Innovation procurement can deliver solutions to challenges of public interest and ICTs can play a major role in this.

infographic showing 3 phases of Pre-Commercial Procurement and 4th phase of Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions

Public Procurement of Innovative solutions (PPI) is used when challenges can be addressed by innovative solutions that are nearly or already in small quantity in the market and don't need new Research & Development (R&D).

Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) can be used when there are no near-to-the-market solutions yet and new R&D is needed. PCP can then compare the pros and cons of alternative competing solutions approaches. This will in turn enable to de-risk the most promising innovations step-by-step via solution design, prototyping, development and first product testing.

By developing a forward-looking innovation procurement strategy that uses PCP and PPI in a complementary way, public procurers can drive innovation from the demand side. This enables the public sector to modernize public services faster while creating opportunities for companies in Europe to gain leadership in new markets. Currently however, compared to other parts of the world, PCP and PPI are underutilized in Europe. For more information on how to square this circle, see the Frequently Asked Questions list on PCP and PPI. To balance better supply and demand side innovation policies, the European Commission is taking several actions:

1. Better policy framework

2. EU co-financing

Horizon 2020 reinforces the co-financing for public procurers around Europe that address common challenges by undertaking PCPs or PPIs jointly. New synergies between Horizon 2020 and the Structural Funds (ESIF) are also possible from 2014 onwards for co-financing PCP and PPI projects.

3.Networking - Experience sharing - Training