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Towards Sustainable Zero Carbon Transport through Innovation Procurement

Final Report Summary - TRANS-FORM (Towards Sustainable Zero Carbon Transport through Innovation Procurement)

Executive Summary:
TRANSFORM is a Coordination Action project that has been carried out under the ‘Research Policy’ thematic area of the 7th EU Framework Programme for R&D (FP7). It has explored the practical use of innovation procurement methodologies in the relatively complex area of low carbon, zero emission transport in cities.

Central to TRANSFORM were the city councils of Barcelona, Birmingham and Rotterdam. Each of them implemented innovation procurement pilot projects with support from experts in the TRANSFORM consortium. Each of them identified appropriate subjects and implemented outcome-based procurement projects. The Barcelona project was aimed at securing an innovative new solution for pedestrian crossings in support of the city’s sustainable urban mobility plan. Birmingham focussed on its adult and community transport services with the aim of achieving a progressive move towards a zero carbon solution. Rotterdam also focussed on social transport but at a much larger scale with the aim of not only reducing the cost of its social transport service contracts but also improving the quality of service for the 16,000 citizens who use the service and significantly reducing the associated transport emissions.

The consortium also involved several innovation ministries and agencies that followed the progress of the city-led projects, participated in two main innovation procurement workshops and engaged in exploratory collaborative actions. These allowed other cities, networks and stakeholders to learn from the project and get involved in some of the activities. A number of subjects were considered for collaborative actions and joint statements of demand were produced for three of these:
• Zero emission urban deliveries to city authorities (led by Rotterdam)
• Zero emission public transport in historical cities (led by the Spanish city of Avila)
• Zero emission minibuses for social transport (led by Birmingham)

In addition, the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership carried out a research study to explore how cities could improve their procurement policies, strategies and procedures to better support their green transport goals. The UK centre for low carbon vehicle technology also supported the project through case study research on demand-side measures and by producing a draft framework for progressive standards to support the procurement of low carbon vehicles.

The main outputs of the study include a case study-based Good Practice Report, which draws on the methods used and lessons learned from the three city projects. These and materials from the TRANSFORM research activities and workshops can be found at

Project Context and Objectives:
The TRANSFORM project applied both proven and emerging methodologies for innovation procurement to the diverse and complex area of sustainable transport in cities. It advanced the state-of-the-art and made an important contribution to the much needed market transformation in this important area for European society and Innovation Partnerships. A tripartite core group of nine organisations carried out the project and drew on their existing networks of city authorities, major companies that control extensive supply chains and national/regional innovation agencies. The project was led by innovation procurement experts from the UK and the Netherlands that provided practical know-how and proven methodologies. The public/private sector procurement community was represented by City Councils from Barcelona, Birmingham and Rotterdam for the public sector and also the EU Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change (managed by the Cambridge University Institute of Sustainability Leadership). Innovation Agencies from Poland, Spain and the UK completed the triangular partnership and provided the gateway to the fruits of FP7, national R&D and the most innovative companies in Europe.

TRANSFORM was built on the strong foundations of previous European/national initiatives. A larger group of influential organisations from both the procurement and innovation communities engaged in joint procurement strategy development activities through procurement foresight workshops. The objective was to facilitate collaborative procurement projects that had sufficient critical mass to achieve market transformation and replication impacts. The project sought to realise this through leader-led actions and joint statements of procurement demand (Compacts) involving both the core consortium and a wider group of associated procurers. The lessons learned were then disseminated widely through case study publications and other networks.

The main aim of the project was to mobilise the procurement power of city authorities and major companies (acting as customers rather than suppliers) to make more rapid progress towards the ultimate goal of sustainable zero carbon transport systems in cities.

