Procurement of Innovation platform

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2 February 2021

Interview with Anastasia Zacharopoulou, Greek Competence Centre for Innovation Procurement

Why did Greece decide to establish a national competence centre for innovation procurement?
Public procurement constitutes a policy tool in the field of innovation and sustainable development. Buying innovative products and services creates economic, environmental and social benefits because of the development of new ideas and their transformation into innovative products aiming simultaneously at enhancement of citizens' everyday life and economic development. In this respect, the promotion of innovation procurement has mainly been achieved until now with the development of public procurement tools, such as Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) and Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI). The General Directorate for Public Procurements (GDPP) is the National Central Purchasing Body for goods and general services in Greece and it is part of the General Secretariat of Commerce and Consumer Protection in the Ministry of Development and Investments.
GDPP holds the political mandate to set up within its structural organisation a National Competence Centre on Innovation Procurement in Greece.

What is the current status of it?
The National Competence Centre on Innovation Procurement in Greece is part of the structural organisation of the General Directorate for Public Procurement, the National CPB in Greece. Since 2018 it has been a part of the Procure2Innovate Network of Competence Centres, as a new competence centre, and it has gradually started providing services to public authorities and economic operators.

What activities are you planning to organise and what services are you offering?
GDPP provides a range of services through which we promote innovation procurement:

  • Design and implementation of innovation strategies
  • Innovation procurement website
  • Delivery of best practices
  • Internal and external trainings and workshops
  • Establishing a common body of knowledge on innovation amongst the public procurers - Handbook and guidelines.
  • Assistance to H2020/Horizon Europe IPP calls
  • Information and promotion on actual EU Calls
  • Guidance how to procure SME friendly
  • Legal guidance on the possibilities how to procure innovation.

Is innovation procurement an extended practice in Greece?
Even though there are some great examples of Greek organisations and public authorities that are very successfully involved in Innovation Procurement procedures, most of the public procurers in Greece do not use innovation procurement procedures to fulfill their needs.

By being part of the Procure2Innovate Network, you are learning from the experience of other established competence centres. How is this helping?
Procure2Innovate gives us a great opportunity to build our own innovation procurement competence centre using the best practice from more experienced European countries and get the contacts of the top of professionals of the area.

Why do you think contracting authorities should be boosting innovation procurement?
The procurement of research and development services and innovative solutions by the public sector, which is one of the main investors in Europe, contributes both to the qualitative upgrading of public services for the benefit of the citizen and to the creation of business opportunities by facilitating market access to the results of research and development of innovative economic operators in Europe.