Guiding principles for stimulating innovation

Stimulating innovation is not as easy as it sounds. However, these ten guiding principles can help you and your public authority get on the right track.


#1    Act as an ‘intelligent’ customer

  • Inform the market of your plans as early as possible
  • Create a professional public procurement function capable of handling innovation

#2   Consult the market before tendering

  • Identify innovative solutions on the market
  • Inform market players of your needs and discuss ways of meeting them

#3    Involve key stakeholders throughout the process

  • Identify key internal stakeholders
  • Secure their involvement and participation

#4    Let the market propose creative solutions

  • Give companies room to propose ideas and be open for alternatives
  • Ask for a solution, do not prescribe it

#5    Seek value for money, not just the lowest price

  • Decide which cost and quality aspects to take into account
  • Decide on criteria to reflect these aspects

#6    Take advantage of electronic means

  • Use electronic means to inform and be informed and enhance efficiency
  • Ensure the electronic means you use are well-adapted to your needs

#7    Decide how to manage risks

  • Identify and plan for risks
  • Designate the risk owner

#8    Use contractual arrangements to encourage innovation

  • Include in the contract incentives for further innovative solutions
  • Establish a policy on how to handle intellectual property rights

#9    Develop an implementation plan

  • Provide for an implementation structure and resources
  • Monitor and learn from implementation

#10    Learn for the future

  • Become a learning organization on innovation
  • Establish evaluation and review procedures to improve knowledge of innovation in procurement procedure