Supply High Performance Computing Environment to University of Exeter

Supply High Performance Computing Environment to University of Exeter

The University’s aim is to build on an initial base design in a modular approach during the initial contract period.

United Kingdom-Exeter: Super computer

2015/S 007-007499

Contract notice


Directive 2004/18/EC

Section I: Contracting authority

I.1)Name, addresses and contact point(s)

University of Exeter
Procurement Services, Northcote House, The Queen’s Drive
Contact point(s):
EX4 4QJ Exeter
Telephone: +44 1392661000

Internet address(es):

General address of the contracting authority:

Address of the buyer profile:

Electronic access to information:

Electronic submission of tenders and requests to participate:

Further information can be obtained from: The above mentioned contact point(s)

Specifications and additional documents (including documents for competitive dialogue and a dynamic purchasing system) can be obtained from: The above mentioned contact point(s)

Tenders or requests to participate must be sent to: The above mentioned contact point(s)

I.2)Type of the contracting authority

Body governed by public law

I.3)Main activity


I.4)Contract award on behalf of other contracting authorities

The contracting authority is purchasing on behalf of other contracting authorities: yes

Please refer to Additional Information section

Section II: Object of the contract


II.1.1)Title attributed to the contract by the contracting authority:

UOE/2014/055 — High Performance Computing Environment.

II.1.2)Type of contract and location of works, place of delivery or of performance



II.1.3)Information about a public contract, a framework agreement or a dynamic purchasing system (DPS)

The notice involves a public contract
II.1.4)Information on framework agreement

II.1.5)Short description of the contract or purchase(s)

Super computer. Computer-related services. Technical computer support services. The University of Exeter seeks to replace and expand its current High Performance Computing (HPC) facilities. The University has substantial research ambitions that necessitate access to improved HPC infrastructure in order to conduct a range of numerical and data intensive research activities. The new multi-discipline HPC environment will ultimately replace many existing HPC facilities and will become the primary environment for HPC activity across all campuses at the institution. It is one element of a wider research computing environment, which is developing to accommodate the evolving aspirations and requirements of all research disciplines. This broad remit, including but extending beyond the traditional physics and engineering user base, is a key feature of the new environment. This tender process will be used to identify a suitable Supplier to replace the University’s existing HPC facility and work with the University to develop its future HPC capacity. The University’s aim is to build on an initial base design in a modular approach during the initial contract period (and subsequent extensions if taken) when new environment’s (such as the GBP 50 000 000 Living Systems development) come on line to provide increased HPC capacity in the desired form. Collaboration with GW4 partners (Bath, Cardiff and Bristol Universities); along with the successful leveraging of research funding will also provide funding to allow the University to grow its HPC capacity via this contract. It is critically important that the chosen Supplier is able to offer both a holistic solution, and is capable of both providing the initial base design and the staged potential growth of the HPC system to a much bigger system. The Supplier will be responsible for the installation, commissioning and acceptance testing, and ongoing support and maintenance of the system for the life of the contract. The Supplier will be willing to commit to specific delivery dates, performance levels and will be able to offer opportunities for partnership and innovation in the HPC field.

II.1.6)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)

30211100, 72500000, 72611000

II.1.7)Information about Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)

The contract is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA): no


This contract is divided into lots: no

II.1.9)Information about variants

Variants will be accepted: no
II.2)Quantity or scope of the contract

II.2.1)Total quantity or scope:

The University plans to commission the new HPC environment in Q4 2015. The expected lifetime for the initial installation is approximately 4 years. During this period, incremental expansion of the HPC environment is expected. The first installation in 2015 will consist of a base model, designed to encompass a wide range of research requirements. After commissioning, an extended performance review will then inform a second phase of hardware deployment in 2016, building on the 1st phase. This staged scaling up of the environment will ensure that the HPC provision matches closely the evolving requirements of the research community, maximising return on investment. The current research user base includes traditional HPC users who require maximal performance for their applications, and whose workload can be effectively managed with a batch scheduler. In addition, the University has many researchers who work with customised virtual environments, often interactively, and who require resources on-demand. The University seeks a single coherent HPC environment, serving the current needs of all researchers, and based on architecture that is readily scalable to meet future demands. Although likely to comprise of a range of system architectures, it is expect that several components of the system will be shared (e.g. file systems, authentication) where this proves to be advantageous and cost effective. It is essential that the new HPC environment provides a coherent platform capable of effectively supporting multi-disciplinary research projects. The University has technical competency and capacity to support HPC installations, and is also looking to the supplier to provide suitable levels of maintenance and support services. As a minimum, it is expected that the supplier will provide contractual support for critical hardware components and software support, enabling the software suite to be maintained at latest versions throughout the contract lifetime. Any contract put in place as a result of this procurement process will cover an initial period of 4 years, with options to extend further up to a maximum of 6 years. The majority of the hardware expenditure will be in 2015 and 2016, reflecting the initial base model installation and subsequent expansion as described above. The total approved budget for both the initial installation and subsequent expansion during 2015-2016 is in the region of 2 500 000 GBP (inc. VAT). This is profiled over the 2 year period and includes internal project costs, hardware, operational data storage, management system, related services, and installation costs. In addition to the secured funds, it is known that the HPC environment is likely to attract funding from external sources originating from existing and future research grant applications. On occasion the terms of any funding may require the funding body/Partner organisation to purchase directly from the successful Supplier as part of this contract. A value for total input from these sources is difficult to define but based on previous experience could extend the funding envelope to approximately 9 000 000 GBP. The resultant upgrades and enhancements could extend the effective operational lifetime of the entire environment beyond 4 years.