The objectives were to:
• Test and demonstrate the potential of different innovation procurement frameworks to address barriers to exploitation of European and ERA R&D
• Help European city authorities to make more rapid, collective progress towards the ultimate goal of sustainable zero carbon transport systems, both within the city and in partnership with neighbouring regions
• Explore the potential synergies of aggregating both public and private demand for innovative, sustainable transport solutions

• Bring together influential stakeholders from European cities and the innovation community to explore future sustainable carbon aspirations and emerging potential solutions
• Facilitate the development of leader-led innovation procurement projects to create a credible demand for sustainable zero carbon solutions
• Coordinate the development of joint demand statements of common need for innovative solutions in the future (innovation procurement ‘compacts’)
• Promote the innovation procurement joint statements of demand (‘compacts’) to the European innovation community

Project Results:
The main Deliverables from the project included:

1. Informal Papers on National Situations
The consortium partners prepared a short informal paper each on their experience and activities within Innovation Procurement, known barriers and good practice. These papers were presented at the project kick off meeting and proved to be an invaluable exchange of information between partners.

2. Procurement Foresight Workshops
TRANSFORM organised two procurement foresight workshops. The workshops aimed to facilitate exchange between city authorities, transport-intensive companies, the research & innovation community, complementary networks and policy stakeholders. In doing so, this activity sought to overcome the information barriers that hinder progress towards sustainable transport and mobility systems suited to society’s future needs and provided a forum to stimulate informed collaborative procurement initiatives.

The two workshops are described below:

1st TRANSFORM Procurement Foresight Workshop (Rotterdam)

The main objective of this workshop was to consider the evidence of market failure and how European cities can work collectively, and with other influential stakeholders, through public/public and public/private partnerships that will break the vicious circles. It was hosted by Rotterdam City Council and held at the city’s Electric Vehicle Centre in December 2013. It involved a mixed group of nearly 40 stakeholders from six European countries who were invited by members of the TRANSFORM consortium.

Prior to the workshop, members of the TRANSFORM consortium consulted a variety of stakeholders on key questions such as what is going wrong, what can individual stakeholders do both individually and collectively, what examples of good practice could be scaled up and how can the new EU 2014-2020 funding frameworks be used to foster more effective joint action. The feedback was collated to produce a Synthesis of Evidence from Stakeholder Interviews that was circulated to workshop participants prior to the event.

The workshop format included two main plenary sessions followed by group discussions:
Session 1 involved an introduction to the TRANSFORM project and was followed by a detailed discussion on the 10 key messages outlined in the ‘synthesis of evidence’ report. The messages were generally acknowledged but some felt that human factors, non-technological innovation and more shared responsibility between national and city policies were relatively more important. Everyone agreed that technological innovation is not the barrier. The human factors range from the competence of cities to a lack of willingness to change individual mobility behaviour. It was generally felt that decision makers in cities and national authorities need to come together in a way that creates shared ownership of the need for new solutions. This was then followed by case examples from Clean Vehicles Stockholm, Smart Mobility at Scottish Enterprise, Tesco plc and ERA-NET Transport.
This group concluded that there is clearly a variety of stakeholders who are trying to help cities and an appetite for collaboration and networking. This suggests that there is an opportunity to bring complementary players together to change policy. However, the intent of cities is very important as illustrated by the Rotterdam and Stockholm case examples.

Session 2 focussed on demand side measures and involved presentations from three participants.
• CENEX (the UK Centre of Excellence for low vehicle technologies) summarised the interim results of a short study on the ‘State of Play on Demand Side Measures’.
• Rotterdam City Council summarised some of the measures that had been implemented in Rotterdam under the Sustainability Programme and Climate Proof initiatives.
• The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation summarised some of the tools and methodologies that have been developed to support public sector organisations that wish to use procurement to achieve transformation.

