Latest news


21 March 2017

Almere uses PPI to drive circular economy initiatives

The Dutch city of Almere is holding its Upcycle City competition, aiming to develop local circular economy initiatives through a PPI competition. Using a 'best price-quality ratio' award criteria, the local authority has issued a tender for project ideas which can be implemented by the city to create products from the city's waste.

The tendering process is being implemented via the Dutch e-procurement platform TenderNed. A total of €1,000,000 is available to fund winning proposals, selected by a jury, at a co-financing rate of 1:3. Funding is in place for the chosen initiatives until 2019.

Upcycle City forms part of Almere's efforts towards becoming a waste-free city by 2020, and to become an internationally recognised 'living lab' for circular economy initiatives. The competition is already underway with the initial project proposals being considered as part of a two-part procurement process. Post-tender negotiations with the winners and development of contracts will follow later this year.

For more information, visit Almere's Upcycle City website.


15 March 2017

State of the Art report on market engagement published

The SPP Regions project has released its State of the Art report on market engagement, aimed at guiding public procurers in engaging with suppliers in the context of procurement projects where input from the market can improve procurement outcomes.

The report contains practical advice and guidance, using examples of successful processes and actions to demonstrate how market engagement works, including the risks, resources required and first steps for public authorities.

Detailing the various points in the procurement process that procurers can engage with the market, the State of the Art report provides examples of formats for engaging with suppliers. These include 'meet the buyer' events, supplier information days and other networking and briefing events with illustrative case studies from across Europe. The report also points to how sustainability objectives can be achieved through the market engagement process.

For more information and to download the report, visit the SPP Regions website.


9 March 2017

PPI case study videos published by EAFIP

A series of videos demonstrating case studies on Pre-Commercial Procurement and Public Procurement of Innovation have been published by EAFIP, detailing the experiences of procurers from the UK, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden and France of using innovation in the public procurement process. Three of the case studies relate to PPI projects in the fields of future hospital ward lighting, intelligent energy management and healthy ageing.

Steph Holmes, from the Rotherham National Health Service Foundation (UK) outlines how the procurement of innovative lighting for hospital wards exceeded expectations by providing operational, construction and design benefits. As a result of their approach through an international procurement consortium, the project made improvements including bio-dynamic lighting reducing patient anxiety and limiting the impact of construction and maintenance by pre-fabricating new units with integrated, future-proofed lighting.

Each case study interviewed provides advice for procurers with similar challenges and explains the procurement process within their own project and points to the lessons learned through their engagement with PPI.

The full series can be viewed on EAFIP's YouTube channel. For more information, visit the EAFIP website.


28 February 2017

UrbanWINS pilot cities plan project activities in Venice

Representatives of the UrbanWINS pilot cities – Albano Laziale, Cremona, Pomezia and Turin, in Italy; Leiria, in Portugal; Bucharest, in Romania, and Manresa and Sabadell, in Spain – participated in project workshops focused on strategic urban planning and participatory mechanisms development, including using procurement in the context of waste prevention. The knowledge and the experience gained will be used in the next phases of the UrbanWINS project, aiming at co-creating eco-innovative waste management and prevention strategies.

Cities involved in the project will start identifying the priorities and objectives for reducing resource consumption and waste production at source, with the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders. Face-to-face meetings – urban agoras – will take place in each of the cities, and a virtual platform – online agoras – will be available from the UrbanWINS website this spring to encourage discussion and brainstorming.

With the support of experts from the University IUAV of Venice, hosts of the meeting, the UrbanWINS cities explored the connections between actions that are directly related to waste management and actions that can be taken in other sectors but that affect waste production and/or have an impact on the success of waste management and practices.

To receive regular updates on UrbanWINS, sign up to the newsletter here


24 February 2017

DG CONNECT publishes 2017 Pre-Commercial Procurement update

The European Commission's DG CONNECT has published an update of the results achieved by 15 Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) projects, aimed at the development of innovative solutions geared for public sector application. With the funding level for innovation procurement projects reaching €130 million per annum from 2014 to 2017, the Commission is keen to improve awareness of the support available for PPI and PCP among procurers, researchers and the private sector.

The 2017 update reports where PCP projects have had impact on improving the quality and efficiency of public services, extending market opportunities in innovation procurement to SMEs, valorising project research outcomes and nurturing cross-border approaches to contracting and job creation.
DG CONNECT report that 71% of the PCP contracts were won by SMEs, where the SME success rate in public procurement across the EU is only 29%. Other highlights include 28% of PCP contracts being awarded on a cross-border basis and a similar proportion including universities and research centres in the winning consortium.

