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Public procurement networks on innovative bio-based products

Specific Challenge: The potential for increasing demand for bio-based products through public procurement is huge, as European public authorities spend almost EUR 2000 billion, or 16% of GDP, on goods and services yearly. Many product areas could potentially feature products made entirely or partly from renewable bio-based material. Likewise, many types of services could potentially benefit from bio-based inputs.

By introducing requirements for sustainability in tender specifications, the demand from public authorities could significantly increase the market for bio-based products and drive technological innovation in this market area.

Scope: Proposals should undertake coordination and support activities to investigate the feasibility and prepare the launch of a Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI) on biobased products and services. Activities should include:

         The identification of procurement needs that are common to the participating public procurement bodies;

         Determining the state-of-the art of potentially available bio-based products of interest;

         Developing and promoting the use of common environmental and  functional/performance based requirements specifications, including the need for standardised measurement and testing methodologies, as well as  other approaches for criteria setting and their verification;

         Intensifying the link between public procurers and standardisation bodies sharing information and facilitating collaboration;

         Improving procurers knowledge and capabilities by joint trainings, workshops and other networking activities;

         Carrying out the necessary legal work to ensure that the procurement complies with European and national law;

         Engaging on public dialogue on bio-based products.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

         Lowering barriers and increasing bio-based products market segment by triggering demand for innovation through public procurement;

         Improving skills of public actors in designing procurement initiatives and increasing consumer awareness on bio-based products as well as developing decision making tools;

         Contributing to the objectives of the Lead Market Initiative on bio-based products and EU Innovation Policy, as well as other related policies such as Green Public Procurement.

Type of action: Coordination and support actions