These presentations were followed by group discussion. The following four initial discussion topics were identified as they seemed to be common issues that offered potential for coordinated joint action under the framework of the TRANSFORM project:
• Common progressive standards for mobility
• Common procurement mechanisms
• Bringing goods into cities in a socially and environmentally sensible way
• Consolidating political will and intent over the timescales required for innovation to have an effect

The following were the main conclusions of the first workshop:
1. Clear evidence of demand seems to be a critical element if we want to get innovation and investment in mobility solutions for cities.
2. There are many good examples of procurement and other demand side measures aimed at encouraging the development of new solutions and hence create a market for them.
3. However, there is fragmentation of good practice, which makes it difficult to maintain the momentum in the face of other pressures.
4. TRANSFORM is about bringing those with similar problems together (both cities and companies) to support each other and become more than the sum of the parts
5. Four initial themes have been identified during the workshop that could be taken forward through a task group of interested stakeholders. Others may follow depending on stakeholder interest.
6. The TRANSFORM coordination team will organise follow-up activities and try to involve other stakeholders as appropriate.

2nd Procurement Foresight Workshop (Barcelona)

The aim of the 2nd workshop was to enable the TRANSFORM consortium and invited guests to share experience and ideas on how to mobilise the procurement power of city authorities through both joint actions and collaboration with other stakeholders. It was hosted by Barcelona City Council in October 2014 and involved a mixed group of nearly 50 stakeholders from nine European countries who were invited by members of the TRANSFORM consortium.

The participants were provided with a briefing document , which was based on the 1st TRANSFORM Policy Brief, and the CENEX Report on demand side measures for environmentally friendly vehicles . Both of these are available on the TRANSFORM website.

The workshop consisted of three sessions:
• Keynote presentations from representatives of the innovation community
This session was designed to provide some perspectives from the innovation community of how cities could be more strategic about driving innovation to meet their challenges. It included presentations from a major urban infrastructure service company that is involved in the delivery of urban transport systems (Ferrovial) and a network of national innovation agencies that is focussed on transport innovation (ERA-NET TRANSPORT).
• Case examples of how procurement can be used to drive innovation
This session included nine presentations organised into three groups:
1. Case examples from four guests on what is happening outside of the TRANSFORM project from ICLEI, Helsinki, the city of Avila and London Fire Brigade
2. Update on progress and lessons from the three TRANSFORM city projects in Barcelona, Birmingham and Rotterdam
3. Two examples of emerging areas for joint actions and/or Compacts. One of these was an example from a French SME of their hydrogen fuel cell range extender for electric vehicles. The other was a detailed framework for progressive standards to reduce transport emissions in cities prepared by CENEX based on one of the common priorities highlighted at the 1st TRANSFORM Workshop

• Break-out group discussions on different ways to mobilise the power of city authorities
The final session of the workshop was devoted to break-out discussions on ‘How to Mobilise the Procurement Power of City Authorities’. This was organised in a way that all participants had the opportunity to join in the discussion around four separate topics:
• Collaborative policy actions
• Collaborative procurement actions within and between cities
• Compacts and their role in creating new options and demonstration consortia
• Possible future projects and funding options
A representative from each group provided a summary of the main conclusions on each topic.

3. Case Studies of Collaborative Initiatives
The city councils of Barcelona, Birmingham and Rotterdam each produced a case study report to describe their experience of innovation in practice. The case studies detailed the methodology, approach and the lessons learned for each of the city councils. The findings and conclusions outlined within the case studies were also an essential ingredient for the development of the TRANSFORM Good Practice Report (Section 6 below), which presents the methodologies used in a step-by-step manner including practical examples and lessons from the city-led projects.

The case studies were disseminated using the TRANSFORM project website.

4. Leader led Innovation Procurement Compacts (Joint Statements of Demand)
Compacts (also known as Joint Statements of Demand) are a new modality in innovation procurement that was first demonstrated by the UK Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) on Climate Change (managed by the Cambridge University Institute of Sustainability Leadership). Rather than being led by a single buyer organisation, these ‘Compacts’ represent a joint, signed statement of demand from a large group of potential buyers and are aimed at demonstrating scale of demand for innovative new solutions.

