The conference highlighted the importance of innovation tools such as Innovation Procurement (PCP/PPI) and ICT Innovation Vouchers scheme in the framework of Smart Specialization Strategies as means to boost digital innovation for regional growth.

The event provided to the 160 participants the opportunity to debate on the process of drafting the regional programmes, and on the use of Structural Funds and Horizon 2020 or other financing support to implement innovation measures in the regions. Furthermore, a series of projects were presented, focusing on the outcomes already achieved and the lessons learned.

The conference started with a plenary session and was followed by two parallel workshops, one on "Innovation Procurement" and another one on the "ICT Innovation Vouchers" topics.

During the plenary session the Innovation Procurement as an opportunity for European regions and cities was specifically addressed by:

  • Mr. Viorel Peca, European Commissionpresented the process of procurement and the difference between the R&D procurement (PCP) and early adoption procurement (PPI) highlighting their importance for the procurers, the suppliers as well as the local and regional stakeholders. The presentation included information on the support that will be provided for the implementation of Innovation Procurement in the framework of the H2020 priorities.
  • Ms. Denisa Naidin, Eurocitiespresented the Enigma project the example of five European cities which joined forces to implement a transnational PCP to tackle a common municipal challenge related to innovative public lighting solutions.

The Innovation Procurement workshop was opened by:

  • Mr. Vasileios Tsanidis, European Commission - presented the possible synergies between H2020 and the ESIF on Innovation Procurement
  • Ms. Sara Bedin, Italian Ministry for Education - presented the Innovation Procurement process in Italy and more specifically the national top down approach for PCP/PPI that leveraged ERDF budget from the previous programming period to support the Innovation Procurement execution in the southern Italian Regions

And it was followed by:

  • Ms. Gaynor Whyles, Jera Consulting, UK - presented the EcoQuip project showing concrete examples of how useful the implementation of an Innovation Procurement (PPI) could be for the participant organizations.
  • Mr. Henk Herman Napp, Smart Homes Eindhoven, The Netherlands - presented the Stop and Go project and the common need in the field of elderly tele-care services that regional and municipal stakeholders will challenge through the execution of a PPI which will undertake together.
  • Ms. Anna Kasimati, the Greek Film Center - presented the Preforma Project that will execute a PCP to tackle the common challenge that is related to long digital preservation.
  • Mr. Floris de Boer, Pianoo Organization, the Netherlands -presented the PPI Platform, a tool to be used by the procurers in Europe
  • Ms. Denisa Naidin, Eurocities - focused on how Innovation Procurement could be implemented by the cities emphasising different experiences, barriers, opportunities etc

The workshop was closed after a panel discussion moderated by Mr. Christian Saublens from Eurada.

The conference was co-organized by DG CNECT (Unit F2) and the IPTS - Smart Specialization Platform and it was hosted by the Region of Central Macedonia on the occasion of the Greek Presidency of the Council of the EU.


All the above presentations, including the agenda of the event are to be found attached.

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