Defra: A trial into new flood management techniques which use nature to control flood water is to receive further funding from Defra. The Pickering project in North Yorkshire will receive £235,000 to continue innovative flood protection work.
This pioneering project makes the best use of the natural environment surrounding the town to store, divert & slow the flow of excess water rather than relying on traditional defences. The approach includes planting more trees, restoring wetlands, building natural dams in streams and reducing water runoff from fields. These techniques ultimately aim to help reduce the amount of flood water reaching the town during periods of heavy rainfall.
DECC: Architects, designers, engineers & students of these disciplines are being challenged to rethink one of the most crucial but controversial features of modern Britain: the electricity pylon. A new competition has been launched, run by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and National Grid, that calls for designs for a new generation of pylon.
The challenge is to design a pylon that has the potential to deliver for future generations, whilst balancing the needs of local communities and preserving the beauty of the countryside. A prize fund of £10,000 will be shared amongst the winning candidates and National Grid will give consideration to developing the winning design for use in future projects.
LDA: The Metropolitan Police Service has announced that it will use CompeteForto procure goods & services above £500 & under £50,000. The online procurement tool, which was created for the London 2012 Games, will increase the accessibility & transparency of the Met’s contracts and give suppliers the opportunity to bid for work with other government supply chains.
CompeteFor advertises direct contracts with public sector buyers, such as the Metropolitan Police, and opens up thousands of private sector sub-contracts to small businesses. The service was developed by the London Development Agency & the London Business Network and is supported by London 2012. Any business, across the UK, can register on CompeteFor. Registration is free and only needs to be done once to gain access to thousands of contract opportunities.
STFC: British companies are being urged to bid for a share of a billion Euros that are available in contracts on what will be the biggest optical & infrared telescope in the world - the European Extremely Large Telescope (ELT).
A special event was held in London (19 May 2011) where officials from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) briefed companies on what they need to do to get involved. ESO has a billion Euros to spend on contracts with construction at Cerro Armazones in Chile due to begin next year and completion due early in the next decade.