Request for Quotations: IMMEX City Skills Programme

You are invited to submit a quotation to deliver the IMMEX City Immersive Technologies Skills Programme.

The project will catalyse the organic growth and scale-up potential of Gateshead’s immersive technologies sector, advance the rate of immersive technology adoption across industry, support local people to find work in the sector, and create new immersive driven cultural experiences for local people. 

The successful bidder will be responsible for designing and delivering an immersive technologies skills course in Gateshead for local residents. 

You can read the description below or download it via PDF.

 

1. Tender Overview  

As part of the Immex City pilot programme, the North East Business Innovation Centre t/a Digital Catapult NETV (DC NETV) is seeking to procure a partner(s) to design and deliver an immersive technologies skills course in Gateshead for local residents. 

The content of the course should cover as a minimum, immersive technologies, Game Engine Development, Virtual Production technologies and soft skills.  

The purpose of this course will be to upskill local residents and empower them to either pursue a career or further education within the immersive technologies sector. 

This skills project is part of the Immex City pilot programme which will catalyse the organic growth and scale-up potential of Gateshead’s immersive technologies sector, advance the rate of immersive technology adoption across industry, support local people to find work in the sector and create new immersive driven cultural experiences for local people.  

Immex City is funded by the UK Community Renewal Fund. Further details can be found in Annex 1. 

The budget available is a maximum of £90,000 + VAT inclusive of all design, development, and deployment costs. 

2. The Immersive Technologies Skills programme 

The course duration should be in the region of 6 weeks long and be delivered on a full-time basis. The course should include but not be limited to: 

  • Immersive technologies, including a hands-on real-time technical experience 
  • A hands-on demonstrative and technical element covering Virtual Production technologies, to provide learners with a fundamental understanding of virtual production technologies, how they work and the related career opportunities  
  • A soft skills element so that individuals feel ready and confident to pursue a career in the industry  
  • A career focused element so that individuals understand the different potential career paths in the industry or establish an immersive technology business 

All elements should work seamlessly together to maximise the participants’ experience.  

 

3. Programme Participants  

The programme will cater for 20 participants, some of whom may have limited experience with immersive technologies. Digital Catapult NETV will be lead on the recruitment of participants to the course. 

We expect participants to have a mixture of profiles, including  

  • Individuals who are currently unemployed or economically inactive and are looking for a new skillset to re-enter the workforce, especially those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds  
  • Individuals who are employed at businesses and are looking to bring immersive technologies to their business  
  • Individuals who may be employed at entry level or just coming out of education and who are interested in starting a business using immersive technology 
  • Individuals who are employed but interested in pursuing a career in advanced digital technology 

Digital Catapult NETV is looking to recruit participants from diverse backgrounds. Furthermore, individuals may have a variety of different requirements and access needs for participating in the programme. It is vitally important that the supplier caters to these needs where they arise. 

 

4. Intellectual Property 

Any assets created through the course by participants will remain with the participants (same as those created by course leaders). DC NETV and DC will retain a license to use assets in perpetuity for demonstration, marketing, and promotion purposes. 

 

5. Venue, Support Staff and Participant Equipment 

Venues required for training in Gateshead will be supplied and covered entirely by DC NETV. Most in person elements of the course will take place at Proto and Northern Design Centre in Gateshead, (NE8 3DF).  

Proto offers an immersive lab, as well as an 188m2 production studio home to motion capture, green screen and 3D character capture. Equipment use at Proto can be arranged as part of the course delivery. 

DC NETV will be hiring a course coordinator who will support learners throughout the 6-week course. This coordinator will: 

  • Work with the DCNETV team to recruit learners onto the programme 
  • Be the principal point of contact for learners, providing them with pastoral support as well as any other logistic support required including managing transport and equipment needs 
  • Be the principal point of contact of the supplier(s)  
  • Handle day-to-day delivery logistics such as catering, workshop supplies etc. 
  • The course coordinator, however, will not be responsible for delivering any of the course content.  

The equipment for the participants will be purchased by the Immex City programme. This could include laptops and headsets. 

 

6. Expected Deliverables and Outputs 

The Supplier will be expected to deliver the following:  

The design of the 6-week programme. This will include: 

  • An initial meeting where the proposal is outlined, and the Immex City team can provide feedback and ask questions  
  • Design of the programme should include requirements outlined above but also suggested elements by supplier to ensure the best participant experience  

 

Delivery of the programme.  

