EcoProcura 2014 has launched a call for contributions for the Market Lounge at this year’s conference in Ghent (Belgium) from 24 – 26 September. There will be two Market Lounge sessions, providing an opportunity for participants to showcase their work, network, and benefit from in-depth discussions in small groups. Contributors will be given three timeslots to share their ideas with a group of six to eight people. Each presentation will include a ten minute talk followed by a question and answer session.
The EcoProcura conference series is a Europe-wide forum to promote exchange and dialogue amongst purchasers from all levels of government, suppliers, policy-makers and multipliers on strategies and the latest practical solutions on sustainable public procurement. This year’s conference will concentrate on themes of sustainability, innovation and cost efficiency as well as looking at legal and practical aspects of public procurement.
Stakeholders from government, business, non-profits and research organisations are all invited to submit presentation proposals by filling out a Call for Contributions form and returning it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 24 April 2014. Applications should be submitted in English and will be judged on the extent to which they correspond to the objectives of the conference.
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Four PPI projects will be piloted in Italy, Sweden and Hungary as part of PROBIS, a new project which aims to make construction in Europe more innovative and sustainable. The project will establish framework conditions that encourage the introduction of innovative solutions in the construction sector.
The pilot projects will involve determining the specific needs of buildings, carrying out technical dialogues, releasing calls, and monitoring results. The project will aim to ensure that proposed solutions are widely applicable across EU Member States.
Working meetings will be held in each of the five participating regions, with market actors from the construction sector present. Through these meetings, PROBIS aims to map innovation in the sector.
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The increase in the average age of the European population brings new challenges for hospitals and elderly care services, many of which are difficult to accurately evaluate. This difficulty also spawns from the high number of actors in the so-called “Silver Economy” – the name given to the emerging market for elderly care. Currently the market can be seen as a non-mature sector with fragmented demand and supply, low standards, no market leaders, and other serious issues.
To tackle these challenges and detect the best innovative solutions available on the European market, the HAPPI project (Healthy Ageing - Public Procurement of Innovation) has chosen to implement a “market-oriented” approach through the development of an online platform, in which suppliers are invited to outline their products and services. Since the launch of the platform, over 140 innovative solutions have been brought to the attention of the consortium’s buyers. Most of these solutions are accessible by the general public through the public area of the platform, “Innovation Showcase”.
The success of the HAPPI innovation platform was helped by the holding of four information days in major European cities: London (UK), Paris (France), Turin (Italy) and Vienna (Austria). These events gathered over 400 participants, mainly SMEs, and helped buyers to research the market, raise awareness and open the dialogue between demand and supply-side.
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Manufacturers, innovators and suppliers are encouraged to submit their proposals for innovative lighting solutions through the newly launched PRO-LITE project Online Submission Tool. The tool enables suppliers to outline their ability to meet the needs of the organisations involved in the project prior to comprehensive engagement, helping to create a more productive dialogue between suppliers and client.
PRO-LITE partners are aiming to procure lighting solutions for buildings (school and office buildings), streets (traffic lighting and other road lighting), and underground rail networks. The solutions being sought should have reduced maintenance and replacement costs, low energy and carbon emissions, reduced whole life costs (including installation and maintenance costs), have great flexibility, and meet a range of other requirements.
Procurement of Lighting Innovation and Technology in Europe (PRO-LITE) is a partnership project co-funded by the European Commission. It aims to support the development of guidance for public sector authorities on how they can consolidate their procurement power to create economies of scale, procure innovation, and drive European economies.
For more information, or to submit a proposal, click here.
Information on a low carbon tender database and carbon and energy savings calculators are among the highlights of the GPP 2020 project newsletter, which was published late February. The newsletter brings together a range of news of interest to European procurers who wish to improve the sustainability of their procurement processes.
The newsletter outlines successful instances of tendering for low carbon products and services through a series of case studies, and introduces a low carbon tender database, a collection of smart tenders that provide insight into procuring more than 20 products, services and works. New carbon and energy calculators enable procurers to approximate the impact that can be achieved by including low-carbon criteria in public procurement.
A list of upcoming events of relevance to procurers is also included, as is information on new GPP projects. GPP 2020 is an EU-funded project that aims to cement green public procurement (GPP) across EU Member States. It works in eight target countries and will see more than 100 low-carbon tenders implemented.
To view the newsletter, click here.
A new report aimed at public bus procurers and transport operators provides a comprehensive review of fuel and technology options for clean buses, as well as outlining innovative bus procurement solutions. Produced by the Clean Fleets project, the report, titled Clean Buses – Experiences with Fuel and Technology Options, brings together the experiences of over 100 European public authorities and transport operators.
The report seeks to give an in-depth analysis with practical examples of using a range of fuel and technology types. A systematic assessment of 17 different fuel and technology options are included, covering environmental performance, market development, costs and other practical aspects.
Over 40 experts, including Clean Fleets project partners, public transport operators, public authorities, research institutions, transport associations and consultants, provided input into the report. The report aims to support the work of professionals in the field of procurement. Particular emphasis is placed on individual experiences from cities, local authorities and public transport operators.
To read the report, click here.
To secure investment for public procurement of innovative mobility solutions, cities must be able to show clear evidence of demand, concluded a workshop on improving transport procurement held by Rotterdam City Council (the Netherlands). The TRANSFORM Innovation Procurement Workshop focused on low carbon mobility solutions, and brought together nearly 40 stakeholders from six European countries.
The workshop addressed the evidence of market failure in the mobility sector, and discussed ways to overcome this through PPI and pre-commercial procurement (PCP). Among the conclusions of the workshop were that there needs to be less of a fragmentation of good practice in the field, and that involving a greater array of stakeholders, from both the public and private sector, can create greater support mechanisms.
The TRANSFORM project aims to mobilise the procurement power of city authorities and companies to accelerate progress towards sustainable zero carbon transport systems. The project focuses on developing procurement of innovation strategies and helping cities to formulate action plans to make progress on smart, green integrated transport.
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Eco-innovation, the development of products and services that contribute to sustainable development, can spur growth and create new green jobs, a recent report by MEP Karin Kadenbach has claimed. The report, titled "Eco-innovation - Jobs and Growth through environmental policy” calls on the European Commission to invest more resources to boost eco-innovation among EU Member States.
Unlike jobs in other sectors which have seen steep losses in many cases, the number of green jobs in Europe has risen significantly, with 600,000 added between 2004 and 2008. European eco-industries have an annual turnover of €319 billion and currently employ 3.4 million people. Green jobs are also usually well paid and involve better working conditions than jobs in other sectors.
The need for greater clarity of the term “green jobs” is stressed in the report, as the existing definition gives no information on the nature of the occupation. “An improved definition should also include some minimum standards of working conditions and calculate the net employment effects for the creation of green jobs and growth” it states. The report was discussed and approved by the European Parliament on 12 December 2013.
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