Tenders invited for sector Innovation Exchange

The Government has today launched the tendering process for the delivery of its new £1.2m Innovation Exchange to support innovation in the third sector.

The three-year pilot programme, first proposed in last December's Partnership in Public Services action plan, aims to provide innovators with access to contacts and capital.

The Government wants the programme to use both online and offline approaches to promote collaboration among innovators and provide them with tailored support. A spokesman for the Office of the Third Sector said it was up to bidders in the tendering process to decide how these goals could be best achieved.

We want to bring someone on board with creative ideas about how to do all this," said the spokesman. "Our aim is to put people with ideas in touch with people who might be able to invest in their ideas and those who have experience of turning ideas into reality."

The spokesman was unable to say what kinds of companies or organisations the Government expects to apply for the contract, for fear of prejudicing the process.

Ed Miliband, minister for the third sector, said: "A clear message has come through from the sector about the need for better mechanisms to ensure peer-to-peer learning and to connect innovators with appropriate types of support.

"We are looking for a partner who can use these resources to find new and effective ways of connecting, supporting and developing the best innovators the sector has to offer."

The £1,225,000 contract will be awarded in June 2007. The deadline for tendering is 14 May 2007.

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