Estimated value excluding VAT:
Range: between 650 000 and 9 000 000 GBP

II.2.2)Information about options

Options: no

II.2.3)Information about renewals

This contract is subject to renewal: no

II.3)Duration of the contract or time limit for completion

Duration in months: 48 (from the award of the contract)

Section III: Legal, economic, financial and technical information

III.1)Conditions relating to the contract

III.1.1)Deposits and guarantees required:

The University reserves the right to request deposits, guarantees, performance bonds and other forms of appropriate security either from Tenderers or another member of the Tenderers’ corporate groups. To the extent that any of these are required, the relevant selection and tender requirements relating to these will be stated in the tender documents.

III.1.2)Main financing conditions and payment arrangements and/or reference to the relevant provisions governing them:

Information will be provided in the tender documentation and the University reserves the right to use the dialogue process to examine different payment options for the required supplies and managed service.

III.1.3)Legal form to be taken by the group of economic operators to whom the contract is to be awarded:

The University reserves the right to require, in the context of a consortium, Tenderers to take a particular legal form, or to require a single contractor to take primary liability or to require that each party undertakes joint and several liability. Tenderers must provide full details of their proposed contracting structures, including key sub-contractors. Changes to consortia and contracting structures must be notified to the University immediately, which may impose conditions on or reject the change if that is reasonably necessary to ensure the University meets its legal or procurement obligations. Full details of and, or further restrictions on changes to consortia and contracting structures are set out in the tender documents.

III.1.4)Other particular conditions

The performance of the contract is subject to particular conditions: yes
Description of particular conditions: The selected contractor will be required to have all appropriate permissions and licences etc. to undertake the project/s in the UK and under UK legislation [and, or under all equivalent legislation in the place of their establishment] and will be required to evidence these according to the requirements set out in the tender documents. Other conditions may be set out in the tender documents and contract documents.
III.2)Conditions for participation

III.2.1)Personal situation of economic operators, including requirements relating to enrolment on professional or trade registers

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met: The Authority will apply all the offences listed in Article 45(1) of Directive 2004/18/EC (implemented as Regulation 23(1) of the Public Contract Regulations (PCR) 2006 in the UK) and all of the professional misconducts listed at Article 45(2) of Directive 2004/18/EC (see also Regulation 23(2) in the PCR 2006) to the decision of whether a Candidate is eligible to be invited to tender.

A full list of the Regulation 23(1) and 23(2) criteria are at

Candidates will be required to answer these questions as part of the qualification process. For candidates who are registered overseas, you will need to declare if you have any offences/misconduct under your own countries laws, where these laws are equivalent to the Regulation 23 lists.
Candidates who have been convicted of any of the offences under Article 45(1) are ineligible and will not be selected to bid, unless there are overriding requirements in the general interest for doing so.
Candidates who are guilty of any of the offences, circumstances or misconduct under Article 45(2) may be excluded from being selected to bid at the discretion of the Authority.
As stated in the tender documents.

III.2.2)Economic and financial ability

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met: As stated in the tender documents.
Minimum level(s) of standards possibly required: As stated in the tender documents.

III.2.3)Technical capacity

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met:
As stated in the tender documents.
Minimum level(s) of standards possibly required:
As stated in the tender documents.
III.2.4)Information about reserved contracts
III.3)Conditions specific to services contracts
III.3.1)Information about a particular profession
III.3.2)Staff responsible for the execution of the service

Section IV: Procedure

IV.1)Type of procedure

IV.1.1)Type of procedure

competitive dialogue

IV.1.2)Limitations on the number of operators who will be invited to tender or to participate

Envisaged minimum number 3: and maximum number 5
Objective criteria for choosing the limited number of candidates: As stated in pre-qualification, dialogue and tender documentation.