  • Where required, it will include coordination of logistics with course coordinator 
  • There should be a nominated contact person who will coordinate with Immex City course coordinator  

 

Regular meetings with the Immex City Project Team, including: 

  • Kick off meeting 
  • Regular touch points through course delivery 
  • Final review of the programme following delivery where report for Immex City is presented 

 

Contribution to post course evaluation 

  • Collaboration with Immex City evaluator to evaluate course effectiveness, lessons learned, success stories and any changes for future courses and programmes. The report also must outline three different figures:
  • Final costs spent on designing the course
  • Final costs spent on delivering the course 
  • The cost of future course redeployment in partnership with DC and DC NETV.  

 

Marketing deliverables. Supplier will deliver the following: 

  • Two blog posts on the programme – content to be suggested by supplier. These will include case studies for our marketing team where required. The blogs will be published on our websites.  
  • If required, collaboration on a press release with Digital Catapult and Digital Catapult NETV during the inception of the programme  
  • Support with developing content for social media posts 

 

7. Additional considerations 

  • The programme should be designed to consider accessibility and access support for different learning needs. DC NETV will reserve a budget to cater for specific accessibility requirements.  
  • The intended delivery should, wherever possible, be in person however, suppliers should propose options for remote, hybrid and in person delivery. 
  • The course must be designed in a scalable and repeatable way so future courses can be easily deployed in partnership with Digital Catapult (DC) and DC NETV.  
  • Sustainability (e.g. paperless course, minimum travel, commitment to using sustainable technology solutions) 
  • The potential for learners to leave the course with a recognised certification to support future employment and learning opportunities. 

 

8. The Supplier(s)  

As the above elements are quite varied, DC NETV understands that a single supplier may not have all the capabilities to deliver the entirety of the contract. Where that is the case, we invite consortia of suppliers to apply. 

The contract with DC NETV however will be with only one supplier. Where an application is made by a consortium there must be one lead supplier who will take responsibility for overall delivery. We also expect that all contracting required amongst the suppliers will be handled internally within the consortium, with no intervention needed from DC NETV.  

If a consortium applies, the supplier must outline how the partnership will be structured, what the roles and responsibilities are, how issues will be resolved and how decisions will be made. 

 

9. Next Steps  

We are now inviting organisations and consultants to submit a proposal to deliver this contract. Whilst there is no prescribed format for proposals, we recommend that proposals are concise, covering the points described above and especially:  

  • Proposed design of the programme based on requirements  
  • Previous experience, qualifications and knowledge of subject area 
  • Information around the inclusion of any industry recognised certifications  
  • CVs of project team 
  • Success stories, results, and testimonials from previous participants  
  • The proposal must also outline proposed methodology and course outline 
  • Proposed timeline  
  • Proposed budget, including detailed costings for hiring any equipment needed and delivering at DC NETV/ Proto or elsewhere (please include travel, sustenance, etc) The budget must differentiate between costs of delivery and design 
  • Main risks and issues and mitigation plans 

Work carried out during tender response development is at the discretion of the individual organisation and no reimbursement is available for said work.   

Digital Catapult NETV does not bind itself to accept the lowest, or any quotation. The chosen supplier will be able to demonstrate prior knowledge and experience of working within the training for game engines and soft skills for new entrants in the immersive technology industry.  

 

10. Budget  

The maximum budget for this contract is £90,000 (plus VAT) for the 6-month duration period of the Project (February and June 2022 – allowing for design, preparation, and evaluation). 

 

11. Assessment of quotations  

Proposals will be assessed using the following criteria:  

Value for Money – proposals will be evaluated against their overall value for money. This includes the repeatability and scalability of the course as well as how they will be documented. 10%
Previous experience and results in producing related work and training entry level participants in Game Engines, Virtual Production and Soft Skills 30%
Design of the programme - proposals will be evaluated against the requirements set out for the design of the programme 40%
Ability to deliver - proposals to be evaluated against their plan in delivering the course. If a consortium applies, supplier must outline how the collaboration will work, what the roles and responsibilities are and how decisions will be made. 20%

 

12. Timescales  

ITQ released21 January 2021
Submission deadline2 February 2022
Assessment of proposals4 February 2022
Interviews (TBC) 7 February 2022
Contract Award9 February 2022
Inception MeetingW/C 14 February 2022
Programme Start DateW/C 28 March 2022
Contract End Date 30 June 2022

