Commission advises public buyers on how to capitalise innovation

In the context of the Renewed Agenda for Research and Innovation presented today as input to the upcoming Leaders’ agenda meeting in Sofia, the Commission has published guidance to encourage public buyers of goods and services in using public procurement as a tool to stimulate innovation. 

“Public authorities in the EU spend nearly 14% of GDP purchasing services and products. If spent strategically on innovative solutions, public procurement can contribute to higher quality and sustainable public service and lead to economic and social benefits. It creates demand for new ideas and innovative start-ups to emerge and grow. We are here to assist the Member States that choose to do so.”, said Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska. A greater shift to the strategic public procurement is a choice of the Member States but it is at the same time a very strong tool supporting our shared objectives such as research and innovation. EU public procurement legislation was modernised in 2014 and the Commission put forward in October 2017 an initiative to carry out procurement more efficiently and in a modern and sustainable manner. The guidance complements these efforts. It contains good-practice examples on reducing administrative burden, adjusting selection criteria, mobilising innovation brokers and designing an SME-friendly payment scheme to better attract innovators to public procurement. Alternative public procurement procedures can specifically cater for innovation (for example competitive dialogues, design contests or innovation partnerships) and have been bundled in a flexible toolbox to inspire new approaches.