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5 November 2021

New P2I Expert Opinion Document: Sustainable Innovation and internal clients

The newest P2I Expert Opinion Document discusses challenges and opportunities when procuring sustainable innovation, focusing in particular on the involvement of the internal client. The document is the result of a knowledge exchange meeting between members of the Procure2Innovate Network that took place in September 2021. The meeting was organised by co-chair PIANOo in collaboration, with Utrecht University.

Governments have the potential to use their purchasing power to boost sustainable investments and innovations, tackling major societal challenges. Many of these procurement projects a variety of stakeholders with different perspectives, which adds complexity and can make it difficult to incorporate sustainable innovations. The Internal Client or the representative of internal clients, is an important stakeholder in any procurement project, especially if they are also a budget holder. The role of this stakeholder is important, as internal clients can accelerate (e.g. by accepting a higher risk rate involved with innovation procurement) or slow down sustainable innovation procurement (e.g. if the client is not open to using an innovation stimulating procurement procedure).

Within this context, the paper identifies the main challenges (e.g. costs, risk adversity, time constraints, etc) when procuring sustainable innovations and then proceeds to offer a number of solutions that could help overcome these challenges (e.g. life cycle costing could help reduce costs). More details can be found in the paper, to be downloaded here.