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28 May 2015

PPI Guide translated into Hungarian and Spanish

Hungarian and Spanish speakers can now read the PPI Platform's "Guidance for Public Authorities on Public Procurement of Innovation" in their native tongue, as the guide has been fully translated into both languages. The translated versions maintain the formatting of the original English version, and are available from the PPI Platform Guidance page. The new versions will make it easier for a wider array of procurers and stakeholders to put the guide's recommendations into action.

The guide is intended for all stakeholders involved in PPI, both those starting out and those looking to improve their current procurement activities. It offers explanations of procedures, definitions and answers to common questions, a selection of case studies, and useful resources for further reading. Particular emphasis is placed on ways in which procurement procedures can facilitate greater innovation.

The guide is based on the latest EU procurement directives and will be of interest to procurers, policy makers, consultants, private companies and others who have a stake in successful PPI.

To view the translations, download the Hungarian and Spanish versions.


26 May 2015

Solar powered food carts to be rolled out in New York City

New York's (USA) iconic food carts could soon be getting an eco-friendly revamp, with the creation of a new low-emission cart. A pilot programme run through a partnership between the city and manufacturer MOVE Systems will see 500 environmentally friendly carts trialled across the city. The manufacturer predicts that the new carts will cut CO2 emissions by 60 percent and lower NOx emissions by 95 percent in comparison to traditional carts.

Named MRV100, the new carts include solar panels, a rechargeable battery, a heavy duty fuel tank for compressed natural gas, and a hybrid generator system. “Our solar, natural gas, and battery powered electrical system, engineered specifically for mobile food vending, reduces generator noise by half and decreases climate change emissions by two-thirds. This hybrid system is not only cleaner and quieter, it is also more powerful and reliable," said a spokesperson for MOVE Systems, speaking to TreeHugger magazine.

The first 500 vendors that sign up to the pilot programme will be supplied with a cart free of cost. The price of the carts is not covered by the city, but through donations and private partnerships. Around 8,000 carts are currently in operation in New York, many of which use propane tankards that contribute to local air pollution.

For more information, visit


21 May 2015

Turin seeks innovative solutions for refurbishment of public building

The Italian city of Turin has published a prior information notice (PIN) for the maintenance of a city-owned building, providing suppliers with an insight into the desired improvements. Turin is collaborating with the PROBIS project to procure innovative refurbishment solutions, in this instance a high-efficiency lighting system, an innovative energy management system, and an indoor climate control system that includes mechanical ventilation.

Energy savings of at least 20 percent of the annual energy consumption are required, with a marked increase in overall indoor comfort. The systems should also have a low environmental impact, low cost of maintenance, be user-friendly and need only a short installation time.

The City of Turin and Iren Servizi e Innovazione S.p.A., the current power manager of the building, will soon organise early market engagement activities aimed at better understanding the innovations currently available on the market. The EU-funded PROBIS project supports the procurement of innovative solutions to increase the energy efficiency and sustainability of European public buildings.

For more information, visit the PROBIS website.


19 May 2015

Cloud computing survey aims to identify future needs and challenges

A new survey launched by the Cloud Standards Coordination (CSC) initiative aims to find out more about the needs and areas of concern among those who use cloud computing. The survey targets cloud computing customers in the public and private sectors, and will also be used to assess the perceived maturity of cloud computing standards.

Cloud computing enables users to do away with physical servers and instead host their websites and documents in a virtual space. Whereas in the past the more traffic a website received the more physical server space was required (often necessitating the purchase of bulky IT equipment), cloud computing provides extra capacity when it is needed, and removes it during quiet periods.

The CSC was set up by the European Commission and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to explore the potential benefits and possible issues arising from Europe’s move towards cloud computing. The first stage of the initiative looked at issues such as security and data portability to define European–level policy objectives. The second phase is currently underway and aims to collect users' perspectives and experiences with cloud computing. The survey forms an important element in achieving this.

