Public Procurement of Innovation

The Innovation Public Procurement occurs when contracting authorities seek to acquire the development or the application of innovative, cutting-edge solutions to meet medium- to long-term needs of the public sector, and is a tool to provide public services with the highest possible quality and efficiency.

In some cases, it is possible to address the public sector’s challenges through innovative solutions that are almost or already available on the market in small quantities and do not require further research and development (R&D). It is in such cases that Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions(PPI) can be used to put these solutions into practice. In other cases, the challenges facing the public sector require such technologically demanding improvements that they are still far from the market phase and need further R&D. In these situations, it is appropriate to use pre-commercial procurement(PCP) to compare the pros and cons of alternative competing approaches and gradually reduce the risks of the most promising innovations through solution design, prototyping, product development and first product testing The innovation partnership procedure condenses the R&D phase and the contracting of innovative solutions in a single procedure.

By developing a forward-looking public procurement strategy for innovation that uses PCP and PPI in a complementary way (or the innovation partnership), the public purchaser can drive demand-side innovation, thereby enabling the public sector to modernise public services more quickly while creating opportunities for businesses in Europe to get a first customer reference and gain international leadership in new markets.

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