Digital tools for prospective students based on LEO post graduation wage data

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Dear Department for Education,

On 25 June 2018 the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) organized a competition for funding to develop innovative digital tools for prospective university students[SBRI-competition][SBRI-video] to choose their university based on the corresponding pay rates of graduates.[Gimyah-2018]

On 7 September 2018 the Phase 1 contracts were awarded to: Access Ed Ltd (£25k), Course Match Ltd (£20k), MyEd Ltd (£?), The Profs Tuition (£24k), and UNI4U Ltd (£24k).[SBRI-contracts-1]

On 23 November 2018 the Phase 2 contracts were awarded to AccessEd. Ltd (£147k) and The Profs Tuition (£150k). The contract end date was 15 March 2019.[SBRI-contracts-1][DoE-2018]

(In the interests of full-disclosure, I submitted a rather good application called The Life Choice Simulator, that got turned down because it was too innovative and could have been used for other purposes, such as advising on the cost-benefit-chance-probability-simulations of, for example, life insurance products. This would have fulfilled the Section 11 requirement of the project having a commercial potential.)

Section 4 of the application form (document 1806_SBRI_DfE_BD_SBRIApplicationVers1.0.3.doc) reads:

"Please provide a brief, public facing description of the project. Should you(sic) project be successful, this information will be made public once the award is confirmed."

I have located the two phase-2 projects that are notable for *not* being proudly displayed on the websites of the respective companies. These pieces of work are: by AccessEd. Ltd, and by TheProfs. The social media buzz surrounding these products indicates that they have both gone dormant.[OrsolaDeMarco-twitter]

Accordingly, under the Freedom of Information Act, please can I be sent:

(1) The "Title and abstract for publication" of each of the five Phase-1 projects.

(2) The blank application form used for the Phase-2 projects.

(3) The disclosable information from each of the Phase-2 application forms.

(4) Any follow-up reports, lessons learned, user surveys and other feedback information as to the success or failure of these two "innovative tools" and the overall intervention that had a budget of at least £400k.

I do not need to include a reason for my request, but to help you to understand the information I am after, I can explain. I incurred substantial costs in attending the innovation event and taking my time and several other people's time and favours in putting together a realistic application to this competition within a small company -- none of which was financially compensated. It is unlikely that I will be able to convince my fellow company directors to participate in another competition in future unless we can be convinced that either (a) the best applications won (ie that the judges were good and we had a fair shot), or (b) lessons have been learned about the how decisions are made that provides a better chance of selecting projects that have actual merit.


[SBRI-competition] https://apply-for-innovation-funding.ser...






Yours faithfully,

Julian Todd

MINISTERS, Department for Education

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BRIEFINGTEAM, HE, Department for Education

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Dear Mr Julian Todd,


Please see attached our reply to your request.



Yours sincerely,


Reece Woodhouse

Higher Education Briefing and Communications team




ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

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Dear Julian Todd, 


Thank you for your request for information, which was received on


Please see attached my reply and enclosures in response to your request.

Yours sincerely,

Reece Woodhouse

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