My aim is to guide you towards public procurement
Are you a sole trader or a SOHO, or small or medium-sized enterprise answering a call for tender? Are you looking to develop your activity with public procurement, but unfamiliar with the formalities? Then I have the solution for you. Let me introduce myself: I am Abbreviõ, the solution for fast and simple access to public procurement. Designed in 2021 by digital entrepreneur Guillaume Roger, I am being developed by his partner, Luc André, engineer and doctor in computer science, specialised in algorithmics. My instructions are clear: to seek and select the calls for tender which best suit your profile. ‘Many companies cannot find the time to answer the calls which interest them, or have difficulty identifying these calls. This is a tedious task,’ says Guillaume Roger. I can relieve you of time-consuming searches by helping you to find business opportunities and boost the proportion of small enterprises in the public procurement sector. While a considerable portion of the French economic fabric is made up of its 146,000 small-to-medium companies, they obtain just 58% of public contracts in terms of volume and as little as 30% in terms of value.
Feed me with your data to help me select your calls for tender
My technology is based on a natural language processing algorithm, or NLP. Like many other artificial intelligence technologies, I need to be given data to enhance my performance. I am specifically interested in the texts of your previous calls for tender, and in particular the Special Conditions of Contract (SCC), consultation regulations and your technical briefs. Using these documentary sources, I will create a model which enables me to search public procurement publication platforms and find the most relevant calls for you. ‘Based on NER (Named Entity Recognition) analysis, the solution determines the most important key words, limits response noise and enables the user to streamline results very simply’, my developer Luc André adds. He trained me to accomplish this task, by using data labelling in particular: Luc manually annotated thousands of terms from public calls for tender in the official French bulletin of public procurement announcements (BOAMP) to help me optimise the quality of my searches. ‘This supervised learning task is an essential step,’ he explains. ‘It consists in preparing data which the AI can then match to the user’s requests.’
An efficient way to meet our requirements more precisely and directly’
With the massive expansion of data and the publication of announcements on multiple platforms, etc., searching for calls for tender is a rigorous and time-consuming task. As a small organisation, we don’t have the means to recruit someone specifically for this job and anything we can do to save time is a plus. The Abbreviõ team have really pinpointed the problem. Their solution pre-qualifies calls for tender which closely match our search criteria. A ranking system also helps us to focus on the tenders we’ll have the best chances of winning.
This is an effective way for businesses to save time and energy. Following a demonstration earlier this year, we’re planning to call on Abbreviõ’s services again, in the course of our business development. The aim is to rapidly identify, understand and answer opportunities which correspond to our scope of operation, i.e. cybersecurity solutions for public and private players.
Chairman of Cybi
My other strength: guidance in drafting your technical briefs
Once you’ve chosen your call for tender, I will accomplish another feat by helping you to draft those key documents for your application: your technical briefs. How do I do this? By providing drafting suggestions in real time, based on your previous applications for tender and modified according to the criteria and requirements of the target tender. ‘This tool suggests words, phrases and paragraphs but the user’s creativity remains a key factor in adding value, because procurers do not like copy-and-paste’, Guillaume Roger points out. My contribution here will be based on auto-completion, the same function that search bars use to offer suggestions from the first letters you enter. My aim once again is to help you save valuable time (‘by around 80%’, according to my creators) in drafting your technical briefs.
My interconnection under study
Following an incubation phase in the Grand Nancy Innovation premises, I joined the Inria Startup Studio in March 2022 to enter the operational phase. After training sessions, participation in trade fairs, beta-tests, and the filing of my statutes, my co-founders are now ready for the final sprint. They have numerous prospects for me, such as my integration in professional software programmes, or partnerships with platforms such as UGAP (French public procurement agency), JAL (journal of legal notices), BOAMP (official bulletin of public procurement notices), etc. Regardless of what my future holds, my aim will always be to make public procurement accessible to sole traders, small offices and small-to-medium enterprises. Now that I’ve introduced myself, how about a demonstration?
The alliance of ‘philosopher-business developer’ and a doctor in computer science
Speaking to us from their shared office at Inria Startup Studio, Guillaume Roger recalls: ‘I was looking for a co-founder, with a rare technical profile.’ ‘It took him a year to find me,’ Luc André adds. ‘The technology is being created here. We can focus entirely on the development of our solution and exchange ideas with our neighbours to help it move forward’, a context which the founders of Abbreviõ appreciate. Support from INRIA also took the form of several weeks’ training in entrepreneurial management at the EM Lyon business school, and participation in trade fairs in Paris, Metz and Strasbourg. ‘We weren’t friends to begin with’, Guillaume Roger specifies, ‘which means we can keep a necessary distance, challenge each other’s ideas and have different perspectives thanks to our individual experience.’
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