Procurement of Innovation platform

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25 April 2019

Interview with Susanne Kurz, Deputy head of KOINNO

Who does KOINNO address?
The Competence Centre for Innovative Procurement (KOINNO) in Germany supports public procurers and policy makers at all federal levels.

Why should a procurer approach KOINNO?
KOINNO offers a variety of services that help public authorities to modernise their procurement and purchase innovative products, services and works. Public procurers can receive training and in-house consulting free of charge. They can also participate in events and networking activities. Finally, they will be able to access guidance, best practices and studies via the KOINNO web portal.
We also award a price for best innovation procurement of the year. Applications for the national KOINNO Award are now open until 11 October 2019.

As part of the Procure2Innovate, you are exploring the use of e-learning. How does this translate into practice?
As part of the Procure2Innovate project we are exploring the development of additional e-learning tools. Specifically we would like to offer a module on EU funding opportunities for innovation procurement.

What is your calendar of activities for this year?
The particular focus of KOINNO is the consultation of public procurement agencies in the implementation of their innovative projects which is offered free of charge. The team provides advice not only on the implementation of special procurement procedures, but also on the restructuring of the purchasing department and many other topics.
KOINNO offers 12 free seminars this year, for example on procurement law, e-procurement and strategic procurement throughout Germany. In addition, a regional conference will take place in southern Germany, where current topics relevent for public procurement are discussed and points of view shared.
For those who can't make it to the seminars, they can take part in an e-learning course (free of charge), which have been on offer since the start of 2019. After registering, users can learn about innovation procurement with over 100 lessons, videos, graphics and images.
Furthermore, staff from KOINNO take part in numerous major events in Germany on or related to innovation procurement. Often we are provide presentations and/or workshops as part of the programme, and are present with information stands, etc.
More information can be found on our website and by visiting our Twitter page (@koinno_bmwi). More detailed information about innovation procurement is available in our guidance.

Is innovation procurement an extended practice in Germany?
We have evidence that innovation procurement has become more widespread as a practice in Germany over the last four years. Our research partner, the Bundeswehr University Munich, has collected data on the usage of innovation procurement in Germany.
According to the study it is 'important' or 'very important' for 25% of public procurers in Germany to procure innovative solutions. Nevertheless, innovation procurement is still at the lower end of priorities for procurers overall. Details of this survey can be found here.

What do you think are the main benefits of enhancing innovation procurement?
In line with the innovation strategy of the Federal government, innovation procurement aims at four main areas:
- increase effectiveness of public budgets,
- improve public services,
- increase competitiveness of SMEs, and
- increase the amount of innovative and sustainable orientated products and services in total volume of public procurement.

Why is it interesting to be part of the Procure2Innovate Network?
Even as an established competence centre, we greatly benefit from the knowledge and experience of the other members of the Procure2Innovate project. The network is inspirational for our whole team and a place of understanding, as well as assistance when things don't work as planned.
In addition, we enjoy showcasing our best practice experiences at the European level and compete with the best of the best at the Procura+ Awards.