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CivTech 5.0 is coming: how you can apply

Posted: 30th June 2020

Blog by Joe Tree, Head of Product and Accelerator, CivTech®.

If you’re an innovator, entrepreneur, team, start-up or established company, CivTech offers an unrivalled opportunity to develop a product the public sector really needs—and rapidly grow your business. With problems framed as open challenges, application is easy and procurement streamlined; it’s a swift, secure and proven pathway for innovative teams to win public sector customers.

We’re excited to announce that CivTech 5.0 and our latest set of Challenges will be formally launched on 10 July.

You’ll have until 28 July to submit your proposals, and the successful applicants will work hand-in-hand with their Challenge Sponsors through the Exploration and Accelerator stages from September, releasing prototype products in January 2021.

If you’re already aware of the CivTech process the 5.0 programme will be very familiar, but you can expect a distinct Covid-19 theme to the Challenges as we play our part in helping Scotland recover and rebuild. The Accelerator will be delivered remotely and condensed from its usual 15 weeks down to just 12.

We’ll be sharing more details on our website and Twitter feed in the coming weeks, but we thought it would help for those considering applying if we outlined the process here.

It is important to understand that while we provide detailed information on our website, your actual application will be submitted and handled through the Scottish Government’s Public Contracts Scotland website (PCS). This is the single point of entry for Scottish public sector contracts. Within its framework we’ve worked hard to make the application process as simple and straightforward as possible. It comes down to five simple steps:

1. Register on PCS

Once on PCS you will see a link to register at the top of the page, you will want to register as a supplier. This involves entering some basic information about you and your business, address, phone, email etc. Don’t worry if you’re not a registered business — the system will cope with that — and you only have to register once, even if you’re making multiple applications.

Once you’ve registered and logged in you’ll have access to the Q&A system, and the electronic postbox where you’ll submit your application.

If you aren’t quite ready to submit your application, but are interested in applying, then click on ‘Record your interest now’. This will keep you up to date on the Challenge.

2. Choose your Challenge (these will be published on 10 July)

You need to choose the Challenge you wish to apply for, and go to its dedicated PCS page.

Once you’re on the Challenge page, you’ll be able to access all the relevant information about it. Please note you can apply for as many Challenges as you wish to, and apply for the same Challenge more than once if you have several distinct solutions to propose.

You can also search for challenges on PCS. Just go to PCS –> Browse notices –> Advanced search (below further search options) and search ‘civtech’.

3. Register your interest

You’ll also need to register your interest on the Challenge Page (you can do this using the button at the top of the page, or the tab at the bottom). As this is Challenge specific, if you’re interested in more than one Challenge you’ll need to do separate registrations for each one.

4. Download two forms

There are two documents you’ll need to download:

• The first is the main Application Form. It’s a Word document and we’ve made it as simple but comprehensive as possible, with clear instructions on what we’re looking for.

• The second is called Grounds for Mandatory Exclusion relating to Criminal Convictions, which covers activities that automatically prevent people from applying for public contracts (conspiracy, corruption, fraud, terrorist offences, money laundering, child labour, and drugs trafficking). There’s a single question to establish you’re eligible to apply.

5: Apply!

Write your application. As we’ve said we’ve made what we’re looking for as clear as possible — you can see the advice in the application form guidance tab.

Submit both the completed Application Form and the Mandatory Exclusion document via the electronic postbox on PCS.

There’s information about how to do this on the Electronic Postbox User Guide. You can upload the Application Form and save it, and make changes at a later time. But once you’ve submitted the application (there’s a button) it cannot be amended — though you could submit an entirely new application. Once the submission has gone through, you’ll receive a confirmation onscreen and by email.

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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