Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Quantifying the impacts of PCP procurement in Europe based on evidence from the ICT sector - SMART 2014-0009


Ex-ante publicity for low-value contracts between EUR 15 000 and EUR 60 000.

This publication is made pursuant to Article 124.1 (b) of the Rules of Application of the Financial Regulation that provides for an ex-ante publication on the Institutions' websites of contracts with a value up to 60.000 EUR.

Only the candidates invited by the contracting authority to participate in the procedure for awarding this low value contract will be admissible.

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Title: Call for tenders: "SMART 2014-0009: Quantifying the impacts of PCP procurement in Europe based on evidence from the ICT sector"

Purpose of this call for tenders:

The European Commission will launch soon a call for tenders for a service contract of a maximum value of EUR 60 000.

Background information:

The object of this call for tenders focuses on Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP), an approach for procuring R&D services that is defined in the PCP communication COM/2007/799 and the associated staff working document SEC/2007/1668. It is an approach that aims to identify the best value for money solutions on the market to address a specific procurement need, by making use of competitive development in phases, risk-benefit sharing under market conditions, and a clear separation between the procurement of R&D services via the PCP and possible Public Procurements of Innovative solutions (PPI) focusing on deployment of commercial volumes of end-products.

This call for tender focuses on PCPs that are implemented in line with these key characteristics and are thus in line with the applicable exemptions from the EU public procurement directives and the WTO Government Procurement Agreement without involving State aid. Public procurement of innovative solutions (PPI) refers to a public procurement implemented according to the applicable EU and national Legislations, in which public procurers act as early adopter, possibly in cooperation with additional private buyers, by procuring innovative solutions that are new arrivals on the market but not yet available on a large-scale commercial basis. Note that in this context PCP and PPI are separate but complementary procurements. A split between PCP and PPI allows companies that have developed products through other means than a PCP (e.g. through SME funding instruments, other R&D grants, own company R&D resources) to still compete for PPI deployment contracts, avoiding issues of foreclosing of competition and crowding out of private R&D investments.

By acting as technologically demanding first buyers, public procurers can drive innovation from the demand side. This enables European public procurers to innovate the provision of public services faster and creates opportunities for companies in Europe to take international leadership in new markets. Reducing time-to-market, by developing a strong European home market for innovative products and services, is key for Europe to create growth and jobs in quickly evolving markets such as ICT.

To address this issue Action 55 of the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) puts forward a target to double total annual public spending on ICT R&D in Europe by 2020 and identifies PCP as a key instrument to achieve that goal. PCP and PPI are also new instruments in Horizon 2020, the new 2014-2020 European Commission's research and innovation funding programme, to speed up the time to market for innovative solutions.

A number of PCP procurements and follow-up PPI procurements have taken place in Europe over the past years and similar experiences exist in other parts of the world. To encourage wider implementation across Europe, there is a need to collect quantitative evidence from concrete cases that demonstrate the benefits versus costs of undertaking PCPs. Addressing this gap is essential to encourage wider usage of PCP across Europe.

The purpose of this call for tenders is to procure a study which will:

- Build an evidence base quantifying the impacts (in particular measurable economic impact) of PCP, compared to traditional procurement approaches, based on experiences from US and Europe. This should take stock of the different types of impacts observed, including impacts on improvements of the quality and efficiency of public sector operation/budgets and the impacts on innovation/business growth, drawing in particular on good practice cases in the ICT sector

 - Make recommendations for new actions to be undertaken at EU and national level to encourage wider use of PCP and PPI based on lessons learnt

- Provide evidence to better quantify the impact (e.g. on innovation,  efficiency of public expenditure, economic growth, job creation) needed to encourage policy makers to make wider use of PCP; help realise DAE action 55; provide recommendations for new actions to be undertaken at EU level (e.g. in terms of ex-post assessment of PCP projects/policies, new policy initiatives)

Interested economic operators can express their interest to participate in the call for tender until 13 December 2013 in writing to

The pre-selection criteria applied for this call are:

  1. Relevant expertise of the economic operator, including subcontractors if any, in the area of conducting research, studies or surveys on PCP, including in particular on aspects related to impact and the link with potential subsequent PPIs.
  2. Credibility, experience and technical knowledge of the economic operator, including information on all team members in case of expressions of interest by a team, regarding:
    • The operation of public sector in conducting innovation procurement approaches in Europe and the US
    • PCP initiatives in European countries and the specificities of the PCP approach compared to other procurement approaches
    • Factors influencing the potential impact of PCP on the quality and efficiency of public services and innovation/business growth, in particular also in the ICT sector
    • The policies (e.g. EU2020 strategy and the related Innovation Union and DAE flagships) and programmes (e.g. the FP7, CIP, Horizon 2020, EU cohesion policy funding programmes) at EU level supporting PCP and PPI that are relevant for this study
  3. Management capability of the economic operator

The following evidences must be provided in respect of each of the pre-selection criteria identified above and included in the email expressing the interest of the economic operator to participate in the call for tender:

  1.  Concise but informative description of expertise in the field of conducting research or surveys on concrete PCP cases, including expertise in comparing ex-post observed measurable economic impacts versus ex-ante expected impacts / Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  2. Concise but informative description – including curricula vitae of staff - demonstrating professional experience and technical knowledge on the fields covered by the pre-selection criteria.
  3. Short description of the economic operator, including its mission statement, legal status, statement of the average annual manpower and the number of managerial staff of the economic operator (in general and in the field of expertise of the study) in the last three years

Processing your reply to the ex-ante advertisement will involve the recording and processing of personal data (such as your name, address and CV). Such data will be processed pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data. Unless indicated otherwise, any personal data requested are required to assess your capacity to participate in the call for tender and will be processed solely for that purpose by the Data Controller. You are entitled to obtain access to your personal data on request and to rectify any such data that is inaccurate or incomplete. If you have any queries concerning the processing of your personal data, you may address them to the Data Controller. You have the right of recourse at any time to the European Data Protection Supervisor for matters relating to the processing of your personal data.

For the purpose of this ex-ante advertisement, the Data Controller shall be the Head of the Unit in charge of this call for tender. Any queries concerning the processing of personal data of the Candidate can be addressed by e-mail to the following contact person:  by indicating the reference of the ex-ante advertisement.

Please also consult the Questions and Answers document attached.