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Innovation procurement

Innovation procurement

Accounting for over 14% of GDP, EU public procurement could create a huge market for innovative products and services, but its potential in this area remains underutilised. The European Commission aims to improve public procurement practices, promote the demand of innovative goods, services and works in Europe, and foster the uptake of innovation in the EU. This will allow the integration of public demand into the innovation ecosystem and foster economic recovery.

Innovation procurement includes:   

  • the development of innovative solutions through the procurement of research and development services 
  • the procurement of innovative solutions that are not yet available or do not exist on the market
  • the procurement of innovative solutions that do exist, but are not yet widely available on the market 

Through the public procurement of innovation, public buyers can:

  • shape markets and create new markets
  • foster the market uptake of innovative products, services and works
  • increase the quality of public services 
  • support access to markets for businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • boost smart investment
  • have a large positive impact on mobility, health, education, etc. due to the high volume of public spending

What the European Commission is doing to promote innovation procurement

The European Commission supports public buyers looking to develop or purchase innovative solutions. It provides: 

  • guidance on innovation procurement, including practical information on how to start and develop procurement of innovation projects
  • webinars and podcasts to improve procurement professionalisation on strategic issues

The European Union also finances innovation procurement projects aimed at developing more innovation-oriented practices that contribute to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The aim is to stimulate the development of innovative enterprises in Europe.

To aid in the establishment of a collaborative framework with innovation ecosystems, the European Union funds:

  • Big buyers Initiative which promotes collaboration between big buyers in Europe in strategic public procurement to help drive the market for innovative goods and services
  • Innobroker which is working on the creation of an Innovation Procurement Broker that will bring together public buyers, suppliers of innovation (with a special focus on SMEs and start-ups), investors, and researchers to facilitate the procurement of innovative goods and services

Events, calls for tender, and future developments

More information