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Building capabilities in innovation procurement

Target group(s): Public and private buyers, public-owned enterprises, SMEs and start-ups, research and technological organisations.

Despite legal reforms and incentives in the area of public procurement of innovative solutions, the lack of awareness, skills and knowledge within public and private buyers remains the important problem obstructing implementation of innovation procurement in practice. While there is an overriding necessity to change traditional procurement approaches, the need for dedicated training and guidance, exchange of best practices and capacity building in this area becomes necessary to reveal innovation procurement potential. The proper design of strategies and procedures, in line with the existing legal frameworks, would define marked-oriented proposals, facilitate the implementation of innovation procurement, and ensure its long-term success. Moreover, it will leverage potential new markets and contribute to tackle societal challenges in a more efficient and sustainable way.

The proposals should focus on the following activities:

  • accessible dedicated training portfolios, to improve skills and capacities to design innovative procurement;
  • awareness-raising and enhanced knowledge on innovation procurement legal frameworks for public buyers and evaluators of innovative procurements;
  • enhanced innovation knowledge and skills within buyers, raising awareness about co-design process between SMEs and buyers (public and private) that may help to discover the most up-to-date innovative technological solutions, and assist in their development and further acquisition;
  • scale up best examples on the definition of needs and design of programmes, procedures and long-term strategies in the field of innovation procurement;
  • set up new experts networks and/or local competence centres or advance existing ones, including the coaching services to set up innovation procurement, legal assistance, the support on the definition of resources and tools, and the exchange of best practices;
  • public and private buyers’ cooperation and partnerships with the innovation deployment actors, particularly innovative SMEs and start-ups community, research institutions and technological organisations in order to tap into the under-exploited innovative potential of these type of companies.