Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

EU policy initiatives on Pre Commercial Procurement and Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions

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Policy framework - overview of past and ongoing EU policy initiatives on PCP and PPI.
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The Commission is reinforcing the policy framework in Europe for procurers to use Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) and Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI).

  • DG CONNECT is appointing experts to provide training, promotion and local assistance on PCP and PPI (incl. legal assistance) to ICT procurers that intend to start concrete PCP and PPI procurements across all EU Member States, based on a toolkit that will be developed on how to practically implement PCP and PPI. The target is to kick-start between 2015 and 2018 6 new PCP and 6 new PPI procurements in the ICT domain in the coming 3 years. 12 events will be organised in different EU countries to provide information and training on PCP and PPI. Public procurers that are interested in the above EU assistance to start a PCP or PPI are invited to get in touch with DG CONNECT F2 policy officer for innovation procurement.
  • The new 2014 State aid rules on R&D&I (Research, Development and Innovation) contain a new section 2.3 that reassures procurers that PCP and potential follow-up PPI procurements to deploy innovative solutions do not involve State aid, when the PCP is implemented in line with the 2007 PCP communication and when the PPI is implemented through a separate open procurement procedure as provided for in the EU public procurement directives.
  • Procedures that combine the procurement of R&D with follow-up deployment of commercial volumes of products (long term innovation partnerships with vendors) are only considered not to involve State aid in the exceptional case of unique/specialised products. Only in this exceptional case when there are no other potential suppliers on the market other than the one in the innovation partnership, there is no foreclosing of competition and crowding out of other R&D investments. More info on differences between the use of two separate but complementary PCP and PPI procurements compared to such long term innovation partnerships with vendors can be found in FAQ 20 here.
  • The new 2014 EU public procurement directives 2014/24/EC and 2014/25/EC have maintained and worded more clearly the exemption for R&D services that is used by PCP (see also the reference to PCP in preambles 47 and 57 of directives 24 and 25). Public procurers can thus continue to carry out PCP procurements based on exemption for R&D services in the new articles 14 in directive 2014/24/EU and article 32 in directive 2014/25/EC. PCP can also be applied in the defence sector as the same exemption for R&D services is also available in article 13(f)(j) of the 2009 defence procurement directive COM(2009)81.
  • The new 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) emphasize ever more innovation, and encourage public procurers to use ESIF funds to undertake more PCP and PPI projects. More info on the S3 platform website in the fiche in the digital agenda toolbox on PCP and PPI in the context of structural funds. The Commission published also a guide on the synergies between ESIF and Horizon 2020 funding, including for PCP and PPI. A presentation is also available showing in more detail concrete scenarios for implementing such synergies.
  • The Commission reinforces EU support for PCP and PPI in Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation funding program for 2014-2020, with dedicated funding instruments for PCP and PPI that can be used across all areas supported by Horizon 2020. Horizon 2020 provides EU co-financing for PCP and PPI procurements undertaken jointly by contracting authorities from different Member States. The EU or EU funding bodies can also participate themselves in PCP and PPI procurements undertaken together with European contracting authorities.
  • September 2014 DG CONNECT finalized a study that quantifies the amount of public procurement of R&D, ICT and ICT related R&D across Europe and develops guidelines for a measurement framework to continue to do so in the future. The study took place in the context of measuring progress on achieving the below Innovation Union and Digital Agenda for Europe policy ambitions and targets.
  • End of April 2014 DG CONNECT started a new study to quantify the impact of PCP in Europe compared to traditional procurement approaches, based on evidence from the ICT sector in US and Europe. The study also aims at making recommendations for new actions to be undertaken at EU and national level to encourage wider use of PCP and PPI.
  • In 2011, the Innovation Union and Digital Agenda for Europe targets encourage Member States to increase the use of PCP and PPI.
  • The 2010 Commission survey across the procurement authorities in different Member States confirms to procurers where the legal basis for undertaking PCPs is transposed in their own country's legal framework.
  • The 2007 Commission communication and staff working document on PCP. The communication introduces the concept and potential benefits of PCP. The staff working document illustrates how PCP can be implemented in line with the legal framework.
  • Pre-commercial Procurement Brochure (English): foreword by Commissioners Reding and Potocnik, followed by a copy of the Communication and Staff Working Document on PCP

            Communication in all EU languages (COM(2007)799 final)

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Staff Working Document in all EU languages (SEC(2007)1668)

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