Procuring Innovation

There is much discussion surrounding the concepts of public procurement and innovation and how these can lead to an economically-stronger, environmentally-resilient, more competitive Europe.

Let's take a closer look

Public procurement is the process whereby public authorities - including all levels of government and public agencies - buy goods and services or commission work. These contracts make up a significant share of the EU market, accounting for about 19% of its gross domestic product (GDP).

Public procurement of innovation (PPI) occurs when public authorities act as a launch customer for innovative goods or services. These are typically not yet available on a large-scale commercial basis and may include conformance testing.

Pre-commercial procurement (PCP) is an approach within the public procurement of innovation, developed specifically for the procurement of R&D services rather than actual goods and services; if the goods or services developed during the R&D phase are to be procured, this would need to be based on a separate procurement process.


What else should be considered?

While much of the PPI and PCP discussion relates to scientific research and development, there is more to it than this alone. Innovation in the public procurement context very much takes into account:

  • Innovation in the design and delivery of public services
  • The procurement of innovative goods and services
  • Innovative procurement processes and models

Therefore, PPI and PCP cover a large range of the industrial market through all development phases – from research to the final stage of the product – giving public buyers the opportunity to influence the market towards innovative solutions