The primary aim of the ConVEx facility is to create an open access marketplace for the safe, secure, simple and sustainable exchange of data to facilitate innovation in the development and deployment of CAVs and thereby to support cities or regions in achieving goals for safer, cleaner, more affordable and more effective mobility. The creation of this data exchange via a SaaS arrangement is the prime purpose of the procurement, with a second purpose to commercialise the platform with the relevant bidding entity. Accordingly references to ‘facility’ are to the commercialised entity that provides the data to the West Midlands Combined Authority and/or constituent bodies (see further below).
The aspiration of the procurement is to assist in the growth of CAV development in the UK by enabling cost effective access to CAV-relevant data for SMEs and smaller organisations but it will also encourage inward investment by the creation of a platform that can accelerate CAV R&D for organisations of all sizes. Furthermore, it will support strategic and regulatory decision making by local, regional and national bodies around the deployment of CAV services.
The outputs of data analyses undertaken by the facility will provide evidence that will enable these organisations to understand if, where and how such services will have a positive impact for their stakeholders, maximising the return on investment of public funds.
The vision for the facility is for a centre that aggregates data relevant to the development and/or operation of CAVs from a diverse range of sources. These data could be already publicly available, available under licence or purchased by the facility. A first selling point of the facility would therefore be in the curation of these datasets within in a single ‘shop window’ for organisations seeking data
resources relevant to CAV development and deployment. The facility would also undertake data cleansing and analyses, drawing together relevant datasets and exploring connections that generate further insights into CAV development, deployment and operation.
Finally, the operation of ConVEx as acommercially sustainable facility requires trading of data from those that own it to those that want or need it. By enabling exploitation for CAV-related purposes, the facility will therefore enable organisations to monetise data resources that may have previously been left dormant.
The objectives of ConVEx are to develop a commercially viable data exchange platform that:
— accelerates the development of CAVs in the UK,
— enables start-ups to create innovative businesses based on the aggregation and analysis of relevant CAV/mobility data,
— provides materials to support CAV/mobility research by academic organisations,
— supports the development of the UK as the best destination for CAV development, accelerating UK businesses and attracting inward investment from overseas organisations,
— creates a long-lasting and sustainable business that creates jobs and revenue in a growing area of innovation.
For the avoidance of doubt, the successful supplier is required to operate the facility as a commercially sustainable facility, meeting the objectives of the project.
This will be explored further with the bidding entity as part of the procurement process. It should be noted that as part of such discussions there may be an agreement that the optimum operation model will require the establishment of a special purpose vehicle. This is something the authority is willing to consider subject to understanding the requisite benefits and associated security provided. Such matters, including relevant assignment mechanisms, will be discussed with the bidding entities.
WMCA reserve the right to enter into a contract with a supplier on completion of the Invitation to Submit Initial Proposal ‘ISIP’ stage, should the tender submission meet or exceed the WMCA's requirements.