Awarded to Nomensa Ltd

Start date: Monday 2 September 2019
Value: £351,960
Company size: SME
UK Research & Innovation (UKRI)

UK SBS DDaT19116 UKRI - The Funding Service Beta Phase – User Experience Team

10 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 3 large

18 Completed applications

15 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Friday 17 May 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 24 May 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 31 May 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
We are seeking a partnership with a highly skilled and proven GDS supplier to provide user experience expertise to supplement our in-house delivery team in the beta phase of building the UKRI Funding Service.

The resource should be sufficient to support two development teams working concurrently.
Latest start date
Monday 5 August 2019
Expected contract length
1 year
South West England
Organisation the work is for
UK Research & Innovation (UKRI)
Budget range
We anticipate a budget cost of £30k per month for a User experience / pre-development team to supplement existing in-house resources.
Budget is therefore £360k for 12 months.

About the work

Why the work is being done
UKRI is building a unified digital funding service to support the needs of the newly formed UKRI, a merger and transformation of 9 councils into a single provider of grant funding to support research and innovation in the UK. The transformation also includes major simplification and standardisation of schemes with flexibility to support future schemes as UKRI grows to support the needs of the UK Government and its stakeholders.

Following a successful Alpha phase, the beta phase must start in early August in order to deliver an initial MVP to open for applications by January 2020.
Problem to be solved
The existing legacy system goes out of service in 2021 and is no longer able to meet user needs. Due to the inflexibility, many funding schemes are run off system which means collation of data for evaluating impact is challenging. External academic applicants typically must learn 9 different processes in order to apply for grant funding

1 of the councils, Innovate UK already has a GDS compliant service, but this will need to merge into the new Funding Service as part of the roadmap.
Who the users are and what they need to do
•As an applicant I need an intuitive digital platform to apply for and manage my grant funding.
•As a research office user, I need to oversee approve and manage the grant applications submitted by applicants in my university
•As a peer reviewer I need an intuitive digital platform so that I can securely review, score and submit feedback on applications
•As an internal user, I need an intuitive digital platform so that I can:
•Create and manage an opportunity
•Manage applications, peer review, award offers, project setup
•Pay grant funding and claims
•Manage project assurance
•Track funding
Early market engagement
Not applicable
Any work that’s already been done
The Discovery and Alpha phases of this service have been completed.

The Alpha phase included a technical evaluation and selection of technical solution as well as some comprehensive user research, testing and prototyping of user journeys.

The design will be a modular component architecture as the end to end journey involves several stages and typically different users from an external organisation at different stages.
Existing team
The in-house team consists of the following:
• Service Owner
• Product Manager
• Delivery Manager / Scrum Master
• Product Delivery Manager / Agile coach
• Lead UI Consultant
• Front End Developer
• Solution Architect
• 2 Business Analysts
• Content Designer

The team will also work with other internally resourced functions including
• A separately procured Supplier to provide technical resources for 2 parallel development teams
• Business Change Leads (part of Digital transformation)
• Enterprise Architects
• Business Intelligence: Data Mapping and Data migration specialises
• Internal stakeholders (key users)
• Limited DevOps resource
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Polaris House, Swindon, Wiltshire. 2 min walk from Swindon train station.
Working arrangements
We are looking to form a strong partnership with the successful supplier such that the total team works collaboratively on the outcomes regardless of for whom they work.

We have established agile and remote working practices but expect project team members to be in Swindon 3 full working days per week for face to face meetings. We make extensive use of Video conferencing for regular ceremonies.

Workloads will be managed by the in-house Delivery Manager & ScrumMaster, with use of Confluence and Jira.
Security clearance
• Onsite attendance at Polaris House requires basic security disclosure (Baseline Personnel Security Standard)
• The successful supplier must sign our standard non-disclosure agreement
• The successful supplier must provide proof of GDPR compliance
• The successful supplier must adhere to UKRI’s information security and GDPR policies

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The contract award is subject to the project passing GDS Alpha assessment, currently scheduled for July 2019.

