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Public technology procurement as a strategic innovation policy mix instrument

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An innovative push for public procurement

Business-to-government (B2G) and business-to-business (B2B) markets can promote innovation significantly through better policies of public technology procurement (PTP).

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Public procurement involves the purchase of goods and services, as well as the contracting of work orders, by a national government or local authority. The EU-funded project 'Public technology procurement as a strategic innovation policy mix instrument' (OMC-PTP) investigated technology procurement as a tool to further innovation. It looked at this type of procurement as a way to stimulate innovation through the B2G market which represents 16 % of Europe's gross domestic product (GDP). Viewing PTP as a potential creative innovation policy tool, the project analysed the legal framework of public procurement rules and state support. It found that countries could easily implement PTP, including pre-commercial procurement, but that there was no methodology for implementation. The project also discovered that very few EU countries had considered adopting PTP. It therefore produced a brochure on the topic to enlighten policymakers on the prospect of doing so. The brochure explained the tools and conditions needed to support innovation while transforming the B2G market into an attractive one for innovation-led companies. OMC-PTP noted that public procurement could also benefit the B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) markets through the public sector. To illustrate, governments could tackle environmental challenges and promote renewable energy through PTP. In all, the project conducted six workshops to encourage mutual learning and communicated its findings through various events. If policymakers heed the recommendations on PTP and its power to introduce innovation, European governments, economies and populations can benefit significantly from such a move.

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