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Tender Specification: To provide patent and intellectual property support to the Pathways to Innovation Project.

Dec 15, 2017



The Contracting Authority for the purpose of this Invitation to Tender is RTC North Ltd.

Their address is Loftus House, Colima Avenue, Sunderland Enterprise Park, Sunderland SR5 3XB

RTC North are looking to engage with a patent attorney or a firm of patent attorneys to provide advice and support on patent and intellectual property matters to our internal team and potentially to our clients directly. 

The individual or organisation must be or must employ patent attorneys with demonstrable experience of delivering this type of support and be available to contract with RTC North Ltd over the timescales outlined within this Invitation to Tender.



IP provision will be required across a number of RTC North projects: Pathways to Innovation, Innovate to Succeed, the Scale Up North East Programme and Supply Chain North East (subject to project approval).

Pathways to Innovation will be delivered by RTC North in the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NE-LEP) area between 1st January 2018 and 31st December 2019.  Beneficiaries of the programme will be SMEs operating in or around the region’s four key smart specialisation sectors: Health & Life Sciences; Advanced Manufacturing, Automotive & Medicines; Subsea, Offshore & Energy Technologies; IT, Software, Creative & Digital.

The programme will help to mitigate the difficulties and risks faced by SMEs in evaluating, protecting and commercialising “Bright Ideas” (defined as new technologies, new products, new services and new processes). This will encompass both the protection and commercialisation of new ideas and innovations within a client’s existing market sectors, as well as opportunities to diversify into new sectors or supply chains. Through an annual “Bright Ideas” awards programme, the programme will also help to create an innovation culture within the North East by encouraging and celebrating new ideas.

Innovate to Succeed includes a project in each of the North East, Liverpool city region and Leeds city region LEP area. Each project is part funded by Innovate UK and ERDF and seeks to boost the innovation capacity of selected companies in each area.

Scale-Up North East aims to increase the success of existing and potential high-growth businesses in the North East Locale Enterprise Partnership area by addressing barriers to growth and supporting the creation and implementation of scalable business models.

Supply Chain North East –  provision of support for the development of strong, sustainable and efficient supply chains to take better advantage of globalisation, across sector, through building supplier capability and embedding supply chain resilience and sustainability

To help RTC North’s project team to deliver this service we need expert intellectual property advice from a patent attorney.



3.1 Services to be provided:

The tenderer must supply a suitably qualified individual to attend RTC’s offices in Sunderland for approximately one day per week for the delivery period. The contract will be awarded in January 2018 and end on 31st December 2019.

The individual in attendance must be suitably technically qualified and must also be able to demonstrate experience of giving consultative advice to SMEs. The individual does not necessarily have to be a fully qualified patent attorney however evidence should be provided of technical competence either via qualifications attained or via demonstrable experience.

Duties may include the drafting and preparation of patent applications; maintenance of an existing patent portfolio; infringement/freedom to operate advice; novelty searches; assistance with trademarks, design rights or copyright; preparation of royalty/licensing agreements and other relevant documents such as non-disclosure/confidentiality and service level agreements as well as liaison with other firms of patent attorneys with whom the RTC works  

It is anticipated that the same individual will attend our offices each week so that consistency of service is maintained however other models will be considered if consistency of service can be demonstrably shown.


3.2 Timescales

The delivery should commence from week commencing 15h January 2017. The tender document should confirm the tenderer has sufficient resources to deliver for the whole of the delivery period and should highlight if there will be any gaps in service.



The Project Manager responsible for this work is Alan Sanderson.   



Tenderers should describe their procedures for quality assuring their work stating whether they hold a recognised quality management certification.



The tender should be priced on a per day basis with the total number of days to be delivered being initially up to 90.  If necessary, RTC North may require the service to be extended to include additional days.  If a tenderer has alternative models to deliver this service then pricing will be considered for each model separately.   



As a minimum tenderers should provide the following details within their proposals:

A brief description of the company, and any relevant experience

Experience and qualifications of the individual(s) who will be assigned to the tender.

Examples of successful delivery of similar consultative services.

Availability of resources required to deliver the service for the delivery period.


Tenders will be evaluated against the award criteria as set out within Section 8 and tenderers should also demonstrate within their tender proposal the following assurance that they have:-

Capability to meet the contract requirements;

Quality and experience of the individual(s) delivering the contract; including evidence of a proven track record;

Value for money and added value



The contract will be awarded to the most economically advantageous tender evaluated against the following criteria.


Weighting %




Recognised qualifications and experience of individual(s) providing the service


Proven experience of delivering similar consultative services





To ensure a fair and transparent tender process no approach of any kind in connection with this tender should be made to any other person within, or associated with RTC North Ltd. Failure to comply may result in disqualification from the process.



The completed Tender and associated documents must be submitted to Alan Sanderson , RTC North Ltd, Loftus House, Colima Avenue, Sunderland Enterprise Park, Sunderland SR5 3XB.


Submissions can also be made by email to karen.moody@rtcnorth.com


Closing date for all tenders is noon on 8th January 2018.


This project is supported by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.