The European Consulting Network (ECN) is an online business intelligence and professional networking platform dedicated to cooperation in consultancy and professional services projects.
In September 2013, ECN reached a milestone by gaining 5,000 members. ECN is now one of the largest European networks featuring professional services providers such as consulting firms, universities, research institutes, individual experts and others.
Each week, ECN’s three analysts scan over 2,500 webpages and 340 institutions and programmes to research consultancy project procurement and recruitment opportunities. Each day, ECN posts between 75 and 90 specific opportunities using a common, searchable format.
ECN is the only procurement platform to cover all central European Union consulting procurement opportunities, including all EU directorates general, EU agencies, external programmes and delegations. In addition, we consolidate opportunities from the United Nations and World Bank central consultancy procurement, multilateral development banks such as the Inter-American Development Bank or the African Development Bank, and a range of bilateral programmes and NGOs.
In developing a common format consultancy platform, we contribute to the effectiveness of the consultancy function as well as international development:
Donor procurement is fragmented. Each agency uses a different database and data format: open searches for procurements across institutions are impossible. Even within the same institutions, such as the European Commission’s Tenders Electronic Daily (TED), it is difficult to gain immediate visibility on the project. We have also noticed that many EU procurements do not actually make it onto TED.
By improving information access to international development procurement, we increase the number of consultancies bidding, and therefore improve the quality of tenders through competition.
By offering a single, easy-to-use format as well as email alerts, we simplify the process of tender monitoring for consultancies and increase the range of business opportunities on offer.
By building a professional networking platform, we support consultancies and employers identify qualified subcontractors and experts.
ECN was started by Philip Ammerman and Pambos Solomonides in early 2010. Beta launch of the platform occurred in September 2010; full launch occurred in November.
In 2012, we reached a high point of EUR 9 billion in consultancy opportunities open for tender.