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
  • Demonstrate your proposed team’s experience in GDS compliant service design, user research and testing (5%)
  • Demonstrate your proposed team’s experience in the handover / transition of digital services, particularly in the public sector (2%)
  • Demonstrate your team’s experience in working as part of a multi-disciplinary team and the role of user experience consultants in this team (3%)
  • Demonstrate your team’s understanding and experience of delivering grant funding services (5%)
  • Demonstrate your proposed team’s experience in iteratively designing and prototyping service changes, testing with users and turning research data into clear findings to inform an improvements backlog (3%)
  • Demonstrate your proposed team’s experience in designing services which meet assisted digital needs (2%)
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • • Demonstrate how your proposed team’s technical expertise will ensure the successful delivery of this project (9%)
  • How the proposal meets our requirements for successful delivery (7%)
  • How the approach or solution meets our organisation’s policy or goal (7%)
  • Timeframes for delivery (in line with the contract period) and proposed programme for beta, detailing how the timeline will be managed to ensure no delays to the project (6%)
  • Provide details of the suggested size, shape and make-up of proposed team, demonstrating how this team will maintain the ability to deliver the services throughout the project lifecycle (5%)
  • Detail risks and assumptions and a plan for mitigating against them (6%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate how your team will work successfully with UKRI as part of a multi-disciplinary team co-located in Swindon (8%)
  • Demonstrate your team’s ability to deliver in an open, collaborative, agile way according to the principles outlined in the Government Service Design Manual (3%)
  • Demonstrate your ability to deliver outcomes, applying an agile methodology, in non-agile environments and successfully bridging the two worlds (3%)
  • Demonstrate how you will deliver simplicity (e.g. do less but better, explaining complex issues in a clear, simple way, break down and prioritise complex issues) (3%)
  • Demonstrate your approach to engaging with internal senior stakeholders undergoing cultural change and how this will support project success. (3%)
Payment approach
Time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Latest start date
The commencement of the services is scheduled for 5th August 2019 in accordance with the published requirements. However, this is subject to change should there be any delays in the procurement process.
2. Procurement timeframe
The anticipated procurement timeframes are as follows:
24th June 19 – Notification of shortlisting outcome
2nd July 19 – Written proposal deadline
3rd/4th July 19 – Presentations
16th July 19 – Notification of award outcome
3. The scope of IR35
This requirement falls outside of the scope of IR35
4. Can you please provide the outputs from Alpha?
The outputs from Discovery and Alpha will be shared with all shortlisted suppliers. At this stage the focus is on suppliers' technical ability.
5. Given that an incumbent supplier has clearly done some good work in Discovery and Alpha, please can you help us understand why this opportunity is being opened to new suppliers.
This requirement has been published in accordance with the Public Contract Regulations 2015 (PCR) and EU Treaty Principles to ensure fair, open competition.

This is a standalone requirement from Alpha and Discovery and as such this opportunity is open to all capable suppliers on the Digital Outcomes and Specialists 3 framework.
6. Could you please clarify/expand on question 2 (Demonstrate your proposed team’s experience in the handover / transition of digital services, particularly in the public sector)?
This question is seeking to understand what your team's experience is in delivering the rollout of digital services in particular the handover and transition stage of previous contracts, particularly in a public sector environment.
7. As this is in Alpha, can we assume that there is an incumbent? Will they also be bidding for Beta?
There has been more than one supplier delivering the Discovery and Alpha phases.

We are unaware of the previous suppliers' intention to bid for this work. This opportunity is being conducted in line with Public Contract Regulations 2015 (PCR) and the EU Treaty Principles and is open to all capable suppliers on the Digital Outcomes and Specialists 3 framework. There are no preconceived outcomes of this opportunity.
8. Can you please explain how this team will be expected to work with the team you are procuring separately for ‘UK SBS DDaT19127 UKRI – The Funding Service Beta Phase – Technical Team’?
A member of the user experience team will complement each development team (as detailed in the DDaT19127 Technical Team specification) to assist with translating the prototypes and user stories.
9. If you have a preferred technology stack, what are the main technologies?
The Alpha phase included a technical evaluation and selection of a technical solution which consists of a component based, modular architecture, potentially using React for the UI layer, AppSync and GraphQL for the API layer and a mixture of TypeScript, Node.JS and Java for the back-end services. Messaging via AWS SNS/SQS, DB AWS RDS and AWS EC2/Lambda, AWS Cloud Search.