Request for Proposals – IT Support and Services for ‘Manufacturing Growth Programme II’ project

Deadline: Monday 1st April 2019 – 12:00 Noon

Introduction, background and business context

Oxford Innovation Services (OIS) is the UK’s leading specialist coaching company.  We work with businesses at all stages of development to maximise their growth potential, benefiting both the enterprise and its people through uniquely tailored business support programmes.

OIS has been awarded contracts to deliver a range of business support programmes in the UK. This procurement is for IT Support and Services funded by the Manufacturing Growth Programme II (MGPII). The project is in the final stages of contracting for a 36-month operational period, starting 1st April 2019. MGPII will be delivered under the “Economic Growth Solutions” (EGS) branding, which is a division of OIS.

The MGPII project will be financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), part of the European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) portfolio 2015 to 2020.  The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the fund, which was established by the European Commission to help improve the competitiveness of SMEs by increasing their capacity and capability and promoting entrepreneurship to strengthen the pipeline of high growth businesses across England.

OIS has responsibility for delivering the Manufacturing Growth Programme across a number of UK regions including the West & East Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber and parts of the East of England.

OIS wishes to procure IT Support and Services for this ERDF programme, scheduled to be completed by 31st March 2022. The tender covers project activity over the following geographical areas;

  • Black Country
  • Coventry & Warwickshire
  • EM3
  • Greater Birmingham & Solihull
  • Greater Lincolnshire
  • Hertfordshire
  • Humber
  • Leeds City Region
  • Leicester & Leicestershire
  • Solent
  • South East
  • South East Midlands
  • Stoke and Staffordshire
  • The Marches
  • Worcestershire
  • York, North Yorkshire and East Riding

The rational and summary of MGP activity is provided below;

Manufacturing is a key component of England’s economic recovery – 11% of UK GVA, 54% exports. Whilst productivity has improved significantly over recent decades, England lags behind its major industrialised rivals, with the gap to the rest of the G-7 widening year-on-year.  This gap has a major effect in heavily manufacturing dependent regions, such as the Midlands and Yorkshire/Humber. Addressing manufacturer performance is central to both the National and local ESIF strategies covered by this project.

ERDF funds provide an opportunity to assist eligible SME manufacturers to co-invest in growth / improvement projects – addressing their ongoing needs by developing a locally specialised Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) in participating LEP areas and exploiting the proven delivery methods and networks of MAS – whilst seizing the opportunity to tailor the programme to local needs – something that was constrained under the national MAS model.

The MGPII service will provide locally-focused front-line teams – supported by centrally managed enabling staff to provide:

·         collaboration with local Growth Hubs to engage eligible manufacturers seeking to improve/grow

·         business and specialist manufacturing advice to support them to develop viable action plans for growth/improvement

·         support specify and procure suitable external expertise/resources to implement action plans

·         provide ERDF co-investment grants towards the SMEs cost of implementation

·         support to maximise the growth/improvement returns from their investment – as part of their broader local growth hub customer journey.

Collective analysis of LEP ESIF strategies alongside discussions with each LEP/Growth Hub, shows the above delivery process should be configured locally to provide four complimentary intervention options:

  1. Support for Priority Sectors (including Rural) – All participating LEP’s ESIF strategies indicate the need to support priority sectors, with Advanced Manufacturing, Low Carbon and Food & Drink being key priorities for all LEPs. Sector Growth Engagement Initiatives and support to procure specialist sector-expertise will be offered in collaboration with Growth Hubs.
  2. Manufacturing Innovation – providing specialist Manufacturing Growth Managers (MGMs) skilled in manufacturing innovation. These advisors will develop one-to-one MGP innovation projects with clients and act as interfaces with local innovation infrastructure such as universities and research centres (complementing/liaising with Growth Hub support).
  3. Manufacturing Leadership – delivering leadership and management support to a growing manufacturing SME’s management team, allowing more strategic management and better implementation of growth plans, increasing the likelihood of success and the level of success possible.
  4. Manufacturing Support Grants – providing manufacturers with broader grants to encourage/assist co-investment in improvement projects with third party Manufacturing Growth experts.

Successful delivery of these interventions will result in 2,473 additional manufacturing jobs across participating LEP areas by financially supporting 1,955 manufacturing SMEs

Key objectives of the brief

To obtain competitive tenders from suitably qualified providers for the following services:

  • Purchase and management of Software Licences, IT Set-up and Support for the delivery of the MGPII contract

Further information can be found in the Request for Proposal document (see links below)


Indicative total contract costs are proposed at circa £65,000 over the full duration of the MGPII contract;

  • Set-up Support – up to a maximum of £5,000 (ex. VAT)
  • Ongoing Support – up to a maximum of £45,000 (ex. VAT)
  • Ad hoc Support (contingency values only, based on potential future requirements)
    • Additional Users (Support & Licences for 5 Employees) – up to a maximum of £8,0000.
    • Additional Laptops – up to a maximum of £7,0000.

How to respond to this brief

Please download the Supplier Questionnaire and Request for Proposal document using the link below for further information and instructions.

Suppliers must confirm their expression of interest by e-mailing the contact details given below to ensure you receive any further information and clarifications.

Oxford Innovation contact details


Paul Gosling, ERDF Programme Manager

Address: Business Park, Nottingham Road, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE13 0PB

Telephone: 01664 501 315

Timing and selection process

The schedule below outlines key timings.

Action Date
Brief published Friday 22nd March 2019
Deadline for clarifications Wednesday 27th March 2019 – 10.00am
Deadline for response to brief Monday 1st April 2019 – 12:00 Noon.
Notification of successful tender W/C 1st April 2019


Please download the below attachments