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Invitation to tender | Call for proposals: Food data landscape review

Thu Nov 11, 2021
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We are commissioning this research to map the UK data landscape in support of sustainable food supply – production and provision – and identify data sharing and innovation opportunities and needs

Call for proposals: Food data landscape review

Invitation to tender

  • Tender reference: ODI_DEI_01
  • Call for tenders by the Open Data Institute
  • Contact: [email protected]

At the ODI, we strive for a world where data works for everyone. Data is infrastructure – as vital as our transport and energy networks. Our focus is on ensuring that data gets to those who need it. This enables better decision making, leading to positive impact across the globe.

Over the past year, effective data use has become even more critical. The need for data during the coronavirus pandemic has prompted organisations across the world to create new and better ways to collate, access, use and share data.

Sharing data across sectors and borders can help address other global crises and challenges such as aiding the delivery of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – but also help businesses, governments and policymakers foster innovation, catalyse growth and build economic and social prosperity.

Through its data ecosystems and innovation programme, the Open Data Institute (ODI) aims to support and build open, trustworthy data ecosystems and to stimulate innovation that addresses social, environmental and economic challenges such as those outlined in the United Nations’s 2030 Development Agenda. In particular, this year, the ODI is focusing on improving data ecosystems in support of the Health and Wellbeing (SDG3), Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG12), and Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG8) goals.

Through this programme the ODI will map data ecosystems, make the case for the value of data to address global and local goals, and motivate and support data sharing and reuse towards those goals.

As part of this work, the ODI is interested in mapping the UK data landscape in support of sustainable food supply – production and provision – and identifying data sharing and innovation opportunities and needs. The work involves mapping relevant datasets, key stakeholders collecting, sharing and using data, and the data and value flows in the ecosystem. The purpose is to understand how data currently flows and how it could be improved to help develop sustainable food supply – production and provision.

We plan to explore the role of public, private and third-sector actors – including government departments, regulators, professional and industry bodies, businesses and startups in relevant sectors and philanthropic organisations – in creating enabling conditions for the sharing and reuse of data relevant to sustainable food supply.

The work will inform future strategies to engage these stakeholders to actively build an open and trustworthy data ecosystem to support sustainable supply chains and other goals – for example adequate nutrition for all – outlined in the UK National Food Strategy.

Summary and timeline

AimWe are commissioning this research to map the UK data landscape in support of sustainable food supply - production and provision - and identify data sharing and innovation opportunities and needs.

The work involves mapping relevant datasets, key stakeholders who are collecting, sharing and using data, and the data and value flows in the ecosystem. The purpose is to understand how data currently flows and how it could be improved to help develop sustainable food supply - production and provision - for the UK population. Our focus is on supporting a reliable and environmentally sustainable food supply.

We also plan to explore the role of public, private and third sector actors, including government departments, regulators, professional and industry bodies, businesses and startups in relevant sectors and philanthropic organisations in creating enabling conditions for the sharing and reuse of data.

Our aim is to support the different stakeholders in the food data ecosystem to unlock value from data, in alignment with the UK National Data Strategy and supporting the delivery of the National Food Strategy.
AudienceAudience for the ITT call: researchers with knowledge of the food supply landscape in the UK; and/or researchers with knowledge of data sharing & reuse approaches.

Primary audience for deliverable: Open Data Institute

Secondary audience for deliverable:
Government departments, regulators, professional and industry bodies, companies, philanthropic organisations and those interested in creating enabling conditions for the sharing and reuse of data in support of sustainable food supply practices.
Duration3 months (December 2021 – end February 2022)
Value of award (excl. VAT)Up to £35,000
Questions to ODI by17:00 GMT 19/11/2021
ODI responses by17:00 GMT, 26/11/2021
Costed proposals due by17:00 GMT, 30/11/2021
Tender decision by17:00 GMT, 06/12/2021
Contract awarded17:00 GMT, 09/12/2021
ODI brief winning applicant(s)15:00 GMT, 13/12/2021
ODI progress reviewsFortnightly (virtually)
Final work delivered by28/02/2022
Tender reference:ODI_DEI_01
Contact[email protected]

Terms of payment

Payment of 50% of the agreed contract price will be made upon contracting, and 50% on completion.

Background

To create a world where data works for everyone, we need data to flow in well-governed ways around the data ecosystem. This requires complex multi-stakeholder interactions. The ODI aims to build open, trustworthy data ecosystems to advance social, environmental and economic goals by mapping relevant data ecosystems and bringing stakeholders together to solve those challenges.

The ODI’s data ecosystems and innovation work specifically aims to:

  • assess and map the status of data ecosystems related to challenges such as those outlined in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals
  • research and communicate the value of data sharing to tackle social, environmental and economic goals to stimulate collaboration between data holders and users
  • help organisations to effectively share and open data for ecosystem-level use in ways that promote trust and ethics
  • help organisations to take better decisions and develop more innovative solutions by integrating open and shared data from multiple sources.

This is expected to help bring about:

As part of this work, and in alignment with the ODI’s focus this year on improving data ecosystems – in support of Health and Wellbeing (SDG3), Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG12), and Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG8) goals – we are interested in reviewing the UK data landscape around sustainable food supply in the UK.

There are big challenges our food system faces. Today, nearly a third of the world’s population is lacking steady access to adequate food. Our food systems are a substantial contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and transforming the way we produce, provide and consume food will be key to not only reducing emissions and therefore mitigating climate change, but will also need to be adapted to the unavoidable climate impacts.

Maintaining the sustainability of businesses throughout these transformations is another key challenge to be solved by the industry and one that has come to the forefront even more during the supply chain challenges surfaced by the coronavirus  pandemic. Our food systems are also ‘inherently interdisciplinary, spanning environmental and equity issues, cultural and health dimensions, and beyond.’ We need to find ways to produce and provide foods in a way that regenerates the planet, respects workers, and makes healthy diets accessible to everyone.

