Have a lovely time* at Bangor Procurement Week

I’ve been bemoaning the fact that the academic contribution to procurement thinking – in the UK at least – seems to have faded a little since the glory days of Professors Cox and Lamming. (Or is it just the same effect that makes us all believe Easter Eggs were bigger and tastier in our day?)

University from Bangor Mountain

Anyway, I’m very impressed by an initiative from the University of Bangor in Wales, where the Institute for Competition and Procurement Studies (ICPS), led by Professor Dermot Cahill, is a “leading centre for promoting innovation and research in public and private procurement, policy and law”.  The Institute specialises in evidence-based research into the behavioural responses of public institutions and their suppliers to public procurement policies, laws and practices.

And later this month they are staging what looks like a very interesting Procurement Week  - an annual event staged over 5 consecutive days to disseminate knowledge and ideas about the latest procurement innovation strategies, procurement law and procurement policies from around the world. The overall title is “Evolving Private and Public Procurement: Global and National Benefits” and you can get a lot more information from their website here.

Each day of the week has a theme, and looking at the speakers, they’ve done a great job in lining up some impressive folk to visit their beautiful corner of North West Wales. Here are the dates and themes, and ICPS say “whether you are an SME, a multi-national, a public procurer, an academic, a lawyer, or a politician, we truly have an event for everyone. At least one of the five days will interest you”!

26 March, Research Day

27 March, Winning in Tendering Training for Suppliers

28 March, Private Sector Supply Chain Strategies: Opportunities & Partnerships

29 March, Cutting Edge Procurement: Innovation, Ideas and Actions

30 March, Public Procurement: International & Regional Perspectives

The Institute is clearly very focused on public sector procurement, and in particular aspects around encouraging smaller and innovative firms to bid for and win public sector business. As such, their work appears to be applied rather than pure research, and indeed quite a few of their activities are basically commercial – training suppliers to bid for contracts more successfully and similar. They’re clearly very active and with a team of around 15 people, it is a good size operation as University procurement "faculties" go.

Nant Francon, near Bangor (courtesy Tony Cassidy)

I’m personally disappointed I can’t make it this year as it clashes with my non-exec duties. It shows a lot of initiative and imagination to put on an event like this, so I very much hope it is a huge success, well done to Bangor, and do take a look at the agenda if those topics look relevant to you. (And I hope to get the 2013 event in the diary earlier and make it myself next time round)!

* obscure musical reference...

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