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Since the implementation of a professional, strategic approach to procurement at the Telethon Kids Institute in 2015, substantial quantifiable savings on the cost of goods and services have been achieved in addition to the reduction of procurement risk, the implementation of streamlined, transparent, efficient procurement processes and contract management with a focus on whole of life costing and the achievement of value for money. 

The Telethon Kids Research Procurement Service implemented Collaborative Procurement for the express purpose of providing a range of procurement services that are tailor-made to the needs and requirements of medical research institutes (MRIs) and related organisations. Collaborative Procurement ensures that significant financial savings, value for money outcomes and administrative efficiencies on the purchase of goods and services can be achieved by all participating organisations.

Procurement across the Australian medical research sector remains disaggregated with great development potential. Each individual organisation has a relatively low level of expenditure which seriously impacts their ability to realise value for money, achieve service improvements and attain surety of supply. In the current economic climate, it is increasingly important to use all the resources at our disposal to optimise our supply chains to ensure we are getting best value for our organisations now and into the future.

Consequently, the Research Procurement Service has made a range of specialised procurement services available to medical research institutes (MRIs) and related organisations across Australia to assist the achievement of greater value for money outcomes across the sector, including financial savings and administrative efficiencies when purchasing goods and services.

Collaborative Procurement provides an exciting opportunity to improve procurement outcomes for all stakeholders through combining the expenditure of multiple organisations and approaching the market collectively as a more attractive and valuable customer.

In summary, the Research Procurement Service provides procurement services to medical research institutes (and related organisations) with the goal of achieving greater value for money across the sector. Increased value is realised through strategic procurement, aggregated expenditure and administrative efficiencies as well as by accessing existing agreements.

Collaborative Procurement is based on the premise of win-win-win and is designed to ensure that the following stakeholders receive additional benefit from their engagement in the program:

  1. Telethon Kids (Procurement facilitator and contract manager)
  2. Suppliers (Collaborative Partners)
  3. Medical research institutes and related organisations (Eligible Organisations)


  1. Supply agreements with exceptional prices and discounts are established with Collaborative Partners following a competitive market process conducted by the Research Procurement Service across multiple categories of goods and services.
  2. Eligible Organisations can access these supply agreements via an ‘Access Agreement’.
  3. Suppliers interact and contract directly with each Eligible Organisation in order to fulfil their related purchasing requirements.
  4. The Research Procurement Service manages the overarching agreements and supplier relationships and related reporting ensuring ongoing value and service.
  5. In addition, the Research Procurement Service also acts as a point of escalation, assisting to resolve any supplier issues and providing ongoing support to participating organisations.

There is no charge to organisations looking to access the collaborative agreements. Eligible Organisations in most cases are entitled to receive the same discounts on goods and services. In some instances, further discounts may be leveraged from the suppliers in relation to large volume commitments.

Collaborative Procurement is funded by a minimal percentage of additional sales generated, which is paid by Collaborative Partners directly to Telethon Kids as the contract manager. This covers the costs of procurement, contract management and ongoing administration to respond to the needs of all stakeholders.

A Collaborative Partner is an organisation that has been pre-qualified and appointed by the Institute as a long-term business partner within a particular category of goods and/or services. Our experience has shown that forming strong and mutually beneficial partnerships that are based around shared understanding and trust will deliver the best value outcomes. 

The Institute establishes Collaborative Partnerships in categories that have sector wide high spend levels (such as laboratory equipment) and / or where the categories are critical to the conduct of research (such as hygiene consumables) in addition to including categories where there is the opportunity to achieve greater value through collaboration (such as private health).

These value adding partnerships are designed to ensure strategic alignment, deliver high performance, promote innovation, minimise supply costs and mitigate business risks for participating organisations and result from engagement with the market, researchers and professional staff to ensure alignment with business need.

Collaborative Partners are appointed following a robust and transparent procurement process undertaken by Research Procurement Services. This process is geared towards selecting high calibre, integrity driven and community minded suppliers that will offer optimal value for money in the supply of goods and/or services.  While our intent is always to form long term partnerships with our Collaborative Partners, we are committed to ensuring probity and fairness in our approach to procurement and as such, we periodically put opportunities to become a Collaborative Partner to the market (generally at the conclusion of a contract term).

The following supply agreements are available for immediate access via Research Procurement Services:

  • Laboratory Equipment
  • Laboratory Consumables
  • Salary Packaging
  • Office Supplies
  • Private Healthcare

With a raft of interesting new opportunities continually under development.