Research, Innovation and Science

Speech to the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee of the European Parliament (IMCO) on the role of public procurement policies in supporting EU innovation strategies

"Europe has an enormous opportunity to use procurement strategically to boost innovation by stimulating and supporting public demand, particularly in areas where societal challenges need to be tackled."

Brussels, 1 February 2011

Mr Chairman, Members of the IMCO committee,

I would like to thank you for this opportunity to discuss the role of public procurement policies in supporting innovation strategies – in particular our overarching goal to make Europe an Innovation Union. I would like to give you a brief overview of the role that framework conditions and in particular public procurement policies play in the context of the Innovation Union flagship that was adopted by the European Commission last October.

Today, the Commission announced the latest Innovation Union Scoreboard. It shows that Europe is still not closing the gap with the world's innovation leaders, the US and Japan, and that emerging economies, notably China, are rapidly catching up. This should be a wake-up call to all of us, and further evidence that Europe is suffering from an innovation deficit.