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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.

 

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 aris.georgopoulos@nottingham.ac.uk; or Katie Andrews, in the Press Office at the University of Nottingham at Katie.Andrews@nottingham.ac.uk

Katie Andrews - Media Relations Manager Social Sciences
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Notes to editors:

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage. 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. Ranked 103rd out of more than 1,000 institutions globally and 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2022, the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and inclusive and disability sport provision is reflected in its crowning as The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 Sports University of the Year. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally. Alongside Nottingham Trent University, we lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, a pioneering collaboration which brings together the combined strength and civic missions of Nottingham’s two world-class universities and is working with local communities and partners to aid recovery and renewal following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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