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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.

For more information, click here.


20 June 2013

Using standards to drive innovation in the Nordic countries

Nordic Innovation, an institution working to promote cross-border trade and innovation within the Nordic countries, has launched a call for proposals on developing the links between standards and innovation. Although standardisation is implemented as a means to increase efficiency and reduce cost, often businesses see it as a constraint on their ability to pursue innovation. For business, then, it is crucial to know what standards will support their innovation activities.

The purpose of the call is to develop concrete initiatives that show how standards contribute to innovation. Projects proposed should create new standards, or show how standards can be used to drive innovation within a specific sector, e.g. the building sector, services sector, etc.

Initiatives proposed must keep in mind the European and international perspectives as well as the Nordic perspective, meaning that the project results should be usable at an international level as well. Nordic companies, organisations, research institutes and other organisations are invited to participate. The deadline for the call is 7 October 2013.

For more information, click here.


10 June 2013

Need for innovation recognised at Paris healthcare forum

Public purchasers in the healthcare sector, representatives from the industry and other organisations operating in the field gathered at the first European Forum for Public Procurement of healthcare Innovation in Paris (France) on 30 May 2013 to discuss ways in which innovative products and services can contribute to the healthcare sector’s performance.

The event, organised by the HAPPI project to facilitate dialogue between stakeholders, gathered more than 150 participants from various European countries including France, the United Kingdom, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium, Portugal, Norway, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands.

Speakers at the event included ICLEI’s Ignacio Gimenez, Bertrand Wert, Policy advisor at the European Commission, and Carole Gandon from Resah. The Forum was held during the “Salon de la Santé et de l’Autonomie”, a major healthcare exhibition in France

For more information, click here.


6 June 2013

HAPPI website identifies innovations that benefit the elderly

HAPPI (Healthy Ageing - Public Procurement of Innovations) is a European project which aims to identify innovative products and services in the field of “ageing well”. Funded by the European Commission, HAPPI addresses the challenges of the demographic change in Europe by putting in place procurement contracts that will benefit healthcare organisations, hospital staff, the elderly and their families.

The HAPPI project website will keep industry and healthcare professionals informed about the project and key events, including information days to be held in major European cities from September 2013, starting in London (United Kingdom). The website also provides manufacturers, suppliers and healthcare organisations with detailed information on the project, its objectives, milestones and members. Additionally, it allows manufacturers and suppliers to register their interest in the project and receive updates.

From September 2013, suppliers and manufacturers will be able to access an online platform via the HAPPI website where they will have the opportunity to confidentially submit information on their innovative solutions for caring for an ageing society and maintaining health in old age. Before this, they can register their expressions of interest in the project on the website. The HAPPI project is run by 11 strategic partners from seven European countries that are a mixture of healthcare central purchasing organisations, innovation and SME experts and academics. The HAPPI project is also on twitter - follow the project at

For more information, click here.


3 June 2013

Preliminary report released on FIRED-uP project

London Fire Brigade and the City of Ghent (Belgium) have published the preliminary report from the FIRED-uP project. The report analyses vehicle fleets and their environmental performance, identifies areas of focus for the project and profiles a range of innovative technologies. Following an expert workshop held in London (United Kingdom) on 5 April 2013, the London Fire Brigade has launched a market consultation.

The consultation covers data logging for front line fire service vehicles (primarily pumping appliances) to track fuel and water consumption, emissions, use of operational systems and equipment; software allowing for the collation and analysis of the logged data; and application of the collected data to influence future vehicle design and use, driver training, life-cycle policies and fleet composition.

All suppliers in relevant sectors are welcome to participate in the consultation, which closes on 29 May 2013. To participate, suppliers must register on the Blue Light portal and download the market sounding questionnaire. Registration is free of charge. A notice has also been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The FIRED-uP project is co-financed under the EU’s Competitiveness and Innovation Programme. Information gathered in the market consultation will contribute to the development of a business case for procurement.

To view the preliminary report, click here.