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29 September 2016

Belgian procurement legislation opens the door for sustainability

Belgian legislators transposed the EU Procurement Directives into national law on 17 June 2016, replacing the 2006 legislation with 193 new Articles. The legislation introduces greater flexibility into procurement processes, with open and restricted procedures no longer given priority. Innovation is also emphasised, with the new law promoting the use of innovation partnerships between procurers and suppliers to aid the development of better products and services.

Under the legislation, procurers are obliged to consider quality criteria in addition to price, opening the way for life-cycle costing and the use of sustainability criteria. While the legislation still states that the 'most economically advantageous tender' must be purchased, procurers are free to interpret what this means in terms of achieving the best price to quality ratio.

Products with a high energy efficiency rating are favoured under the law. The use of tender criteria is generalised, but tenders of limited value or in specific circumstances are exempt from standard award criteria.

For more information, visit


27 September 2016

London underground lowers lighting bill through new procurement approach

The iconic London Underground carries 1.34 billion passengers every year, and reliable lighting is crucial for keeping its 270 stations running smoothly. The maintenance costs of traditional fluorescent lighting are significant, and in 2015 Transport for London (TfL) introduced a new approach to lighting procurement based on whole life-cycle costs (WLC), with support from the EU funded Procurement of Lighting Innovation and Technology in Europe (PRO-LITE) project.

Using WLC analysis of products allowed TfL to consider information beyond unit price, including installation, maintenance, energy use, carbon, and cleaning costs. This approach demonstrated that the biggest savings were not from short term material costs, or to a greater extent energy costs, but from longer term labour costs (including cleaning, installation and maintenance).

Indicative results from one station suggest that WLC savings of 25 percent are possible by switching to LEDs. Due to the success of the approach, TfL now plans to apply it to other areas of its network.

For more information, download the case study in the GPP News Alert.


22 September 2016

PAPIRUS project final conference to look at procurement of innovation in practice

The final conference of the EU-funded PAPIRUS project will take place in Bilbao, Basque Country on 29 September 2016, and will see lively discussion and debate between public procurers, policy makers and other stakeholders. The agenda of the conference is available online.

Public procurers that have implemented public procurement of innovation (PPI) will present case studies at the event, while experts in the field will share their experience of innovation procurement. Representatives of the European Commission will outline upcoming Horizon 2020 funding opportunities that will support public procurers to undertake innovation.

The event will see a number of networking opportunities designed to help participants find new partners for future PPI projects. The PAPIRUS project aims to promote, implement and validate innovative solutions that help European cities to embrace sustainable construction. One of the project goals is the introduction of a new public procurement process focused on providing nearly zero energy materials for the repair and construction of buildings.

For more information and to register, click here.


20 September 2016

Registration open for final Water PiPP event

The final event of the Water PiPP project "Empowering Public Procurement for Innovation in the EU Water Sector" will take place in Zaragoza (Spain) from 9 - 10 November 2016. Registration for the free event is available online. The two-day conference will see lively debate about public innovation procurement approaches in the public water sector as a means to solve local water challenges.

Participants will have the chance to learn more about the demand for private sector products and services by the public domain. Procurers from the public water sector and suppliers from the business world are invited to explore innovation procurement from the angle of procurement practice, water sector policy and business opportunities.

The conference will be in English with Spanish interpretation available. The EU-funded Water PiPP project aims to stimulate demand for sustainable water solutions through innovative and pre-commercial procurement. Around 80 people are expected to attend the event.

For more information, click here.


16 September 2016

InnProBio maps tools for bio-based products and services

InnProBio has just issued a mapping of existing tools for bio-based products and services in public procurement. The purpose of it is to support public procurers interested in purchasing bio-based products. The document will be part of the Decision Support Tool that will be developed in the second half of the project lifespan.

The publication is divided in three sections. The first one is focused on the methodology used to create this inventory of already existing tools. The second section contains a selection and a brief description of the tools included in the inventory that are relevant for the future InnProBio handbook and the Decision Support Tool. The last chapter includes some conclusions.

The mapping exercise resulted in the identification and assessment of some 150-200 items related to bio-based procurement and public procurement of innovation. A part of those has been included in the final inventory due to its relevance and value for the target audience. The publication shows that two European countries are particularly active in providing support to bio-based procurement: The Netherlands – through the Dutch Expertise Centre for Public Procurement PIANOo – and Germany – through the Agency for Renewable Resources – FNR.

To download the document, click here.