The work involves mapping relevant datasets; key stakeholders collecting, sharing and using data; and the data and value flows in the ecosystem. The purpose is to understand how data currently flows and how it could be improved to help develop sustainable food supply chains and other goals – for example adequate nutrition for all – outlined in the UK National Food Strategy. The research will look at how fit for purpose the current data landscape is and identify gaps and potential improvements to better support the UK’s goals around sustainable food supply.

The work will inform future strategies to engage different stakeholders to actively build an open and trustworthy data ecosystem supporting the UK National Food Strategy.

Scope and guiding questions

This research is expected to contribute to a better understanding of the UK food data landscape and what data infrastructure and innovation mechanisms are needed to unlock value from data and facilitate the journey towards sustainable nutrition and food supply for all.

Some of the key questions we’d like you to answer include:

  1. What are the key challenges that can be better addressed in the UK food industry through efficient sharing and use of data?
  2. What current solutions exist?
  3. What are the blockers around data sharing and use in the UK food industry?
  4. What frameworks and models do we need for data sharing and use?
  5. What needs to happen to successfully implement these changes?
  6. How transferable are these changes to other national food systems?

Specific research questions we’d like you to explore are:

  1. What are the relevant types of data around sustainable food supply, both from an environmental and business/industry sustainability perspective? What data can help inform decisions to eat more sustainably, healthily and affordably?
  2. What data is currently shared, by whom and how?
  3. Who are the key actors involved in collecting, sharing and using data?
  4. What decisions and by whom are informed by data around sustainable food supply?
  5. Where are the gaps? What data that is currently not shared or used could help inform decisions?
  6. What are the broader challenges or blockers to the sharing and use of data in the food data landscape? Why is data sharing and/or use not happening?
  7. What initiatives already exist to improve data flows?
  8. What are the key opportunities to better share and use data? How can data better inform the interconnected processes involved in producing and providing food?
  9. What specific objectives within the broader realm of sustainable food supply could be better tackled through data, e.g. understanding the demand for certain foods, sourcing of these foods and relevant impacts by aggregating data from retailers about their supply chain.
  10. What will be required to make the necessary changes towards a data ecosystem that better enables progress towards a nutritious and sustainable food future?
  11. What role should different stakeholders play in creating an open and trustworthy data ecosystem (including the role of the planned National Food System Data Programme outlined in the National Food Strategy)? What role could the ODI play to foster more and better data sharing and use?

This research will build on and add to earlier related thinking including:

Deliverables

The deliverables will be:

  • Write up of research and findings into a landscape review report, covering:
    • Snapshot of current food data ecosystem landscape in the UK, including relevant data types, data flows, key stakeholders collecting, sharing and using data, value flows
    • Gaps and blockers in sharing and using relevant data
    • Case studies/description of current or planned successful (or less successful) interventions aimed at improving the data ecosystem either by facilitating better data sharing or better use of data for innovation and/or research
    • Opportunities for data ecosystem improvements and the necessary changes required (for example developing data standards and governance processes to unlock the value of data, stimulating data use through innovation mechanisms)
    • Recommendations for the role different stakeholders, including the ODI, could play in improving the data ecosystem and in creating an enabling environment for data to flow better in support of sustainable nutrition and sustainable food supply chains in the UK.
  • Notes from key engagement activities, for example stakeholder interviews and workshops

Applicants should propose the format and length of deliverables as part of the tender response.

We expect project teams to:

  • work closely with the ODI team for example include ODI colleagues in engagement activities with relevant public, private and third sector organisations
  • attend feedback sessions with team members
  • communicate plans and progress regularly

The ODI will provide:

  • documentation and links to existing, related work
  • access to team members involved in previous and current related work

Activities

The successful organisations will work in close collaboration with the ODI team to ensure the deliverables meet the needs of the project.

We are keen for the ODI team to have an opportunity to engage with relevant public, private and third-sector organisations as part of this research to develop understanding and relationships.

We anticipate there will be certain types of activity required – such as desk research, stakeholder interviews, workshops and engagement, assessment of research findings and drafting of output(s) – however applicants should propose specific activities and research methods as part of the tender response.

Timeline

The landscape review will need to be conducted between December 2021 and February 2022.

A draft report is expected to be delivered by the end of January 2022, with the final report to be finalised based on ODI feedback in February 2022. Concrete deadlines are to be agreed upon contracting.

Form of tender response

Applications can be on behalf of a consortium of organisations. Interested parties should submit a costed proposal (in English) to [email protected], which includes:

  • A short (no more than 5 page) explanation of your proposed approach, with references to any relevant existing work or activities
  • A description of why you are best placed to deliver this research
  • A description of the team who will do the work, including biographies
  • The total value (£) of your proposal, with a breakdown of the costs by activity and people
  • A project plan with a clear description of activities, research methods, outputs from the different activities and how the will help to address the research questions outlined
  • Where required, what form of in-kind support from the ODI team would be useful, for example, to provide training, technical support, connections etc
  • Targeted stakeholders that will be approached/engaged as part of this work and proof of their commitment
  • Any risks and data protection considerations

If you have any questions about the tender, please contact [email protected] quoting the tender reference. The ODI reserves the right to make both anonymised questions and answers public or shared with other organisations having stated their interest.

Decision criteria

All proposals will be assessed as described in our public procurement policy. In addition, for this procurement we will be looking for:

  • Applications submitted by a consortia should highlight how money is being spent across the organisations involved and the roles each consortium member will be taking.
  • Alignment with the ODI’s goals and priority areas