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place The team will work from their own premises on a day to day basis. Travel to Highways England Offices and scheme sites throughout England will be necessary.
Regular meeting locations will be;
Highways England Office Birmingham, The Cube, B1 1RN
Highways England Office Bristol, Temple Quay House, BS1 6HA
Working arrangements The VR Team will work as part of the IT Service Design Team.
All work will be developed and prioritised around a set of agreed tasks based on customer outcomes. We will set up all initial customer meetings.
The VR Team will work remotely to utilise the specialist software and tools they need, managing their task workload and visualise their progress through an agile planning tool. Each Friday 2hrs will be set aside for a show and tell session, this could be in person or remote.
This approach has proven to work well for us and our developer teams previously
Security clearance Any team members expected to visit Highways England offices will be expected to complete our basic security clearance checks.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions The written proposal component will be allocated 40% of the scores for the technical competence section, which is set at 65% overall.

We require a single development cost per hour rate, which we estimate should not exceed £100/hour

Skills and experience

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

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Experience of delivering virtual training packages using HTC Vive Pro, Windows Mixed Reality devices and projected environments
  • Experience of developing virtual environments using the Unity platform that include multi users elements both audio and visual
  • Experience of delivering virtual reality models that incorporate BIM (Building Information Model) assets
  • Experience of delivering virtual models using an agile methodology, handling multiple outcomes simultaneously
  • Experience of modelling complex real works objects such as circuit boards, vehicles and animals in a realistic 3D environment
  • Experience of creating and deploying 360 degree outdoor imagery and Photogrammetry
  • Experience of operating a development team containing; 3D Environment Artists (Technical), 3D Artist (Fine Art), Unity C# Programmers, Animators, General Programmers, Application Development Programmers
  • Experience of providing early hands on and remote training and support to users
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of delivering solutions that integrate haptic feedback devices built into clothing such as gloves and base layer clothing
  • Experience of connecting and working with academic institutions and similar bodies to support innovation
  • Experience of leveraging forward facing cameras on HTC and Windows Mixed Reality devices as part of mixed reality solutions

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 3
Proposal criteria
  • Describe your approach to developing an initial customer idea for a virtual reality based training solution, how you would develop early options and maintain customer interest during the process?
  • Describe your proposed methods and tools for aquiring and acting on user/customer feedback in order to assure a suitable solution is delivered?
  • Describe how you plan to form a suitable team around any requested task including how that team can change in size and expertise based on workload?
  • Describe your approach to providing practical and remote support to training staff and users of a solution, equipping them with the right skills to use its effectively?
  • Explain how your approach fits with our organisational values of; Safety, Teamwork, Passion, Integrity and Ownership?
  • Explain the ways in which your team will seek to innovate and increase value for money during the contract?
Cultural fit criteria
  • Experience of working using an agile methodology to prototype, develop and deliver virtual reality solutions based on an initial customer learning outcome
  • Able to demonstrate continuous improvement and innovation in development methods and techniques
  • Experience of working with and inspiring varied business teams, supporting them in understanding what is possible and helping them deploy new solutions to users
  • Able to demonstrate a capability to view the bigger picture across multiple tasks and suggest delivery efficiencies and reuse of assets across various tasks.
Payment approach Time and materials
Assessment methods Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. We note the submission deadline is Wednesday 26th December (Boxing Day). To enable us to submit a quality tender, can you please extend the deadline to Friday 4th January to allow for the Christmas holiday period. Unfortunately, this deadline for the submissions cannot be extended.
2. Can you please provide us with a list of anticipated specialists needed to deliver this solution. The specialisms expected are listed within the Essential Skills, bullet point 7. The exact blend will vary across any tasks and will be decided by the supplier throughout the delivery.
3. Is there a delegated number of working hours per week? Highways England uses a 37hr working week, however, the overall volume of hours required by the team will be agreed as part of each task.
4. Would you be open to a supplier working with a trusted partner who has expertise in this field and outsourcing some of the work? We wish to have one team that we deal with as one supplier/one contract. The build up of that one team is for the supplier to decide and be responsible for.
5. What are the contract terms and conditions? Are you able to share a template contract? We will be using the standard terms and conditions outlined by CCS for the DOS3 Framework, which can be found by going to https://ccs-agreements.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/contracts/rm10435

A template can be also located in the same location and is titled

Digital Outcomes and Specialists 3 call off contract 196.35 KB
6. What will be the deadline for the 3 selected suppliers to submit their proposals? Will there be another chance to ask questions once the 3 candidates have been selected? The anticipated deadline for the written proposals from the shortlisted suppliers is anticipated to be the 11.01.2018. This will be confirmed in communications to the successfully shortlisted suppliers

In regards to questions from the shortlisted suppliers prior to submitting. They can be sent directly and passed onto the project team to respond to.
7. Will more information about the scope of the deliverables be provided before proposals are submitted to enable a more exact cost estimate of the package of work to be calculated and submitted with the proposals? Or will the bidders provide a single development cost per hour rate in their proposals and define/agree specific deliverables with Highways England following award of contract? We are expecting a single development rate per hour to be provided allowing the exact deliverables to be agreed during the contract period. Deliverables will be either virtual reality training models for our traffic officer service or models linked to proposed major construction schemes for consumption by our customers.
8. Are links to websites and media (such as videos and images) allowed in the responses for evidence? Links to media can be included and assessed where accessible as part of the written proposal stage