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18 October 2018

Trailblazer Ghent – procuring traffic management as a service

Being stuck in traffic or experiencing delays is very common. In Belgium, for instance, the average driver typically spends up to 39 hours in congested traffic. Clearly there is a huge need for traffic management solutions which engage with all the complexities of mobility - and this is exactly what the City of Ghent has devised with its TMaaS - Traffic Management as a Service, which recently won the Civitas ‘Bold Measure Award’.

The ICLEI member used innovation procurement to purchase a traffic management platform which could revolutionise mobility in Ghent. How is this going to change traffic more specifically? If everything rolls-out as planned, users can be informed about issues around their mode of transport, and City of Ghent employees will be able to use the information to adjust traffic lights, inform residents, evaluate and prepare mobility measures when needed.

The traffic platform provides governments and citizens with a wealth of traffic information in real time aimed to optimise urban mobility. It combines mobility information from data and transport companies and other players and communicates them automatically to citizens. As a cloud-based platform, no major hardware investments are required. It is directed at public procurers working for small- and medium-sized cities.

This procurement was conducted as part of the TMaaS project. If you want to learn more, read these 10 Steps to Implement TMaaS and find out how to become a Replicator City here.

For more information on Ghent's wider activities in sustainable and innovation procurement, you can visit its profile on Procura+ or the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Development.

 

16 October 2018

Procure2Innovate Network Officially Launched in the Netherlands

The European Union’s innovation agenda was given a boost at this year’s EcoProcura conference in Nijmegen (the Netherlands) with the official launch of a new initiative funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

Procure2Innovate is an ambitious four-year project that aims to create a lasting European network of expertise in innovation procurement. The network is formed by “competence centres” in more than 10 European countries – centres from which experts provide advice and key services to public procurers nationwide looking to purchase innovative services and products. These could be in such areas as ICT and healthcare.

Public procurement accounts for about 14 per cent of GDP in the European Union and offers an enormous potential market for innovative products and services. This is especially the case for small- and medium-sized enterprises (or SMEs) for which the EU is particularly keen to create access to new customers.

To learn more about the project, visit the Procure2Innovate website.

 

4 October 2018

EcoProcura highlights need to inspire more innovation procurement

The challenges of our times require new ways of doing things - new products and new services which meet our social and economic needs, but within environmental boundaries. Public procurement can play a big role in shaping future markets through innovation procurement, but before we can change procurement processes, it is necessary to change mindsets. That’s why, this year’s EcoProcura set out to inspire and motivate more procurers to grasp all the opportunities already available to do innovation procurement.

In addition to plenary speakers discussing how best to empower people through cultural and behaviour change, the conference also marked the official launch of the new Procure2Innovate network, which aims to improve the institutional support available for public procurers by enhancing existing and establishing new competence centres in innovation procurement across Europe. DG Connect also presented €250 million worth of funding for innovation procurement expected over the next two years through the Horizon 2020 programme, and several cities and stakeholders led market lounge tables, where they shared their own experiences of using innovation procurement for more sustainable, circular and strategic results.

A dedicated breakout session was also held, examining all the factors likely to influence which approach to innovation procurement is most appropriate in different situations, and how to embed these in your organisation. Five experts brought perspectives on a range of issues, including inputs from DG Grow, KOINNO (German competence centre for innovation procurement), and the National Agency for Public procurement (Sweden).

For more information, visit the EcoProcura newsroom.

 

 

 

3 October 2018

Bertrand Piccard challenges procurers to buy better

This year’s Ecoprocura conference in Nijmegen is exploring how governments can step up the game and do more to implement the solutions that are already available to environmental and social problems.

Dr. Bertrand Piccard, pilot of the Solar Impulse - the solar airplane which flew around the world - kicked off the day with a powerful call to action. We are living with past technologies - combustion engines, badly insulated homes, incandescent bulbs. But “the challenge is not technology, it’s psychology” - procurers need to change mindsets and become change makers!  

Dr. Piccard was followed by a number of speakers, from cities such as Nijmegen, Ghent, Barcelona, as well as the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, who shared stories of their own bold actions to encourage greater sustainability and innovation through procurement. A range of actionable insights in specific sectors was also discussed through a range of breakout sessions.

For more on the EcoProcura conference, visit the conference news corner here.

 

 

27 September 2018

An action agenda for the circular city

A new report published by Circl Economy, TNO and the City of Amsterdam, presents ‘a vision and action agenda for the circular city’ taking the city of Amsterdam as example.

The report zooms in on two key areas in which the city has direct impact on circularity: The construction value chain and organic waste. It presents a set of action points for both of these areas that help to establish a circular production and consumption model on the city level.

The report highlights the importance of innovation in the soil, road, and construction sector – a sector that thus far has not achieved much attention in terms of circular development but which bears great potential due to large volumes as well the direct influence that many local governments can exert in this regard – through regulation as well as circular procurement. Innovation procurement processes challenging the market to for example redesign existing buildings or develop new products from used materials are a key tool for public authorities in this regard. 

