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29 May 2018

Reducing energy use of data centres through innovation procurement

Data centres might be easy to forget about, but they have become central to our everyday lives, acting as the hubs of our increasingly digitally powered societies - and consuming an enormous amount of energy in the process.

Global demand for energy from internet-connected devices already consumes 3-5% of the worlds electricty, and the need for data centers is only expected to increase as our use of digital devices and collection of data continues to rise. Mitigating strategies such as powering centres through renewable energy and increasing their energy efficiency are therefore extremely important, and as demonstrated by the EURECA project, can achieve significant results.

Funded by the European Commission, the EURECA project used a public procurement of innovation approach to support new build and retrofit data centre projects. The resulting pilot projects saved over 131 GWh/year of primary energy. As well as creating training modules on innovation procurement for data centres, the project has also compiled a market directory, and a tool which helps procurers self-assess the efficiency of their data centre and find solutions.

For more information, visit the EURECA project website.

 

25 May 2018

Digital transformation of procurement prioritised by Commission

Digital transformation is a significant trend in public procurement with the potential to radically alter the way public authorities will make future purchases. From e-procurement to outcome-based and data-driven decision making, digital transformation has the potential to increase the efficiency of public services and make public procurement competitions more attractive to bidders.

For that reason, digital transformation was one of the priorities highlighted in the European Commission's public procurement package in October 2017, and will be the subject of a conference organised by the Commission in Lisbon, Portugal on 18 October.

The conference will focus on topics such as getting ready for future waves of technological change and digital innovation, and reaching more public procurers with the benefits of this transformation.

For more information on this upcoming conference, please visit the DG Growth website.

 

17 May 2018

European Commission publishes innovation procurement guidance

New guidance has been published by the European Commission's DG GROW, addressing the fundamental aspects of innovation procurement - why it is important, who should be interested, and most importantly, how it can be done.

The guidance is based around good practice examples, and aims to help public procurers with a range of practical issues, including reducing administrative burdens, using selection criteria effectively, mobilising innovation brokers, and implementing SME-friendly payment schemes. It covers a range of alternative public procurement procedures - such as competitive dialogue, design contests and innovation partnerships - providing inspiration and advice for implementing these.

In addition to practical examples, the guidance also highlights wider innovation procurement initiatives, such as the Procure2Innovate project on establishing and expanding innovation competence centres in 10 EU Member States, and draws attention to important points for sharing and learning about international experiences in innovation procurement, including the Procurement of Innovation Platform and the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network.

This guidance is released as part of the Renewed Agenda for Research and Innovation, and is available here.

 

15 May 2018

EcoProcura 2018: Four days left to submit to call for contributions

With only four days left until the call for contributions closes, don’t miss the opportunity to showcase your work to attendees from across Europe and other world regions at EcoProcura 2018 – a three day conference on sustainable, circular, and innovation procurement, taking place from 3-5 October in Nijmegen (Netherlands).

The deadline for the call for contributions for the Market Lounge, Speed Presentation, Disruptors and Game Changers, and Supplier Engagement conference sessions is Friday 18 May.

Procurement practitioners, public authorities, policy makers, suppliers and legal experts are invited to submit proposals online via the EcoProcura 2018 website.

Organisations, projects and businesses, which offer sustainable procurement services and expertise, are also invited to apply for a space at the EcoProcura 2018 Exhibition zone.  The Exhibition zone will serve as a key meeting and networking spot, featuring procurement- related initiatives and organisations. For more information about costs and layout and to secure your spot today, contact us at ecoprocura2018@iclei.org.

For all the latest conference updates and information, from information on breakout sessions, practical information on Nijmegen and how to get to the city, and information about our speakers, visit the conference website.

 

11 May 2018

PRIMO Forum focuses on procurement innovation and strategy

Procurement innovation was the central theme of this year's Procurement, Integrity, Management and Openess (PRIMO) Forum, held between May 8-10 in Bucarest, Romania.

Hosted by the Government of Romania, around 100 participants took part in the Forum, which was co-sponsored by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and the World Bank, in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), SIGMA, OECD, and UNICTRAL.

Prominent on the agenda were discussions around the reform of public procurement through legislative simplification, supporting innovation procurement through policy, and presentations of best practice and the business case for innovation procurement.

More information on the outcomes of the Forum can be found here.

 

4 May 2018

More ambition encouraged for the new Clean Vehicles Directive

The Clean Vehicles Directive was first introduced by the European Commission in 2009 in order to promote innovation and help accelerate the transition to low- and zero emission vehicles by requiring public authorities to take energy consumption and emissions into account when purchasing vehicles.

Almost ten years on, the Commission is continuing to encourage innovation by proposing new targets and a reform the Clean Vehicles Directive to make it easier for public procurers to use.

The European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) has now produced a draft opinion on these proposals which calls for greater ambition, arguing that requiring the procurement of "ultra-low emission vehicles" is an essential opportunity to deepen and broaden innovation in the European vehicle manufacturing sector, pushing it to regain the lead in the global market for these technologies.

The present formulation of the Clean Vehicles Directive remains in force. For more information on how to comply with this regulation and implement green vehicle procurement, the Clean Fleets project - coordinated by ICLEI - developed a range of resources including guidance, training and a LCC tool, all avialable online.