The PROBIS project is encouraging procurers and suppliers of building solutions to take part in a webinar on 4 November that will use the conclusions of the project’s early market engagement activities to stimulate a discussion on innovative procurement in the sector. The PROBIS project aims to increase the energy efficiency and sustainability of European public buildings through the procurement of innovative solutions.
Results from market engagement events in Turin and Lombardy (Italy), Seville (Spain) and Borlänge (Sweden) will be discussed. The webinar will include information on the PROBIS pilots, and will outline the PROBIS procurement strategy, as well as collecting further information on innovative technologies in the field.
The EU Meet the market web event also aims to facilitate the participation of a larger number of foreign businesses within the various procurement procedures. The event is scheduled from 10:00 to 11:30 CET. The provisional programme and the registration form are available online.
For more information, visit the PROBIS website.
As part of its plans to move to a circular economy, Europe is re-evaluating its relationship with waste. The EU-funded PPI4Waste project is inviting public procurers and others interested in innovative waste solutions to work together to make the transition to better waste management a reality. An Interest Group and Purchasing Community dedicated to waste are being launched today at the project’s Procurement Foresight Workshop in Brussels (Belgium).
The Interest Group is an online gathering open to all stakeholders interested in waste management. It will provide useful information and peer to peer exchange for municipal waste management experts, procurers, policy makers, and suppliers. The Purchasing Community provides an exclusive opportunity to procurers who are involved in the procurement of waste management solutions in the public sector. Group members will be given the chance to improve their knowledge of the innovative solutions available on the market and take part in webinars, face-to-face meetings and trainings with other procurers.
“Finding innovative solutions to waste management issues is a vital part of achieving the type of sustainable, resource-efficient Europe that we want to see in the future. Through the establishment of these groups, PPI4Waste will make the topic more accessible to procurers, and ensure that each region of Europe is equipped with the best knowledge and tools to fully embrace innovation in the sector," said Philipp Tepper of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, coordinator of the Interest Group and Purchasing Community. Both groups will use the Procurement Forum, a dedicated online networking space, to facilitate exchange.
For more information, visit the PPI4Waste website.
The procurement of a machine that vaporises waste-water to remove waste particles saw the Federal Procurement Agency of Austria awarded the Public Procurement of Innovation Award at a ceremony in Paris (France) last night. The Federal Procurement Agency received a trophy for innovation procurement excellence, together with the title “European innovation procurement of the year”. They will also have a case study published on the Procurement of Innovation Platform in the coming weeks.
Four other finalists from across Europe were also in competition for the award (more information on each finalist is available on the PPI Platform website). “The quality of each of the finalists meant that choosing the overall winner was very difficult. It was an exceptionally close competition,” said Mark Hidson, Deputy Regional Director at ICLEI Europe and jury member. “We felt that the procurement of the vaporising system best showcased the impressive work being carried out, as well as the type of solution that public procurement of innovation can achieve. The procurement brought together the institutional knowledge of public procurers with the ingenuity of the private sector.”
The innovative solution is used by the Austrian mint to clean water contaminated during the production of coins and notes. Vaporisation of the waste-water takes place in a vacuum, allowing for fresh water and waste particles to be separated. Once the filtering process is complete, 97 percent of the water can be reused. The ceremony was held as part of the European Assistance for Innovation Procurement event, organised by EAFIP.
For more information, visit the PPI Platform.
The pre-commercial procurement (PCP) of interactive super computers that will be used to replicate and study the human brain is now in its final phase. The computers will allow scientists to conduct experiments on a “virtual brain” by providing input and monitoring responses. An important part of the solution will be the visualisation of the supercomputers’ reactions.
Tech companies Cray and a consortium of IBM and NIVIDIA have been awarded a contract for research and development services by Forschungszentrum Jülich, a German technology and research company focused on developing solutions in the fields of energy and the environment, and brain research. During the final phase, contractors will implement the technology that will power the supercomputers.
The PCP is considered one part of creating a high performance analytics and computing platform that will allow scientists to find out more about the physiology of the brain. The “European Human Brain project” is a recipient of EU-funding and will end with an evaluation phase in January 2017.
For more information, visit the Forschungszentrum Jülich website.
As of today, InnProBio, the Forum for Bio-Based Innovation in Public Procurement, can be found on the world-wide web at www.innprobio.eu. With the public sector controlling around one fifth of European gross domestic product (GDP), public purchasers can significantly influence demand for and investment in bio-based products, which can be “bio-based versions” of traditional products or novel products with entirely new and innovative functionalities and potential for new and existing markets.
The InnProBio website will provide a wealth of information and tools for public procurers looking at purchasing innovative bio-based products (products that are wholly or partly derived from biomass) and services which employ their use. Through this communication channel, the InnProBio team aims to help bridge the policy and practice gap by providing procurement practitioners with tools and other resources to assist them in their day to day work.
One of InnProBio’s primary aims is to develop a community of procurers, decision-makers and suppliers interested in the procurement of bio-based products. A Group which specifically focuses on this topic is now also available on the Procurement Forum. InnProBio is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
For more information, visit the InnProBio website.
