U.K. begins testing new commercial framework for defense suppliers

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in the United Kingdom recently began testing a new commercial framework to help suppliers bid for contracts.

The framework, which will be known as the Research Cloud (R-Cloud), is designed to broaden access to the Dstl supply base with the aim of reducing the cost of trading and making the contract process easier.

R-Cloud will allow direct access to current and future research requirements.

"Dstl places in excess of £200 million worth of research contracts every year," Dstl Head of Procurement Richard Bishop said. "R-Cloud will help us enormously to broaden our supplier base across industry and academia by enabling suppliers of all sizes to know what our requirements are, whether they qualify for bidding for a particular piece of business, and, if so, when and how they should do so. Our objective is to identify and create a means of working with the brightest and best suppliers of science and technology research. We will keep costs to a minimum and paperwork will be kept simple and readily accessible."

R-Cloud will be used in all of Dstl's capability areas, with a pilot program on CBRN capabilities starting this month.

Interested contractors can apply to be a part of the CBRN pilot program through July 11.