Further information on circular procurement can also be found in this guide, published by the European Commission and authored by ICLEI. For more information about Circular Amsterdam click here.

 

18 September 2018

Webinar series on innovation procurement in learning technology

A webinar series on innovation procurement is about to begin, hosted by the LEA - Learning Technology Accelerator project as part of its goal to accelerate knowledge transfer, dialog and awareness raising of innovation procurement within the learning technology sector.

These webinars - which will take place every second Wednesday in Autumn - will cover topics such as innovation procurement instruments; what is currently available on in the learning technology market; and how to apply for additional funding for innovation procurement.

The first webinar topic  - "What is innovative procurement - PPI & PCP" - will take place on Wednesday the 19th September at 10.30 am CET.

Join the webinar here, or sign up as a LEA Follower to continue to receive information on future webinars as well as access free support and guidance on innovation procurement.  

 

11 September 2018

Procura+ Awards finalists announced

The countdown to the 2018 Procura+ Awards ceremony has started, with six public authorities through to the final. Winners will be unveiled at the EcoProcura conference in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The six finalists have emerged from a strong field of 23 entries across three contest categories: Sustainable Procurement of the Year, Innovation Procurement of the Year, and Procurement Initiative of the Year.

The City of Aalborg and Government of Flanders will contest for Sustainable Procurement of the Year. These municipalities have impressed with procurement of circular school furniture for a healthy learning environment and a supply chain influencing procurement of sustainable office supplies, respectively.

For Innovation Procurement of the Year, the cities of Cork and Rotterdam will be in competition with each other. Procurement of sustainable and affordable housing through Competitive Dialogue in Cork and innovative transport solutions for special mobility needs in Rotterdam have taken the two cities to the final.

Finally, the Procurement Initiative of the Year will be chosen from Barcelona City Council and Transport for London. Barcelona introduced city-wide compulsory sustainable procurement, whilst Transport for London successfully implemented a supplier skills programme.

This year’s jury, chaired by Mark Hidson, Global Director of ICLEI’s Procurement Centre, was further comprised of high-level representatives with vast experience in procurement practice and policy making.

For more information on the 2018 awards, visit the Procura+ website.

 

6 September 2018

New sorting centre tackles pressing issues in textile recycling

The textile industry is constantly growing and with it a range of adverse environmental and human rights impacts. According to recent estimates, the total greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production, are at 1.2 billion tonnes annually which are more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined.

Circulus Berkel, the public waste management company that serves eight municipalities with around 440,000 inhabitants in the Dutch Province Gelderland has recently launched a new textile sorting centre that aims to tackle these issues. The centre’s operation is set up to ensure transparency in the textile chain and high rates of recycling, and creates job opportunities for socially disadvantaged citizens.

In an interview with ICLEI Europe, Michiel Westerhoff, manager of Circulus Berkel, underlined that an intensive market engagement process during the tendering procedure as well as broad political support for sustainability focused procurement was the key in achieving this.

You can find the full interview on Sector Watch. For more information about Circulus Berkel, click here.

 

28 August 2018

EU Commission helps EU regions maximise impact of procurement

As part of the European Union’s Public Procurement Action Plan, the Commission, in partnership with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), will support five European regions in using more innovative public procurement procedures. Hereby the EU wants to “… maximise the impact of public procurement in terms of social objectives, innovation and sustainability.”

Making use of the EU recommendations on the professionalisation of public procurement the Commission will support the City of Athens (Greece) with the procurement of more environmentally-friendly public transport vehicles and Puglia Region (Italy) which is planning to purchase new technologies and innovative administrative services in water management. In addition, the Commission also supports the Coordination and Development Commission in Portugal’s Centro Region, the Greek regions of Central Greece and Eastern Macedonia, and Thrace.

The targeted procurement procedures all relate to projects that are co-financed by the EU. To learn more about the innovation procurement support, click here. For information about the EU Action Plan on Public Procurement, click here.

 

21 August 2018

EcoProcura 2018 to collaborate with Green Electronics Council

EcoProcura 2018 is proud to announce that it will collaborate with the Green Electronics Council (GEC) on its 2018 conference on sustainable, circular and innovation procurement, which is taking place 3-5 October in Nijmegen (The Netherlands).

The GEC is a mission driven non-profit that seeks to achieve a world in which only sustainable IT products are designed, manufactured, and purchased. GEC is also the manager of EPEAT, the leading global type 1 ecolabel for IT products used by public and private sector purchasers in over 43 countries.

During the conference, the Green Electronics Council will host two separate Market Lounge sessions – the first session, which will take place on Thursday 4 October, 11:10-12:50, will explain the GEC initiative, share what sustainability data procurement teams should elicit from Cloud-Service providers, and how to use that data for accounting for sustainability gains for their organisation.

The second session, which will take place on Friday 5 October, 10:50-12:20, will explain new characteristics of the EPEAT eco-label product categories, outline specific SDGs, targets, and indicators that EPEAT products support, and the ways in which impacts can be codified and quantified.

For more information about EcoProcura and to register, click here.