Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Targeted consultation on the draft Guidance on Public Procurement of Innovation

Targeted consultation on the draft Guidance on Public Procurement of Innovation
Published on: 04/10/2017
The purpose of this targeted consultation is to receive stakeholder feedback on the draft Guidance on Public Procurement of Innovation, announced in the Public Procurement package of 3 October 2017. This website outlines the major features of the draft Guidance, as well as the consultation process.


The Guidance on Public Procurement of Innovation is part of the Commission's efforts to support the wider uptake of public procurement of innovation in the EU. The modernisation of public procurement rules in 2014 has resulted in a renewed interest in using this instrument to increase sustainable growth and support job creation and innovation in the European Single Market. In response, the EU has been providing targeted funding for the public procurement of innovation pilot projects in EU countries and facilitating the exchanges of best experiences.

Furthermore, public procurement of innovation is seen as a policy area that is insufficiently explored when it comes to public support of innovative start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). For this reason, the need for a guidance document was included in the Commission's Start up and Scale up Initiative.

Given the modernised public procurement regulatory framework and repeated calls by public buyers for a clear and structured explanation of its provisions for innovation in public procurement, the Commission has issued this consultation document as the basis for the future Guidance.

The consultation document consists of four chapters covering:

  • added value of public procurement of innovation
  • policy related considerations
  • tools attracting innovative suppliers through procurement policy decisions
  • tools for designing innovation-friendly tenders, including explanation and interpretation of legal instruments under the modernised public procurement directives from 2014.

The aim of this document is to present the issues related to the public procurement of innovation in a concise and user-friendly way. It is meant to serve as a reference, as well as inspiration for a discussion on public procurement of innovation by public buyers and policy makers alike.

This documents comes as a complement to, and does not replace previous documents that covered this topic, such as the Guidance for public authorities on public procurement of innovation (pdf), Public procurement as a driver of innovation in SMEs and public services, or the more detailed materials produced in the context of the European Assistance for Innovation Procurement (EAFIP).

Targeted stakeholders

We welcome comments, suggestions, challenges and additional examples from a wide variety of stakeholders. This consultation is shared with stakeholders and communities that represent those engaged in the policy and practice of public procurement of innovation. A non-exhaustive list of stakeholders consulted includes:

  • government authorities working on procurement policy and other public institutions that design and manage policies for public procurement of innovation at national level
  • public procurers (e.g. central purchasing bodies and cities that participated in EU-funded public procurement of innovation projects) and networks of public procurers
  • innovation competence centres and agencies in EU countries
  • European Commission's innovation-related stakeholder networks, e.g.Mutual Learning Exercise, Urban Agenda
  • other international organisations, e.g. OECD
  • sectorial associations
  • stakeholder associations
  • individuals from academia and the private sector with an interest in public procurement of innovation
  • other interested parties

How to respond

The consultation process was launched on 3 October 2017 and will close on 2 January 2018. Please provide your feedback by filling in this form. We will not publish the actual comments, but we do reserve the right to publish a list of comments indicating summarised comments, as well as the number and type of stakeholders that replied to the consultation, in line with the European Commission's transparency rules.

Documents and links