 

An electronic version of the proposal must be emailed to Laura Kennedy at laura.kennedy@sunderlandsoftwarecity.com no later than 5 pm on 2 February 2022  

Any queries on the tender should be directed to Alex Cook at alex.cook@sunderlandsoftwarecity.com  

 

Annex 1 

Background – The UK Community Renewal Fund  

The UK CRF is a £220m investment across the UK that will be spent between 3 November 2021 and 30  June 2022. It is a pilot fund which is being tested to help shape the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UK SPF), the planned successor to the EU Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). It is expected that the UK SPF will come into place soon after 30 June 2022.  

The UK CRF aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and innovative approaches. CRF is set out to invest in skills,  places, local business, and to support people into employment.  

 

Delivery Partners on the Project  

Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley (DC NETV) and Digital Catapult (DC) have collaborated on the bid and will be co-delivering this project. The Supplier for this particular tender will be contracted with DC NETV.  

 

About Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley and PROTO 

Delivered by Sunderland Software City, Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley (NETV) supports businesses from across the region to encourage the growth and adoption of advanced digital technologies. It helps demonstrate and explore the impact that technology can have on productivity, efficiency, and performance. Digital Catapult NETV has a wealth of experience in supporting immersive technology programmes and has led on activity at the immersive lab in PROTO since its opening in 2018. 

 

About Digital Catapult  

Digital Catapult is the UK authority on advanced digital technology. Through collaboration and innovation, we accelerate industry adoption to drive growth and opportunity across the economy. 

We bring together an expert and enterprising community of researchers, startups, scaleups and industry leaders to discover new ways to solve the big challenges limiting the UK’s future potential. Through our specialist programmes and experimental facilities, we make sure that innovation thrives and the right solutions make it to the real world. 

Our goal is to accelerate new possibilities in everything we do and for every business we partner with the journey – breaking down barriers, de-risking innovation, opening up markets and responsibly shaping the products, services and experiences of the future. 

Digital Catapult operates in the manufacturing and creative industries and specialises in four different technologies: 

  • Immersive (VR, AR, Haptics, Immersive Audio) 
  • Future networks (including 5g and Iot) 
  • Distributed Ledger Technology 
  • Artificial Intelligence  

Visit www.digicatapult.org.uk for more information. 

The Immex City Pilot Programme 

The project will deliver a series of interventions to support the growth of the immersive technologies sector in Gateshead. The activity will focus on component areas of need within the immersive technologies’ ecosystem. The project will be delivered through three main work packages which are set out below.  

Immersive Adoption Gateshead 

Sectoral focused bootcamps to advance the adoption of immersive and related technologies, stimulating an increased culture of innovation across industry, and encouraging Gateshead businesses to reach their innovation potential by: 

  • Helping industry to overcome barriers to technology adoption  
  • Creating a better understanding of Return on Investment   
  • Embedding a culture of innovation and technology adoption across industry  
  • Accessing knowledge, support and advice from immersive technology experts and peers  
  • Three bootcamps will take place, each with a sectoral focus identified through Gateshead’s economic profile.  
  • Advanced Manufacturing   
  • Retail  
  • Creative and Cultural  

 

Immersive Technologies Skills Programme 

This pilot programme will target Gateshead residents aiming to provide skills that will give them the potential to access jobs in the sector, continue their education in technology or start their own technology business. The aim is to address the future skills gap by providing training relevant to immersive, real-time technologies and virtual production. This programme will offer extensive in-person support to help to overcome the barriers faced by individuals who have a desire to work in virtual production technologies but lack the requisite experience and knowledge. The programme will upskill individuals in content creation and workflows using game engine technology and virtual production. The soft skills required to gain employment in the sector will also be addressed.  

 

Immersive experiences for the Public 

We will develop a call for innovative use cases of immersive technology from Gateshead’s cultural organisations and institutions. Successful applicants will be able to access grant funding, to power their immersive ambitions and enhance cultural experiences and innovative immersive offers for new and existing audiences, increasing footfall, and supporting economic recovery following Covid 19.   

We will work with the challenge owners to run user testing pilots with the new demonstrators, to effectively collect data and understand how the concepts could be scaled and monetised with a consumer audience.