For more information and to take part in the survey, visit


15 May 2015

Three European projects on energy efficient buildings to be presented in Brussels

The Architect's Council of Europe (ACE) will present the iNSPiRe project in Brussels (Belgium) on 16 June as part of the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW). The primary focus of the session will be cutting-edge research into energy efficient buildings, and how it can be applied in practice. The progress of the LEEMA and A2PBEER projects will also be outlined.

Innovative materials and technologies will be presented in thematic sessions on Lighting, Façades and Insulation. The event also presents an excellent opportunity for networking, with energy and climate stakeholders from three EU-funded projects gathering together. Speakers include Amaia Uriarte Arrien, Researcher, Tecnalia (Spain); Alexander Dauensteiner, Head of Technology Portfolio Development, Vaillant Group (Germany); Andrea Pasquali, General Manager, Morando (Italy); and many more.

The EUSEW takes place throughout June in locations across Europe, and culminates in a major Policy Conference, Awards and side-events in Brussels during the week of 16 June. Hundreds of Energy Days events promoting secure, clean and efficient energy are also hosted across Europe during the month of June.

For more information, visit the EUSEW website.


12 May 2015

Innovative procurement of clean vehicles results in 15 percent CO2 reduction

A major public procurement of innovative clean vehicles carried out between 2008 and 2013 in the UK led to CO2 reductions of 15 percent, a new report has revealed. The "Low Carbon Vehicle Public Procurement Programme" (LCVPPP) saw 700 hybrid and electric vans from four manufacturers added to 77 public sector fleets. The LCVPPP aimed to stimulate demand for low CO2 vehicles and foster a more positive outlook towards clean vehicles within the public sector.

Commenting on the report, Chris Walsh, Head of Technical Support and Consultancy at Cenex, said: “The LCVPPP has demonstrated that innovation orientated procurement can be successfully used to bring new low carbon vehicles to the market, at a scale that makes a real impact. The programme has validated these vehicles in real world conditions, and offers evidence of learning, of cost reduction and of market growth in the use of low carbon vehicle technologies for public sector fleets across the UK.”

The second phase of the project will see the procurement of a further 500 Ashwoods Hybrid vans, the vehicle that best met the criteria for price and performance. Through the programme, fleet managers were able to manage the risks involved in purchasing innovative new technologies, reduce costs through buying in bulk, and improve their environmental performance.

For more information, visit the Cenex website.


7 May 2015

Puglia to hold consultation as part of water management solutions PCP

The southern Italian region of Puglia has announced a preliminary market consultation phase based on Art. 40 of the procurement directive as part of a pre-commercial procurement (PCP). The Region intends to purchase prototypes that are capable of increasing the efficiency of products and services for water resources management. Specifically, technologies that will detect and monitor water losses in the water distribution network and aid in the treatment and re-use of sludge from urban wastewater are being sought.

To take part, participants must be based in an EU Member State and upload an expression of interest online. The consultation will constitute a public hearing, which will outline the solutions required, discuss concerns regarding current technology and the potential for innovation, and look at performance requirements.

At the end of the public hearing, a report will be published, compiling the key outcomes of the discussion. A budget of €9 million is available for the PCP, with the contracts to be awarded to the most economically advantageous offers.

For more information, download the PDF.


5 May 2015

Turin and Bremen prepare for procurement of innovative lighting

The EC-funded PRO-LITE project is working with cities across Europe to purchase innovative lighting solutions that offer social and environmental benefits whilst contributing to economic growth. Through the project, the cities of Turin (Italy) and Bremen (Germany) are purchasing lighting solutions that aid education.

Turin has spent almost ten months engaging with lighting suppliers across the continent in preparation for a €750,000 procurement of lighting solutions for schools. The city has used face to face meetings with manufacturers to discuss what is being sought, and to gain feedback about what is currently available on the market. This engagement included touring schools with suppliers, allowing them to get a better idea of the city’s needs.

The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen will soon publish procurement documentation for an innovative lighting solution that will help children with learning difficulties to integrate into mainstream schooling. Like Turin, the city has spent months engaging with various suppliers and manufacturers, including holding a design workshop to generate ideas.

For more information, read the PRO-LITE newsletter [PDF].