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What techUK learnt from their #SMETownHall last week

Find out what was discussed at techUK’s #SMETownHall on 15 October, where the guest speaker was the Head of SME Policy at the Crown Commercial Service.

Last week, techUK hosted an SME Town Hall with Cass Chideock, Deputy Director, SME Policy, Crown Commercial Service. techUK’s SME Town Halls are designed to help SMEs navigate the public sector through creating a platform that connects SMEs with Government.

The session kicked off with Cass explaining the Government's new target to award 33% of procurement spend to SMEs. She outlined the importance for Government to shop from a diverse market place, so that they don't lock themselves out of innovation and better prices. It was also confirmed that Government will be recruiting for a new Crown Representative for SMEs. This was followed by remarks from Nicola Herbertson, Director, Hao2.eu and Simon Seymour-Perry, Head of Public Sector, Radtac.

Key points raised from the discussion

Making the supply chain more effective: The indirect route to market remains a significant one for many SMEs, whether that is through consortia or subcontracting. A key theme that emerged was the need for Government to incentivise and help stimulate more effective supply chains. techUK offered to host a SME Town Hall dedicated to this topic.

Stimulating innovation: The general feedback was that Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) has had limited impact. The Centre for Defence Enterprise was highlighted as a model that worked well in this space. Simon Seymour-Perry made the case for Government to provide 'seed funding' for industry to help stimulate innovation and develop a vibrant ecosystem of tech companies. It was also agreed that establishing a closer relationship between universities with large research centres and industry would be worthwhile.

Social value: Nicola Herbertson made the point that whilst the drive is austerity, we shouldn't forget our goal is to deliver better public services and the process and engagement between all parties needed to be collaborative, open and transparent.

Useful links

If you missed the session, please see a list of useful links that were mentioned by Cass.

You can reach the team at: mysteryshopper@crowncommercial.gov.uk or @govmysteryshop, where CCS tweet out their closed cases every two weeks

Finally, techUK SME Week starts on the 2 November.

Contact conor.murray@techuk.org and find out how you can get involved.

Channel website: http://www.techuk.org/

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