Various options for ‘Joint Statements of Demand’ were considered during the TRANSFORM project and eventually three subjects emerged including:
1. Zero emission urban deliveries to city authorities (proposed by Rotterdam City Council)
2. Zero emission public transport in historical cities (proposed by the City Council of Avila)
3. Zero emission capable minibuses for social care transport (proposed by Birmingham City Council)

In each case, city authorities (by operating in a cooperative manner) have the collective power to create a lead market for new solutions through their procurement functions and these can subsequently be adopted by others in the wider city transport arena. Of course, in order to be sustainable and replicable, solutions also need to be economically viable and aimed at improving the quality and/or efficiency of public services.

These Joint Statements of Demand have been widely disseminated to other cities, related European networks, innovation agencies, workshop participants and via the project website.

The Zero emission urban deliveries to city authorities statement, in particular, appears to be both strategic and has attracted quite a lot of interest from other cities (e.g. Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Copenhagen, Ghent, London, Lyon, Oslo, Santiago de Compostela, Sheffield, Stockholm). Rotterdam City Council has a strong commitment to this initiative and is hoping to take it forward through a follow-on Horizon 2020 project in response to the MG-4.2-2016 Call: ‘Supporting 'smart electric mobility' in cities.

5. Database of relevant FP7 projects
A database of relevant FP7 projects in the area of transport, transport infrastructure and related technologies was developed in order to understand the available technologies on the market. This was used to partially inform the three city authorities on potential subjects for their TRANSFORM innovation procurement projects.

6. Good Practice Report
The Good Practice Report outlined the lessons learned from the TRANSFORM project and described the practical journey the three city councils experienced as a result of adopting Innovation Procurement approaches for transport and mobility related procurements.

The Good Practice Report provided useful insights into the implementation of Innovation Procurement projects in city authorities and made recommendations for adjustments to the procurement process that city councils can make in order to support and encourage innovation in pursuit of better, greener outcomes in transport and mobility related projects.

The report has been widely disseminated via the extensive networks of the participating city authorities, workshop participants and the ‘Procurement of Innovation Platform’

7. Policy Briefs
Two Policy Briefs and several Research Reports were produced as a result of the TRANSFORM project.
These are summarised below:

Policy Brief No 1
The first Policy Brief (Ref 1: Briefing Document for the October 2014 TRANSFORM Workshop in Barcelona) aimed to create a debate on the emerging policy issues.
It was aimed at European, national and city level stakeholders who were interested in how cities can make better use of public tenders to support sustainable transport and other policy objectives. It also had more general relevance to those interested in how public procurement can be used as a strategic innovation policy tool including, but not limited to, the new PPI and PCP instruments for Horizon 2020 and the research & innovation agenda of the European Structural and Investment Funds.
The brief was based on evidence gathered before, during and after the 1st TRANSFORM Workshop in Rotterdam and drew on some of the early lessons from the practical interventions in the public tendering process of the three cities (Barcelona, Birmingham and Rotterdam).
It outlined the evidence of the need for better demand side measures, provided an insight into demand side measures in practice and indicated that procurement is not being used systematically as a strategic, demand side tool to achieve sustainable transport policy goals.

Policy Brief No 2
The second Policy Brief was aimed at summarising the policy learning from the whole project. It therefore builds on the case-based evidence from the three city-led innovation procurement projects, two stakeholder workshops and exploratory collaborative actions.
This brief was aimed at European cities, the innovation support and funding community, the European Commission, the professional bodies for procurement professionals and the European Standardisation organisations.
The second brief outlined the new policy insights, policy issues and policy recommendations that could shape the use of outcome based procurement practice in a way that will not only make a greater contribution to the goal of sustainable transport in cities but also to other economic and societal challenges.

Research Report on ‘Green Transport Procurement for EU Cities’
TRANSFORM Partner, the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Sustainability Leadership (CISL), produced a research report on policies, strategies and procedures for Green Transport in EU Cities. It summarises the potential obstacles and possible solutions for green procurement in three cities: Barcelona, Warsaw and Rotterdam. This draws on research and expertise from progressive businesses (members of the CISL Corporate Leaders Group), academia (University of Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research) and officials from the three cities.

