To encourage deployment of innovative solutions, the European Commission has started to support PPI (Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions) through the CIP program (Competitiveness and Innovation Program).
PPI refers to procurement where contracting authorities act as a launching customer (early adopter) to purchase/deploy innovative goods or services that are newly arriving on the market and which are not yet available on a large-scale commercial basis.
The aim of EU funding for PPIs is to speed up wide diffusion of innovative solutions by encouraging cooperation between procurers across Europe through cross-border coordinated (or joint) procurement to deploy the first batches of innovative solutions that are newly arriving on the European market. The current call invites proposals for 'PPI pilot' actions, that provides EC co-financing to consortia of procurers for deploying innovative ICT solutions in any of the priority action areas of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP AHA) defined in the EIP AHA Strategic Operational Plan.
Pilots have two phases: a preparation phase and an implementation phase, as a joint procurement or as coordinated separate procurements on common specifications. The preparation/coordination/management can be funded at a maximum of 100%. The actual procurement will be co-funded at a maximum of 20% of the price.
This call is not a one-off measure. The Commission has developed a targeted policy which it is rolling out. The Commission's proposal for the 2014-2020 EC research and innovation support program, Horizon 2020, foresees the continuation of similar EC grants that co-finance the costs for consortia of public procurers from minimum three different Member States and/or Associated Countries to undertake together a PCP or PPI.
Specific details on the call for PPI Pilots can be found on the official ICT PSP Call 7 page.
More background on innovative procurement and its main instruments (PCP and PPI).