Public procurement - Public purchasers as first customers
Why public procurement is important for innovation
Public procurement accounts for some 19% of GDP in the EU and offers an enormous potential market for innovative products and services. For spending on construction this figure reaches 40% and for defence, civil security and emergency operations almost 100%. At the same time there is a "market failure". On one hand, the demand is not able to encourage the market to answer to its needs: it is not giving the right signals. On the other hand, the offer is not known. Moreover, in a time of severe economic, social and environmental crisis, entrepreneurs and investors are more exposed to risk taking. This makes it even harder to develop new markets and to support innovation transfers. That is where the power of public purchasing has to play a role. For the latest news on public procurement of innovation visit the Procurement of Innovation Platform.
Improved public procurement practices can help foster market uptake of innovative products and services. At the same time these practices will raise the quality of public services in markets where the public sector is a significant purchaser. It is therefore important to mobilise public authorities to act as "launching customers" by promoting the use of innovation-friendly procurement practices (while considering account risks and regulatory limitations). Member States are encouraged to take specific measures to stimulate innovation and research through improved public procurement practices. That requires changes in the administrative processes typically used by national, regional and local public procurement offices in preparing calls for tenders.
The Europe 2020 flagship initiative "Innovation Union" underlines the importance of Public Procurement of Innovation: "From 2011, Member States and regions should set aside dedicated budgets for pre-commercial procurements and public procurements of innovative products and services. This should create procurement markets across the EU starting from at least €10 billion a year for innovations that improve the efficiency and quality of public services, while addressing the major societal challenges. The aim should be to achieve innovative procurement markets equivalent to those in the US. The Commission will provide guidance and set up a (financial) support mechanism to help contracting authorities to implement these procurements in a non-discriminatory and open manner, to pool demand, to draw up common specifications, and to promote SME access."
5th conference on public procurement of innovation (Krakow, November 2013)
To continue the debate on innovative public procurement the European Commission, together with the Polish Ministry of Economy and Małopolska Region, have organised a conference on Public Procurement of Innovation & Pre-Commercial Procurement in Kraków, Poland on 14-15 November 2013.
This high-level event offered an opportunity to hear first-hand how European Commission, Member States and regions are supporting the implementation of Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions and Pre-Commercial Procurement. In other words, how public purchasers (and private procurers) can buy good value products and services while at the same time boosting innovation. A special focus was placed on recent developments in the support of innovation procurement in Central Europe, as well on the basis of Polish experiences from policy makers or practitioners involved in European buyers’ groups of innovative solutions. Find more details here.
4th conference on public procurement of innovation (Berlin, March 2013)
This event took place on 21-22 March 2013 in the premises of North Rhine-Westphalia. It provided info on PCP (pre-commercial procurement) & PPI (public procurement of innovative solutions) in Horizon 2020 as well as new initiatives in this field in Germany. with also networking sessions for the CIP 2013 calls for support for PPI pilots and the FP7 ICT 2013 PCP call 11 for PCP actions. See the agenda and presentations here.
3rd conference on public procurement of innovation (Paris, July 2012)
On 5 July 2012 in Paris DG Enterprise organised, in partnership with the region Ile-de-France, to identify possibilities and instruments to foster public and private purchases of innovations. The aim was to support SME development, generate sustainable growth and improve public services.[115 KB]
Presentation of the study on "Public Procurement of Innovation: Towards a European Scheme" - 09 February 2012, in the European Parliament
The meeting discussed the feasibility study and took views from relevant stakeholders representing European procurers, innovation agencies, venture capitalists, academics and researchers, SME organizations and industry representatives. The group discussed possible scenarios suggested by the study, as well as three main topics: implementation structure, budget figures and fields of deployment (in line with Societal Challenges or industrial policy sectors).
2nd conference on public procurement of innovation (Turin, June 2011)
This event took place on the 27-28 June 2011 in Turin (Italy) and gathered innovation actors in Europe, including public procurers, European/ national/ regional and local policy makers, SMEs representatives and the EU Commission.
This European conference hosted by the City of Torino and the Region Piemonte covered new developments of EC demand-side innovation policies. It also publicised forthcoming CIP call for proposals on "Procuring Innovation". It was also an opportunity for public authorities to discuss best-practice in "Procuring Innovation" and to find out more about future funding schemes, with a special regard to the next EU Structural funds financial period.
1st conference on public procurement of innovation (Brussels, March 2010)
This conference aimed to promote a connected community of stakeholders and identify possible joint actions to support innovation through public procurement. To start building a European critical mass in this field, there is a need to facilitate the networking and exchanging of best practice among public procurers, policy makers and relevant stakeholders.
Specific objectives were to:
- Clarify relationships between networks and stakeholders (existing ones and new ones) that can facilitate/ promote public procurement of innovations: innovation agencies, Enterprise Europe Network partners, experts, industry, procuring facilitators
- Identify what tools are best used to help these people and where there is potential for joint actions.
Workshop "Linking Innovation and Public Procurement" (Brussels, October 2009)
DG Enterprise and Industry organised on 20-21 October 2009 a two day workshop: "Linking Innovation and Public Procurement: options for the new European Plan for Innovation". This brought together experts, policy makers and practitioners to discuss options for future EU level actions to link innovation and public procurement.