Experts developing a ground-breaking procurement solution for recovery post-Covid-19

Thursday, 17 December 2020

A consortium of experts, led by the University of Nottingham, have won funding to develop a new procurement framework to guide post-Covid-19 recovery in healthcare.

The project combines expertise from the University's School of Law on public procurement regulatory reform, with Vamstar, a data science based global business-to-business healthcare marketplace platform.

The team, funded by Innovate UK, are developing a novel digital assessment framework for procurement, incorporating supplier diversity, supply chain security, and sustainability criteria which will improve procurement capabilities in healthcare for the next phases of the pandemic and for post-Covid-19 recovery.

Existing solutions for supplier selection use the global value chain framework, and just-in-time business model with subjective assessments of a narrow range of supplier variables and manual analysis of internal supplier data to guide selection decisions. The pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of this model.

The project will ensure that the NHS and other EU Healthcare services have the capacity to manage the supply risks during COVID-19 type pandemics using a more integrated framework while creating a sustainable pathway for post-COVID recovery.

By incorporating environmental and sustainability related variables, such as emissions reductions, the UK government, the NHS and users in the EU healthcare services will be able to use the first working industrial framework to contribute to meeting their net-zero emissions target while ensuring supply chain security, sustainability, diversity, and stability.


Aris Georgopoulos new
The recent pandemic demonstrated the vulnerabilities of established supply networks and the limits of public procurement regulatory frameworks even when they allow for a significant degree of flexibility, in the sense that regulatory flexibility alone cannot guarantee the desired outcomes, namely the timely delivery of supplies that meet the appropriate standards.
Dr Aris Georgopoulos, Principal Investigator and Assistant Professor in the School of Law

Dr Richard Freeman, co-founder of Vamstar and CTO of Architecture and Data Science said: “This is another great step for Vamstar’s commitment to data science and it’s application in mission critical areas within healthcare , especially the automation of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data tracking and reporting in commercial contracts."

Together with the University of Nottingham, and our commercial partners, we are accelerating sustainability and diversity in healthcare procurement to better prepare the NHS and other EU Healthcare services for the emerging COVID-19 waves and for post-COVID pandemic recovery.
Dr Richard Freeman, co-founder, Vamstar
Dr Aris Georgopoulos in the School of Law is working with Vamstar, a data science based global business-to-business healthcare marketplace platform.

Dr Georgopoulos added: “The current juncture of UK procurement rules reform post Brexit, the introduction of the new social value in procurement model (from 1st January 2021), combined with the lessons from COVID-19 healthcare procurement, underlines the timeliness of this project.”

Dr Ian Campbell, Executive Chair, Innovate UK said: “In these difficult times we have seen the best of British business innovation. The pandemic is not just a health emergency but one that impacts society and the economy. Vamstar and the University of Nottingham, along with every initiative Innovate UK has supported through this fund, is an important step forward in driving sustainable economic development. Each one is also helping to realise the ambitions of hard-working people.”

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Aris Georgopoulos in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Nottingham at; or Katie Andrews, in the Press Office at the University of Nottingham at

Katie Andrews - Media Relations Manager for the Faculty of Social Sciences
Phone: 0115 951 5751

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

More news…

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798