The EU Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria for electricity are currently under review. The first stage of this process is a survey of public authorities, due to be carried out in October 2015. The survey will look at how much electricity is currently being purchased from renewable sources, the procurement procedures used, and what is stopping public procurers from purchasing more renewable electricity.
The survey is aimed at local authorities who are already purchasing some renewable electricity as well as those who would like to but are currently unable to do so. The questionnaire itself takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete and will be extremely valuable in ensuring the updated criteria are both useful and appropriate.
To take part in the survey, click here.
A new Austrian platform that brings companies together with public procurers in need of innovative products and services was launched at the ECOVATION conference, which took place in Graz (Austria) from 29 September – 1 October. The overall aim of the Innovationpartnerschaft (innovation partnership) platform is to increase the level of innovative procurement in the public sector in Austria.
The platform enables companies to promote specific solutions as innovative by subjecting them to an online test. If the solutions meet the listed criteria, they are included as innovative products. Government procurers can then browse the site, gaining an overview of the solutions available on the market.
Government employees can also submit details of issues they face, which companies are then invited to try and solve, potentially landing a new client. As well as public procurers and business employees, students and general citizens are encouraged to contribute to the website. The ECOVATION conference brought together 200 participants, including procurers, government officials and representatives of the private sector, to discuss the future of innovative and sustainable procurement in Europe.
For more information, visit the platform.
A pre-commercial procurement (PCP) call for tender has been launched to develop ICT solutions that will support primary and secondary school students in learning about science, technology and maths. The call was launched by IMAILE, an EU-funded project that aims to use PCP as a means to develop new technology that will support learning in European schools. It was published in the EU’s TED database on 1 October 2015.
The solution resulting from the PCP will be trialled in schools in Halmstad (Sweden), Magdeburg (Germany), Konnevesi (Finland) and Viladecans (Spain). As such, the supplier will be expected to produce a limited amount of the final product for testing and quality control purposes. They will not, however, be expected to produce it on a mass scale, nor will they have to take part in the commercial development of the product.
The PCP will be separated into three stages: the first will focus on the solution design and will have a budget of around €380,000. It is expected to involve up to eight suppliers and will take three months. The second phase will involve four suppliers over six months, and has a total budget of €1,520,000. It will see a working prototype developed. The final stage will see the prototypes tested in schools – it will involve two suppliers over seven months, and will have an allocated budget of €1,900,000.
For more information, visit the IMAILE website.
The Flemish government has enacted a number of policies to increase the uptake of procurement of innovation according to a new report produced by Foundation Innovation & Work, taking advantage of the new EU procurement directive’s more supportive language towards engaging in innovative and sustainable procurement. Within the Belgian region, public procurement of innovation (PPI) is promoted across all policy areas, with IWT – the Flemish Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology in charge of controlling and supporting the shift.
Currently Flanders is carrying out 15 PPI projects as part of its innovative procurement programme, including a partner role in the Procurement of Innovation Platform. The region also closely monitors other country’s national innovation procurement frameworks to gain examples of best practice. While no one country provides a role model across all areas, the United States, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom are considered exemplary in their application of PPI.
To support sustainability in procurement processes, the Department of Administrative Affairs ensures that sustainability criteria are incorporated into all procurement Action Plans. A sustainable and innovation task force has also been set up to produce information sheets and to develop framework contracts that can be implemented by procurers. The government further aims to incorporate terms into their tenders that lower the barriers for SME participation.
For more information, download the report. [PDF]
An innovative method of financing the upgrade of street lights is being promoted to local governments by a new EU-funded project. Street lighting can account for up to 50 percent of a municipality’s total electricity consumption - by applying modern technology, such as light emitting diodes (LEDs), a reduction in electricity use of between 30 and 70 percent can be achieved.
The Streetlight-EPC project helps local authorities to avail of Energy Performance Contracting (EPC), a process whereby replacement and refurbishment costs are covered by an external energy service company (ESCO), who is then reimbursed through the cost savings generated as a result of the lower electricity consumption. As such, the ESCO will not receive payment unless significant energy savings are achieved.
The EPC approach has the benefit of transferring the risk from the local authority to the ESCO. The project is carrying out EPC projects in nine European regions, including the establishment of helpdesks that provide support to municipalities and SMEs. The project is particularly timely, as under an EU Regulation 80 percent of currently used street lamps are to be phased out by 2017.
For more information, visit the Streetlight-EPC website.
Following work by the PRO-LITE team that involved building a case for innovative and energy-efficient lighting and pitching it to Transport for London (TfL), the local government organisation responsible for most aspects of the British capital's transport system, Tfl has published a tender notice for the supply of energy-efficient light fittings and lamps in the Official Journal of the European Union.
The tender will see 40 to 70 different lighting products procured, to be installed along the London Underground. The publication of the tender follows several engagement meetings with lighting manufacturers and suppliers from across Europe, which gave TfL a greater knowledge of currently available solutions. PRO-LITE aims to encourage TfL to opt for energy-efficient lighting solutions across London’s entire transport network.
The EU-funded Procurement of Lighting Innovation and Technology in Europe (PRO-LITE) project aims to demonstrate how public sector authorities can consolidate their procurement power to create economies of scale, procure innovative products, and drive European economies. The project focuses on the procurement of innovative lighting technology.
For more information, visit the PRO-LITE website.