The full update and list of PCP projects is available at on the PCP projects website.

For more information on Pre-Commercial Procurement visit


16 February 2017

Eco-Innovation Observatory issues 2016 Circular Economy report

The Eco-Innovation Observatory has highlighted 32 best practice examples from EU member states on how the circular economy is being implemented at the EU and national levels.

The report, entitled Policies and Practices for Eco-Innovation and Circular Economy Transition, focuses on how understanding of the circular economy concept has evolved in EU member states. The challenge of stimulating both top-down and bottom-up mainstreaming of eco-innovative measures, and how countries' comparative eco-innovation policies and practices are measured is explored. EU and Global eco-innovation scoreboards are used to present cross-country comparisons of circular economy and innovation measures.

Findings include an increasing prioritisation of eco-innovative policy at the national and local levels across Europe, but also that current economic indicators do not fully measure the impact of circular economy approaches.

To download the full report, visit


14 February 2017

Brussels training to look at financing renewable energy in cities and regions

A session run by the EU-funded INFINITE Solutions project will train participants on how to develop and implement innovative financing schemes for sustainable energy measures. The training will take place on 23 February in Brussels (Belgium) and will draw on the outcomes of the INFINITE Solutions project, which is coming to an end after three years.

For many cities and regions, financing a transition to renewable energy is extremely challenging, with many struggling to cover the cost using the municipal budget alone. This training will show local and regional authorities how they can try out new financing mechanisms, business models, and organisational structures and partnerships to get their sustainable energy project off the ground.

The training is open to representatives of national public authorities and energy agencies, European and national associations of local authorities, local and regional authorities and their energy agencies, financing institutions, and more. The number of participants is limited, so early registration is recommended.

For more information, visit


10 February 2017

Action plan aims to recycle or reuse 70 percent of plastic globally

A new action plan has been released that if implemented would see 70 percent of plastic packaging reused and recycled globally. Already the plan, laid out in the report The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action, has been endorsed by more than 40 industry leaders. The report was produced by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

The plan additionally calls for the remaining 30 percent of plastics to be redesigned. A transitions strategy outlines how plastics design could better facilitate recycling and re-use, such as through replacing single-use plastic bags with reusable alternatives. Without a redesign, warns the report, plastics will continue to clog up land-fill sites or require incineration.

"The plan puts innovation at the heart of a strategy that could shift the entire system while unlocking a billion dollar business opportunity. Alignment along value chains and between the public and private sector is key to this," said Dominic Waughray of the World Economic Forum.

For more information, visit


8 February 2017

Procurement law conference to look at impact of Brexit and TTIP

The Annual Conference on European Public Procurement Law 2017, set to take place from 30-31 of March 2017 in Trier (Germany), will bring together legal practitioners from across the continent to discuss the latest legislative and jurisprudential developments in the field of procurement.

Key conference topics include the implementation of the new procurement directives, and the anticipated impact of TTIP, CETA and Brexit on public procurement within the EU. Lawyers in private practice, in-house counsel, ministry officials and other civil servants dealing with public procurement matters are invited to attend.

Speakers at the event include Marc Gabriel, Chair of the European Public Procurement Group; Patricia Anna Eyckmans, Legal Advisor for the European Medicines Agency; and Philipp Tepper, Coordinator, Sustainable Economy and Procurement, ICLEI.

For more information, visit


3 February 2017

Unmet needs in the healthcare sector identified by EPP e-Health project

A joint statement of unmet needs in the European healthcare sector has been published by the EU-funded EPP-eHealth project. The recently ended project additionally released a Public Procurement of Innovation solutions (PPI) strategy for eHealth, established a network of procurement organisations operating in the sector, and mapped out EU initiatives and funding opportunities.

Unmet needs in the sector include patient empowerment through telemedicine and tailored apps, extraction of data in electronic health records, and advancing clinical imaging solutions. The needs were identified by the four healthcare institutions involved in the project.

The PPI Strategy for eHealth summarises the lessons learned by the project, identifying measures needed to accelerate the development and adoption of 'market-ready' eHealth solutions. The project also launched a matchmaking tool that pairs suppliers operating in the field with those procurers that have an unmet need. It additionally allows suppliers to find partners to take part in proposal bids.

For more information, visit