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28 January 2016

The challenges of implementing PPI discussed at PAPIRUS workshop

Three EU projects came together in a workshop in Brussels (Belgium) in November 2015 to discuss their experiences of implementing public procurement of innovation (PPI). The workshop, which involved the PAPIRUS, SPEA and PROBIS projects, took a candid look at the challenges, problems and success stories that arose from implementing this still relatively new form of procurement.

The PAPIRUS project found that its time-frame of three years was too short to successfully plan, discuss with the market, and implement an innovative solution, recommending that those engaging in PPI choose a realistic time-scale. Cross-border procurement was found by the SPEA and PAPIRUS projects to be practically impossible to implement, as the variation in laws and local circumstances at the demonstration sites made it difficult to establish common criteria. It was decided that individual procurement processes coupled with frequent experience exchange would have been more effective.

Attendees also discussed the difficulty of involving SMEs in the PPI process, particularly as many of the companies lacked experience of working directly with the public administration. It was concluded that greater awareness raising is needed to ensure SMEs are equipped to engage in PPI. The complexity of the tender documents was also cited as a deterrent for suppliers to take part in the process.

For more information, download the workshop summary.


26 January 2016

Galician healthcare body uses innovative procurement to improve hospital energy use

The Galician Public Healthcare Services (SERGAS), the body responsible for providing medical care to more than 95 percent of the Spanish city’s population, managed to significantly reduce carbon emissions by optimising the energy consumption of the new Ourense University Hospital. Two complementary tenders were launched, aimed at improving the energy installations of the hospital and the software controlling the energy management system. The overall aim of the project was to create a self-sustaining hospital energy centre, using innovative new technology.

SERGAS chose functional specifications in their procurement procedures, which included the environmental goals of generating all energy needed for sanitary water and heating from a biomass boiler and recovering heat in such a way that zero CO2 emissions are released; generating 50 percent of the energy required for air conditioning from an absorption machine fuelled by recovered heat from other processes; and generating 70 percent of electricity from an Otto engine (a co-generation engine with an electrical generator that recovers heat for pre-heating water) and an Organic Rankine Cycle.

SERGAS recognised the importance of including key stakeholders at all stages of the project, developing an approach that was based on users’ needs, requirements and ideas. These were factored into the procurement requirements. As part of the original market engagement, SERGAS received expert input about the most suitable equipment available on the market and which equipment would achieve the best energy generation mix.

For more information, read the GPP News Alert case study (the full edition of the News Alert can be read here).


21 January 2016

PPI4Waste offers free webinar to Interest Group members

Members of the PPI4waste Interest Group are invited to take part in a webinar on 11 February 2016 that will explore the impact of the new EU Circular Economy Package on waste management and how it can best be used to promote innovative waste management solutions. The webinar will focus on three topics: redefining waste and waste prevention within the Circular Economy Package; changes, particularly significant changes, which can be expected from the proposed Directive on Waste; and how eco-labels can be used within waste management.

The PPI4waste Interest Group is an online gathering that provides useful information and peer to peer exchange for municipal waste management experts, procurers, policy makers, and suppliers. The webinar is its first activity. Those interested in joining the group and gaining access to the webinar and other benefits can sign up on or email

The group is run by the PPI4Waste project, which encourages public procurers and others interested in innovative waste solutions to work together to make the transition to better waste management in Europe a reality.

For more information, visit the PPI4waste website.


19 January 2016

Cities showcase sustainable energy solutions on CEPPI website

The CEPPI team, comprised of expert partners Jera, Optimat, Steinbeis Transferzentrum and ICLEI, has launched the CEPPI project website to showcase the sustainable energy solutions being developed by the five participating cities: Birmingham (UK), Budapest (Hungary), Castelló and Valencia (Spain), and Wrocław (Poland). By using a pro-innovation procurement approach, these cities aim to achieve energy savings of 33GWh per year.

This 3-year project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, intends to build the cities’ capacity in the fields of public procurement of innovation (PPI) and sustainable public procurement (SPP). Public authorities have started identifying the possible areas of intervention and related information has been published on the CEPPI website - Birmingham City Council, for example, announced its interest in procurements related to its waste strategy; Budapest is exploring the implementation of PPI practices in tenders to retrofit the City Hall; Valencia is looking at city lighting, fountain systems and sports centres; and Wrocław is considering a focus on street lighting modernisation.

Within CEPPI, partners will produce reports, guides and other tools of interest for public authorities implementing SPP and PPI practices, while relevant documents related to the cities’ procurement processes will be made available. Those who want to keep updated about the project are encouraged to subscribe to its newsletter through the online form.

For more information, visit the CEPPI website.


14 January 2016

SPP Regions website showcases sustainable public procurement of innovation

The newly launched SPP Regions website showcases the creation and strengthening of networks of public authorities focused on sustainable public procurement (SPP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI) in seven European regions.

The networks in Barcelona (Xarxa de Ciutats i Pobles cap a la Sostenibilitat), South West England (PIPEN), Bulgaria (Bulgarian SPPI Network), Copenhagen, Torino (APE), Metropolitan Region Rotterdam – The Hague, and West France (RGO) are co-operating on tendering for eco-innovative solutions and building capacity to implement sustainable and innovative purchasing practices.

The seven regional SPP networks will publish a total of 42 eco-innovative tenders focused on energy use in public buildings, vehicles and transport, and food and catering services. The goal is to achieve 54.3 GWh/year of primary energy savings and trigger 45 GWh/year of renewable energy. The SPP Regions website provides updated information about the different networks, as well as access to all the tools developed within the project. SPP Regions is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

For more information, visit


12 January 2016

New factsheets provide clarity on bio-based products

The EU-funded InnProBio project has produced the first of a series of factsheets containing information on bio-based products and services. The publication helps to define bio-based products, providing an insight into the primary differences with traditional products.

The first factsheet highlights the benefits of bio-based products, such as their potential to reduce the economy’s dependence on fossil fuels, create green jobs in the European Union, and drive European innovation. The link between bio-based products and sustainability is also outlined.

The section From biomass to bio-based products shows, in a very visual way, different biomass materials that can be used to create products (known as “feedstocks”), such as sugar, starch and natural rubber, as well as bio-based intermediates, such as fibres, polymers and composites, and bio-based end products. Factsheet #1 is available online. The InnProBio team is currently working on the following factsheets.

For more information, visit the InnProBio website.


4 January 2016

EURECA event to showcase new tools for procuring green data centres

EURECA, an EU-funded project that helps public procurers buy and tender for better, more energy efficient data centre solutions, will hold a free event on 29 February 2016 in Turin (Italy), which will showcase new tools being developed by the project. At the heart of the event will be an introduction to a web programme designed to help guide public procurers through the complex process of buying green data centre products and services.

The event will also outline the background of the project and discuss the benefits of greater energy efficiency within data centres. It is the aim of the project members to learn how the public sector procures data centre services and products in Italy, and how EURECA and the EURECA tools may be of help in this process.

Paolo Bertoldi of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) will be among the speakers at the meeting. Around 50 participants will attend. Registration is available online, and is open to all public sector employees involved in procurement. The EURECA project is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 scheme.

For more information, visit the event webpage.