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27 December 2016

Eafip releases informative videos on innovation procurement

Six videos providing information on pre-commercial procurement and innovation procurement have been released by the eafip initiative. The videos, which are designed to improve knowledge about the public procurement process, feature procurers from across Europe who have successfully developed and implemented innovation procurement.

Topics covered include carrying out a joint cross-border public procurement of innovative solutions, procuring traffic management systems, purchasing innovative lighting for hospitals, and more. The videos are introduced by Lieve Bos, Innovation Procurement Policy Officer with the European Commission’s DG CONNECT. The sixth video looks at innovative procurement carried out as part of HAPPI, a project which promoted healthy ageing.

The EU-funded eafip initiative aims to promote innovation procurement and provide assistance to public procurers to help them carry out the procurement of innovative ICT based solutions. The project runs from 2015 - 2017.

To view the videos, visit the eafip website.


22 December 2016

Interview with Procura+ Award winner Transport for London published

Transport for London (TfL) took home the Procura + Award in the category of “Innovation procurement of the year" in Malmö (Sweden) on 30 November, thanks to an impressive procurement that saw the British capital’s public transport operator reduce the whole life-cycle cost associated with lighting the expansive London Underground network. In an interview with procurement magazine Public Spend Forum, Dr Carl Leon of TfL explains what made the procurement especially innovative.

“We took a look at how we spend public money on products and services, and applied a brand new approach to how we procure them, focusing on whole life-cycle costs,” says Dr Leon. “By brigading our future spend on lighting – creating economies of scale to offer to the market – we were able to inspire potential suppliers to invest in the effort and the research required to develop technologies that are more economically advantageous for us, and more sustainable than any of the products currently installed on the TfL network.”

Dr Leon goes on to say that: "“Innovating to encourage more environmentally friendly products affects a market wider than just TfL. Because we are working with industry to design products that are greener and more cost-effective in an operational environment, that knowledge is distributed to others world-wide. We’d like to see the methodology we developed applied by public bodies to achieve savings."

To read the interview in full, click here.


20 December 2016

UrbanWINS invites stakeholders to take part in surveys on waste management

UrbanWINS, an EU-funded project aiming at developing and testing eco-innovative waste prevention and management strategies in eight pilot cities, is inviting stakeholders to take part in two questionnaires that are designed to gain a better understanding of the state-of-the art of waste management and prevention in Austria, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden, as well as the knowledge and possible interests of relevant actors. Local and regional governments, companies and civil society actors are encouraged to complete the surveys.

By taking part in Survey 01, participants are contributing to detect the most relevant local, regional and national innovative waste prevention and management strategies, including policies, regulations and plans (also available in Romanian and Spanish). Survey 02 aims to find out more about the role, interests and commitments of different stakeholders concerning consumption and production patterns, waste prevention, and participatory mechanisms in order to involve them in the future activities of UrbanWINS. (This survey is also available in German /Austrian, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, and Swedish).

Expected outcomes of the project include raising awareness on the limit of resources, lowering barriers for a circular economy by understanding waste as a resource, and connecting waste prevention and management with urban environmental resilience.

For more information, visit here.


13 December 2016

Free innovation procurement assistance offered to European procurers

The eafip initiative is offering 12 public procurers from EU Member States interested in improving their innovation procurement activities (both pre-commercial procurement and public procurement of innovation) the chance to gain targeted assistance. Selected procurers will be guided through the start-up and implementation of an innovation procurement process, including legal assistance.

Procurers will be selected on the basis of four criteria: concrete interest and commitment to starting a PCP or PPI project, the potential impact of the procurement, geographical balance of the cases across EU Member States, and level of experience in the implementation of innovation procurement projects. To take part, applicants must complete an online questionnaire.

The deadline for applications is 14 February 2017. The EU-funded eafip initiative aims to promote innovation procurement and provide assistance to public procurers to help them carry out the procurement of innovative ICT based solutions. The project runs from 2015 - 2017.

For more information and to apply, visit the eafip website.


12 December 2016

Flanders region adopts innovation procurement action plan

The Belgian region of Flanders has adopted a new procurement action plan that fosters innovation. The plan, which is based on a combination of pre-commercial procurement (PCP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI), covers the period 2016 to 2019.

Under the new plan, at least 3 percent of Flemish public procurement expenditure will be dedicated to innovation procurement. A fund of 5 million euro will be allocated to provide financial support to Flemish public procurers to engage in innovation procurement.

An integrated model has been proposed by IWT, the Flemish innovation agency, one that covers the entire procurement journey, starting from political ambitions and ending with the final commercial procurement. On a longer term basis, the plan aims to encourage Brussels public procurers to integrate innovation into their procurements and to create cooperation between innovation procurement projects at Belgian and European level.

For more information, download the action plan [PDF].


5 December 2016

Innovations in protecting firemen to be presented at Brussels conference

Smart@fire, an EU funded project that aimed to use innovative ICT solutions to develop systems that offer firefighters greater protection, will hold a conference in Brussels (Belgium) from 14 - 15 December 2016 to present its findings and achievements.

Every year, over 100 firefighters in Europe die whilst saving others. To help lower this number, the project used a pre-commercial procurement approach to develop sensors that measure environmental parameters and vital body functions, localise systems to determine the firefighter's position, and provide data to better assess potentially dangerous situations.

As well as discussing advances in the field of personal protective equipment, the conference will look at public procurement of innovation, pre-commercial procurement, smart textiles and wearables, and EU policy instruments on innovation. The conference, which is free of charge to attend, is organised and financed by the Smart@ project in cooperation with Enprotex, the European Network of Public Procurers in the field of Protective Textiles.

For more information, visit the Smart@fire website.


1 December 2016

Winners of the Procura+ Awards announced

Procurers from Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands took home the 2016 Procura+ Awards at a ceremony in Malmö (Sweden) last night. The awards recognise the most outstanding procurement activities carried out in Europe in three categories. The award ceremony was held as part of the Sustainable City Development conference, an international event exploring how cities can work towards implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The City of Copenhagen (Denmark) beat off competition in the category "Sustainable procurement of the year" for its procurement of healthy, sustainable, biodiverse and appetising food. The city aims to ensure that 90 percent of all food procured by the municipality should be organic. Transport for London was awarded “Innovation procurement of the year”. The British capital’s public transport operator sought to reduce the whole life-cycle cost associated with lighting the expansive London Underground network. Rijkswaterstaat (RWS), the body within the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment responsible for infrastructure facilities, was recognised in the category "Tender procedure of the year". RWS used an innovative contract to procure the works and services necessary to widen the A6 motorway.

“I would like to congratulate each award winner for their fantastic achievement. Each organisation has demonstrated how procurement can be used as a valuable tool to achieve strategic sustainability aims,” said Åsa Karlsson Björkmarker, Deputy Mayor, Växjö. The Procura+ Awards are held as part of ICLEI Europe’s Procura+ Network, a network of public authorities at the forefront of sustainable and innovation procurement in Europe.

For more information, read the Press Release.