IV.1.3)Reduction of the number of operators during the negotiation or dialogue

Recourse to staged procedure to gradually reduce the number of solutions to be discussed or tenders to be negotiated yes
IV.2)Award criteria

IV.2.1)Award criteria

The most economically advantageous tender in terms of the criteria stated in the specifications, in the invitation to tender or to negotiate or in the descriptive document

IV.2.2)Information about electronic auction

An electronic auction will be used: no
IV.3)Administrative information

IV.3.1)File reference number attributed by the contracting authority:


IV.3.2)Previous publication(s) concerning the same contract


IV.3.3)Conditions for obtaining specifications and additional documents or descriptive document

Time limit for receipt of requests for documents or for accessing documents: 9.2.2015 – 09:00
Payable documents: no

IV.3.4)Time limit for receipt of tenders or requests to participate

9.2.2015 – 12:00

IV.3.5)Date of dispatch of invitations to tender or to participate to selected candidates


IV.3.6)Language(s) in which tenders or requests to participate may be drawn up

IV.3.7)Minimum time frame during which the tenderer must maintain the tender
IV.3.8)Conditions for opening of tenders

Section VI: Complementary information

VI.1)Information about recurrence

This is a recurrent procurement: no

VI.2)Information about European Union funds

The contract is related to a project and/or programme financed by European Union funds: yes
Reference to project(s) and/or programme(s): In addition to the University of Exeter provided secured funds, it is known that the HPC facility is likely to attract future funding from external sources originating from existing and future research grant applications. These may be from a range of funding sources including the EU, these may include but not be limited to: ERDF, RCUK, NERC, AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, STFC and the Welcome Trust.

VI.3)Additional information

Interested parties/prospective tenderers may only express an interest in participating in this procurement opportunity by registering on the University’s e-tendering system, InTend at the address: [the address listed at Section I.1 of this notice under heading listed for ‘Contact’ and submitting an ‘expression of interest’ against the project called ‘UOE/2014/055 HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING FACILITY’ in order to be sent the pre-qualification questionnaire and all other information available to prospective tenderers at this time.Interested parties/prospective tenderers should note that all communication including questions about this procurement to the University must be made via the InTend portal. No approach of any kind by any potential Tenderer/Tenderer in connection with this procurement process may be made in any other manner or to any person within, or associated with, the University of Exeter [including its representatives]. The interested party/prospective tenderer/tenderer is responsible for maintaining the currency of the contact email address registered in InTend throughout the procurement process as this will be the method used by the University to issue tender documents and other information to participants to this procurement opportunity. The University reserves the right to restrict changes to a consortium’s membership and a Tenderer’s proposed key sub-contractor supply chain in accordance with the requirements provided in the tender documents. The University reserves the right to reject all or any of the tenders for the proposed contract and/or stop the procurement process or cancel the procurement at any time. The University also reserves the right not to award a contract at any time without any liability on its part. Please note that the University reserves the right to terminate the procurement process for any reason, including but not limited to: insufficient eligible tenderers, insufficient financing is available to allow the completion of the project, [if relevant] planning applications are rejected, or approved with limitations or conditions that in the University’s ultimate discretion, render the proposed project unaffordable/unviable. Nothing in this contract notice, tender documents, contract documents, any other written, or oral communication from the University or its representatives to the prospective tenderers/tenderers shall generate any contractual obligations or intention to create a contract prior to any signature of a final written contract.

Text in addition to Annex A
In addition to the University of Exeter, the University may purchase under this contract on behalf of other Educational bodies (both HEI and FE), Commercial Partners and Government Organisations it may be working with when utilising the High Powered Computer Environment.

To view this notice, please click here:

GO Reference: GO-201518-PRO-6276186.

VI.4)Procedures for appeal

VI.4.1)Body responsible for appeal procedures

University of Exeter
Procurement Services, Finance Services, Northcote House, The Queen’s Drive
EX44QJ Exeter
Telephone: +44 1392661000
Internet address:
Fax: +44 1392661000

VI.4.2)Lodging of appeals

Precise information on deadline(s) for lodging appeals: Debrief information will be issued by the University to prospective tenderers who fail to be selected to participate in the dialogue process upon completion of the evaluation of all pre-qualification applications received. The University of Exeter will incorporate a standstill period and issue standstill notices at the point information on the award of the contract is communicated to tenderers. This notification will provide information on the award decision. The standstill period will run for a period of 10 calendar days (minimum). The Public Contracts Regulations 2006 [si 20006 No. 5] provide for aggrieved parties who have been harmed or are at risk of harm by a breach of the rules to take action in the High Court [England, Wales and Northern Ireland].
VI.4.3)Service from which information about the lodging of appeals may be obtained

VI.5)Date of dispatch of this notice: