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28 February 2017

UrbanWINS pilot cities plan project activities in Venice

Representatives of the UrbanWINS pilot cities – Albano Laziale, Cremona, Pomezia and Turin, in Italy; Leiria, in Portugal; Bucharest, in Romania, and Manresa and Sabadell, in Spain – participated in project workshops focused on strategic urban planning and participatory mechanisms development, including using procurement in the context of waste prevention. The knowledge and the experience gained will be used in the next phases of the UrbanWINS project, aiming at co-creating eco-innovative waste management and prevention strategies.

Cities involved in the project will start identifying the priorities and objectives for reducing resource consumption and waste production at source, with the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders. Face-to-face meetings – urban agoras – will take place in each of the cities, and a virtual platform – online agoras – will be available from the UrbanWINS website this spring to encourage discussion and brainstorming.

With the support of experts from the University IUAV of Venice, hosts of the meeting, the UrbanWINS cities explored the connections between actions that are directly related to waste management and actions that can be taken in other sectors but that affect waste production and/or have an impact on the success of waste management and practices.

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24 February 2017

DG CONNECT publishes 2017 Pre-Commercial Procurement update

The European Commission's DG CONNECT has published an update of the results achieved by 15 Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) projects, aimed at the development of innovative solutions geared for public sector application. With the funding level for innovation procurement projects reaching €130 million per annum from 2014 to 2017, the Commission is keen to improve awareness of the support available for PPI and PCP among procurers, researchers and the private sector.

The 2017 update reports where PCP projects have had impact on improving the quality and efficiency of public services, extending market opportunities in innovation procurement to SMEs, valorising project research outcomes and nurturing cross-border approaches to contracting and job creation.

DG CONNECT report that 71% of the PCP contracts were won by SMEs, where the SME success rate in public procurement across the EU is only 29%. Other highlights include 28% of PCP contracts being awarded on a cross-border basis and a similar proportion including universities and research centres in the winning consortium.

The full update and list of PCP projects is available at on the PCP projects website.

For more information on Pre-Commercial Procurement visit


16 February 2017

Eco-Innovation Observatory issues 2016 Circular Economy report

The Eco-Innovation Observatory has highlighted 32 best practice examples from EU member states on how the circular economy is being implemented at the EU and national levels.

The report, entitled Policies and Practices for Eco-Innovation and Circular Economy Transition, focuses on how understanding of the circular economy concept has evolved in EU member states. The challenge of stimulating both top-down and bottom-up mainstreaming of eco-innovative measures, and how countries' comparative eco-innovation policies and practices are measured is explored. EU and Global eco-innovation scoreboards are used to present cross-country comparisons of circular economy and innovation measures.

Findings include an increasing prioritisation of eco-innovative policy at the national and local levels across Europe, but also that current economic indicators do not fully measure the impact of circular economy approaches.

To download the full report, visit


14 February 2017

Brussels training to look at financing renewable energy in cities and regions

A session run by the EU-funded INFINITE Solutions project will train participants on how to develop and implement innovative financing schemes for sustainable energy measures. The training will take place on 23 February in Brussels (Belgium) and will draw on the outcomes of the INFINITE Solutions project, which is coming to an end after three years.

For many cities and regions, financing a transition to renewable energy is extremely challenging, with many struggling to cover the cost using the municipal budget alone. This training will show local and regional authorities how they can try out new financing mechanisms, business models, and organisational structures and partnerships to get their sustainable energy project off the ground.

The training is open to representatives of national public authorities and energy agencies, European and national associations of local authorities, local and regional authorities and their energy agencies, financing institutions, and more. The number of participants is limited, so early registration is recommended.

For more information, visit


10 February 2017

Action plan aims to recycle or reuse 70 percent of plastic globally

A new action plan has been released that if implemented would see 70 percent of plastic packaging reused and recycled globally. Already the plan, laid out in the report The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action, has been endorsed by more than 40 industry leaders. The report was produced by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

The plan additionally calls for the remaining 30 percent of plastics to be redesigned. A transitions strategy outlines how plastics design could better facilitate recycling and re-use, such as through replacing single-use plastic bags with reusable alternatives. Without a redesign, warns the report, plastics will continue to clog up land-fill sites or require incineration.

"The plan puts innovation at the heart of a strategy that could shift the entire system while unlocking a billion dollar business opportunity. Alignment along value chains and between the public and private sector is key to this," said Dominic Waughray of the World Economic Forum.

For more information, visit


8 February 2017

Procurement law conference to look at impact of Brexit and TTIP

The Annual Conference on European Public Procurement Law 2017, set to take place from 30-31 of March 2017 in Trier (Germany), will bring together legal practitioners from across the continent to discuss the latest legislative and jurisprudential developments in the field of procurement.

Key conference topics include the implementation of the new procurement directives, and the anticipated impact of TTIP, CETA and Brexit on public procurement within the EU. Lawyers in private practice, in-house counsel, ministry officials and other civil servants dealing with public procurement matters are invited to attend.

Speakers at the event include Marc Gabriel, Chair of the European Public Procurement Group; Patricia Anna Eyckmans, Legal Advisor for the European Medicines Agency; and Philipp Tepper, Coordinator, Sustainable Economy and Procurement, ICLEI.

For more information, visit


3 February 2017

Unmet needs in the healthcare sector identified by EPP e-Health project

A joint statement of unmet needs in the European healthcare sector has been published by the EU-funded EPP-eHealth project. The recently ended project additionally released a Public Procurement of Innovation solutions (PPI) strategy for eHealth, established a network of procurement organisations operating in the sector, and mapped out EU initiatives and funding opportunities.

Unmet needs in the sector include patient empowerment through telemedicine and tailored apps, extraction of data in electronic health records, and advancing clinical imaging solutions. The needs were identified by the four healthcare institutions involved in the project.

The PPI Strategy for eHealth summarises the lessons learned by the project, identifying measures needed to accelerate the development and adoption of 'market-ready' eHealth solutions. The project also launched a matchmaking tool that pairs suppliers operating in the field with those procurers that have an unmet need. It additionally allows suppliers to find partners to take part in proposal bids.

For more information, visit


1 February 2017

Final days to apply for innovation procurement support

The eafip initiative is offering 12 public procurers from EU Member States the chance to gain targeted assistance in implementing innovation procurement activities (both pre-commercial procurement and public procurement of innovation). Selected procurers will be provided with legal assistance to guide them through the start-up and implementation of an innovation procurement process. Assistance includes one-to-one meetings, support by email, hands-on guidance and individual support. Assistance is provided in the local language of the procurer.

Procurers will be selected based on 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.

The deadline for applications is 14 February 2017. To take part, applicants must complete an online questionnaire. 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.

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