Procurement of Innovation platform

Innovation Procurement

Some basic definitions to start with

What is Innovation Procurement?

According to the 'Guidance on Innovation Procurement' by the European Commission:

“Innovation procurement” refers to any procurement that has one or both of the following aspects:
   - buying the process of innovation – research and development services – with (partial) outcomes;
   - buying the outcomes of innovation created of others.

In the first instance, the public buyer buys the research and development services of products, services or processes, which do not exist yet. The public buyer describes its need, prompting businesses and researchers to develop innovative products, services or processes to meet the need.

In the second instance, the public buyer, instead of buying off-the-shelf, acts as an early adopter and buys a product, service or process that is new to the market and contains substantially novel characteristics.
Such innovation, bringing better performance and added value for various stakeholders, sometimes fits the traditional setting (incremental innovation), but often disorders the old system by creating different actors, flows, values (disruptive innovation) or even requires a more comprehensive transformation, as it addresses unmet needs and calls for structural or organisational reforms (transformative innovation). This guidance attracts attention to the benefits of various forms of innovation and explains how to approach them in the public procurement process.

What is Pre-Commercial Procurement?

According to the definition by the European Commission:

Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) is an approach to public procurement of research and development (R&D) services that is outlined in the PCP communication and associated staff working document. It is an important tool to stimulate innovation as it enables the public sector to steer the development of new solutions directly towards its needs.


What is Public Procurement of Innovative solutions (PPI)?

According to the definition by the European Commission:

Public Procurement of Innovative solutions (PPI) happens when the public sector uses its purchasing power to act as early adopter of innovative solutions which are not yet available on large scale commercial basis.

What is a competence centre for innovation procurement?

A competence centre on innovation procurement is an organisation/organisational structure that has been assigned the task by its government and has a mandate according to national law to encourage wider use of pre-commercial procurement (PCP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI) that includes among others providing practical and/or financial assistance to public procurers in the preparation and/or implementation of PCP and PPI across all sectors of public interest.


What is cross-border procurement?

A cross-border joint procurement happens where two or more contracting authorities from different Member States are jointly purchasing works, supplies or services through one tendering procedure.