Part I establishes the characteristics of the transport systems of the three case study cities to understand the infrastructure performance that policies are designed to improve. Part II explores the responses to questionnaires from both government and supplier organisations in those cities, laying out the challenges faced in green procurement so improved policies, strategies and procedures can be designed. Part III then uses these results to design a template for green procurement practices in the transport sector of cities of the EU, including quantifying the sustainability and innovation credentials of green transport options.
Other Research Reports

The UK centre for excellence for low carbon vehicle technologies (CENEX) prepared a research report on case examples of demand side measures in cities to promote the use of environmentally friendly vehicles (Ref 2). They also developed a framework for progressive standards to support the procurement of low carbon vehicles (Ref 3).

Potential Impact:
The main communication and dissemination activities included:

1. Website (
The TRANSFORM website was one of the main dissemination tools in the project. The website was regularly updated throughout the project period. All the published outputs of the project including Policy Briefs, Good Practice Report, Case Studies and workshop materials/reports are all available in the Resources section of the website. Additionally, all newsletters are archived in the News section of the website. These materials will continue to be made available online following the official end date.

2. Coordination with related European Projects
Throughout the project period TRANSFORM has worked to forge relationships with related projects. For example, a number of related European projects participated in the TRANSFORM workshops in Rotterdam and Barcelona as well as the final policy workshop in London. Participants included the coordinators of several other FP7 projects including ERA-TRANSPORT and Clean Fleets. Rotterdam City Council presented the ‘Zero Emission Urban Deliveries’ Joint Statement of Demand at the FP7 FREVUE meeting in May 2015. In addition, there has been indirect coordination with wider European projects through the other networks that the three cities and participate in (e.g. Civitas, Climate KIC, Core Cities, C40 cities, Polis.

At a national level, in the UK TRANSFORM partners engaged with the Down to Zero transport compact network and with key organisations involved in the transport sector such as the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, the Transport Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), the Low Carbon Vehicle partnership, the Scottish Cities Alliance and CENEX. In the Netherlands, the Ministry or Economy and Rotterdam City Council have engaged with other cities and research centres.

3. Regional Workshops
Two regional policy workshops were organised in 2014 (in Spain and Poland) to communicate the aims and objectives of TRANSFORM to a wider group of regional stakeholders and encourage them to consider how they can support the wider application of innovation procurement.

Catalonia, Spain
This regional workshop was organised by Barcelona City Council and CDTI on 13 May 2014 in Barcelona. Participants included representatives of the city councils, regional government, regional agencies and the transport sector. The event was organised as a mutual learning action on the subject of procurement regulations, innovation procurement and funding options.

Świętokrzyskie Province, Poland
This regional workshop was organised by TRANSFORM partner RCIIT on 16 October 2014 in Kielce, which is the capital city of the Świętokrzyskie Province. The aim of the workshop was to investigate the possibilities of using innovative procurement in the transport sector and identify funding opportunities for future projects. The participants included experts in innovation procurement, representatives of institutions that manage regional, national and EU funds and stakeholders from the transport sector. Lack of funding and policies for the procurement of environmentally friendly vehicles was considered to be the main barrier including price/kilometre being used as the only criteria for public sector transport tenders. One of the participants (the public bus company PKS) subsequently explored options and joined RCITT at a mutual learning meeting of TRANSFORM.

4. Newsletters
Five newsletters were published throughout the project period; these have been made available on the TRANSFORM website and have also been archived online.

5. Publications
The three main publications of the TRANSFORM project are the Good Practice Report, Policy Brief No 2 and the Joint Statements of Demand. However, there are a number of other more specific publications. These are listed in Section 4.2 and available for download on the website.

List of Websites:

Project coordinator: Stuart Barthropp
Department for Business Innovation and Skills
1 Victoria Street
Telephone: 020 7215 5000