13 September 2016

Bologna to host final EcoQUIP meeting

The final meeting of the EU funded EcoQUIP project will take place in Bologna (Italy) from 5-6 October 2016, looking at the key achievements of the project and identifying and discussing the primary policy lessons. Wednesday 5 October will consist of a policy workshop, while 6 October will see a learning visit take place before a farewell lunch.

The learning visit will present an opportunity to visit the St’Orsola Hospital and hear about the experiences of innovation procurement. Registration is possible by contacting

The aim of the EcoQUIP project is to improve the efficiency, quality and environmental sustainability of healthcare through innovation procurement. The project will make progress towards this aim by creating an ‘Innovation Procurement Leaders Group’ of hospitals that have competence in innovation procurement and the capacity to pioneer new approaches to collaborative procurement.

For more information, visit the EcoQUIP website.


12 September 2016

Procura+ Awards deadline extension

There is still time to apply for the European Procura+ Awards, with the deadline extended to 7 October 2016. The Awards highlight sustainable and innovation procurements and tender procedures and give visibility to the most dynamic, forward-looking and innovative public authorities and their initiatives.

Winners will be invited to collect their trophies at an awards ceremony, taking place as part of Sustainable City Development 2016 in Malmö (Sweden). This event, which is bringing cities together to consider their role in ensuring the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, will show the importance of sustainable procurement in achieving the ambition of the Paris Agreement.

As well as international recognition, award winners will receive free entry and a presentation at the next EcoProcura conference; a published case study on the SP Platform and PPI Platform; publicity in a variety of ICLEI publications; and one year’s free participation in the Procura+ Network. To apply for the Awards, interested parties should send a completed application form to by midnight on 7 October 2016.

For more information, visit the Procura+ Awards page.


8 September 2016

Shortlist of innovative solutions to improve learning chosen

Four innovative ICT-based approaches to learning have been selected by the EU-funded IMAILE project as part of an ongoing pre-commercial procurement. A call to develop research and development services for educational ICT based solutions to support personalised learning environments was released in November 2015, with seven potential solutions chosen. This list has now been narrowed down to the four most impressive options.

The 3D Virtual STE(A)M Laboratory aims to provide an immersive and fun environment through which students can learn subjects such as biology, chemistry, maths, science and the arts; the ALMERINPersonalLearningEnvironment will use gamification to get students interested in learning, and will adapt to individual student’s learning styles; SiWay - STEM it your way! will allow students to carry out real research activities, investigating topics that they are interested in; while AMIGO - smArt steM learnInG ecOsystem will provide a holistic learning environment that will adapt to students’ needs.

The selected suppliers will meet with the buyers group and experts for the first time in Magdeburg (Germany) from 20 – 22 September 2016 to present their prototypes. The face to face session will provide a chance to discuss each of the solutions.

For more information, read the IMAILE newsletter.


7 September 2016

Surveys show Austria’s improvement in innovation procurement

Austria has made considerable progress in promoting public procurement of innovation (PPI) according to surveys from both the European Research Area and Innovation Committee (ERAC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The country has implemented a series of policies designed to bolster the use of PPI, including the development of a PPI Action Plan in 2011. The Action Plan is linked to the Austrian Strategy for Research, Technology and Innovation.

PPI has enjoyed strong governmental support in the country, with several ministries overseeing the implementation of the PPI Action Plan. According to the ERAC analysis, Austria is one of three good practice case studies for long-term strategic planning in promoting PPI. As well as establishing a strategic framework, the analysis found that there is a focus on empowering and mobilising public procurers.

Austria has also established trainings for contracting authorities, provides networking opportunities and holds information road shows to raise awareness of both PPI and green public procurement. Financial incentives are an additional part of the country’s PPI promotion, such as the awarding of grants and vouchers for support.

For more information, click here [PDF].


1 September 2016

PAPIRUS final conference to explore innovative procurement in construction

PAPIRUS, an EU-funded project that aims to promote and implement innovative solutions to help European cities embrace sustainable construction, is organising its final conference on 29 September 2016 in Bilbao, Basque Country. The conference is open to public procurers, suppliers, experts, legal advisers, policy makers and others. It is free of charge to attend.

Since October 2013, project partners have been working towards the introduction of a public procurement process that focuses on obtaining nearly zero energy materials for the repair and construction of buildings. Experts in the field will share their experience of working on the project, while public procurers will present relevant PPI case studies.

Representatives of the European Commission will be in attendance, and will outline Horizon 2020 funding to support procurers to undertake innovation procurement. In addition to presentations, the event will provide ample opportunity for networking and will ensure broad debate and lively discussion between public procurers, policy makers and other stakeholders.

For more information and to register, click here.