Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


WATERPIPP Report Summary

Project ID: 619069
Funded under: FP7-ENVIRONMENT
Country: France

Periodic Report Summary 1 - WATERPIPP (Water Public Innovative Procurement Policies)

Project Context and Objectives:
WaterPiPP is about exploring new public innovation procurement methodologies and testing it in water sector, in the context where european innovation potential in the water sector is blocked by a number of bottlenecks and barriers.
Public procurement represents around 19% of the EU’s GDP, an important lead market for innovators in particular in the water and climate change sectors. Innovation procurement of products and services can be used to:
- Deliver societal objectives requiring new solutions that are not available on the market or are too expensive,
- Solve problems related to the commercialization of innovative solution,
- Improve quality and efficiency of public services with a better value for money.
When talking about the procurement of innovative solution, three general ideas are commonly pointed out. The WaterPiPP project was designed to find solutions to:
- Scattered responsibilities and lack of expertise in procurement,
- Regulations leading to risk adverse tendencies,
- Lack of incentives for technology providers.
Indeed, procurement of innovative water-related services and technologies is often underexploited in the public sector due to fragmentation. The core of the WaterPIPP project is to help change this.
Evidence to that innovative ways to access latest water-related services and technologies are feasible and effective, are provided. The complementarity of the consortium partners (public organizations, procurers, knowledge institutes and facilitators) supported by a Liaison Committee (composed of the key actors of the procurement innovation chain), was designed for bringing together the Demand and the Supply sides in order to create a critical mass for innovative solutions.
Methods and tools enabling the uptake of innovation in public procurement procedures must be found to override the barriers identified.
A preliminary strategy for IOPP good practices transfer to the european water sector has been already elaborated. It was built on the partner’s network and state of the art of experiences on IOPP in Europe and OCDE countries.
Thematic working groups (involving local governments, public operators, regions, the water industries, water river basin organizations) are assessing the strategy within their individual contexts.
A consensus workshop has provided joint recommendations for procurers in the water sector. At this occasion, a Water Innovation Procurement Forum (WIP) has been launched to gather the key players.
Awareness rising for the water sector have been delivered thanks to five thematics workshops by the end of 2014 and the creation of the WIP in March 2015.
A set of tools (guidelines, eLearning materials, training courses) is being developed to help procurers to get the knowledge and know-how to proceed IOPP.
WaterPiPP partners have started to guide and support local and regional authorities, water utilities, innovation and procurement agencies in the preparation of pilot collaborative innovation tests.
WaterPiPP will last three years (01/2014 to 12/2016) and was granted 998 845 € by the European Commission (Total Cost:1 332 545 €). The WaterPiPP approach was designed in order to reach the following objectives:
- Gather together experts and practitioners in the area of water procurement to facilitate exchange of knowledge;
- Act as an information hub providing the latest and most relevant information about the procurement of innovative products and services in the water sector (but also in other sectors if relevant, such as health);
- Create a community of practitioners who can openly discuss the procurement of innovative products and services in the water sector.
The expected outputs and outcomes of the WaterPiPP project are:
- To define the state of the art of innovative procurement practices and potential adaptation to the water sector, including the definition of a methodology.
- To test the potential of innovation procurement to speed up innovation and market uptake of R, D&I results.
- To help public authorities to procure innovation when facing the challenge of the sustainable management of water resources.
- To explore potential synergies for the aggregation of public and private demand for innovative solutions in the water sector.
- To help groups of public authorities and relevant private procurers to progress in creating and collectively implement procurement strategies (Capacity Building and awareness raising on tools and testing phases of PCP and PPI).
- To create a collaborative platform of stakeholders and procurers for mutual learning and debate mid to long term needs requiring R&D&I of new technological solutions with potential role for PCP and PPI.
- To perform a Collaborative Pilot Innovative Procurement Preparation phase (PCP and PPI).
The project is testing new approaches to stimulate the uptake of innovation in the water sector. To do that, the procurement power is mobilized, building practical and effective innovative procurement strategies, testing them and disseminating the outcomes for a larger scale adoption.
This is contributing to unlock investments and deliver the solutions needed by the public sector to face water challenges. The process is also contributing to speed-up the development and the deployment of innovative solutions creating at the same time market opportunities for water innovation solutions.

Project Results:
A general finding from the case examples studied in EU and OECD countries is that there are various ways to link government demand with innovative supply in the pre-commercial stage, and that these activities may play a significant role in bringing the perceived risk of new technology adoption to an acceptable level for a public authority, thus facilitating public procurement of innovative solutions.
Based on these case example, a total of sixteen bottlenecks were considered to be particularly affecting the IOPP water sector market. The correspondent recommendations were proposed to explain the way and mechanisms to be applied to avoid and fix the problem.
5 working groups sessions have been organized for 1. Cities, 2. Regions, 3. Industries, 4. Public Operators and 5. Water Authorities. Each of the 24 stakeholders have been asked to score in order of importance and to issue comments on the draft recommendations. This activity has highlighted that some recommendations are generally considered more useful than others as regards the use of public procurements to stimulate innovation in the water sector. As a result, a list of 15 recommendations was compiled and synthesized to be used as a basis for discussions during the Consensus Workshop.
Some of the 15 recommendations were adapted and all were validated by the WaterPiPP consortium partners as well as the additional experts attending the workshop. The recommendations were then further adapted, finalised and translated into EN, FR, IT, SP, NL, FI, DE.
A call of interest was developped, published and disseminated to identify interested stakeholders to implement pilot activities of assistance for preparing innovation procurement in the water sector. It was launched on 3rd June 2015 with a deadline on 31 August 2015. In July 2015, several contacts from the network have already announded their candidature.

Potential Impact:
At the closing of the call for expression of interest for case pilots (31rst August 2015), the project will select the candidates (on the 10th-11th of September 2015) and start to test its operational recommendations for the preparatory steps to the innovation procurement process. In practice, workshops, webinars and conferences will raise the attention of the volunteering practitionners on:
- Needs identification, prioritization and description
- State of the art analysis
- Early market engagement
- Procurement concept viability
- Resource planning
- Procedure structure design
The support is partly based on the tools and methods developed during the capacity building activities and mostly based on accompanying measures (coaching & training). Relying on this capacity building process, the WaterPiPP project aims at delivering tools and methods to support procurers in their understanding of the context and different phases of IOPP and PCP implementation. Deliverables should be easily re-usable after the project.
The Water Innovation Procurement (WIP) Group, laundched on the Procurement Forum in March 2015, is a specialized discussion group. Its goal is to give public procurers/buyers in the water sector the opportunity to exchange their knowledge, experiences, needs, procedures and solutions etc. In the future,the WIP Group will provide a platform between practitioners, but also serves as a useful channel for informing participants about upcoming events, new tools available and any other relevant project related information.
WaterPiPP project and the EIP Finnowater Action Group have started drafting a memorandum of understanding and are currently preparing a first work meeting for September 2015. The expected result will be stategic orientation to policy makers at EU level.

List of Websites:


Gilles Neveu, (director for Innovation)
Tel.: +33 680683881
Record Number: 182347 / Last updated on: 2016-05-23
Information source: SESAM