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25 June 2013

Innovative procurement approaches needed to green cities

A wide range of eco-innovative ideas for urban sustainability were discussed at the 14th European Forum on Eco-Innovation, from electromobility to the power of innovative public procurement. The forum took place in Prague (Czech Republic) from 23 – 24 May 2013.

Speaking on sustainable mobility and procurement of innovation, Heather Allen, Programme Director for Sustainable Transport at TRL, noted that buses are as expensive as Ferraris, but that vehicle makers “see the bus market as a very small part of their overall market,” and invest relatively little in their design and development. Creative approaches to procurement could help change this.

Public procurement remains a tool with largely untapped potential, concluded delegates. Innovation in financing models is also necessary to unlock new approaches to public procurement. While overarching goals might be set internationally or nationally, it is cities, said delegates, which must take eco-innovative steps to ensure these goals are achieved. The forum was organised by the European Commission's Eco-Innovation Action Plan Unit.

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