In order to support the public demand of innovation, the Commission has put in place a series of policies and initiatives to make innovation a cornerstone of European public procurement.
Europe the innovator
The main European Union innovation policy at this present time is the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative. Its aim is to boost research and innovation performance by speeding up the process from ideas to markets.
Public procurement has also been recognised politically by the European Council as a tool for increased innovation. Their wish is to see greater uptake of PPI and an increase in the development of innovative companies.
To encourage deployment of innovative solutions, the European Commission supports PPI through the CIP Program (Competitiveness and Innovation Program). The aim of EU funding is to speed up wide diffusion of innovative solutions by encouraging cooperation between procurers across Europe through cross-border coordinated (or joint) procurement to deploy the first batches of innovative solutions that are newly arriving on the European market.
For information on the current open proposals please see the Commission's calls page.
The new framework programme for EU support to research and innovation for 2014-2021, Horizon 2020, foresees the continuation of similar EC grants that co-finance the costs for consortia of public procurers to undertake together PPI or PCP.
Horizon 2020 officially introduces pre-commercial procurement (PCP) as a new funding instrument to be used across all areas of research and innovation supported by the Commission.
Lead Market Initiative
Actions to lower barriers to bring new products or services onto the market are at the heart of the Lead Market Initiative (LMI). The policy instruments deal with regulation, public procurement, standardisation and supporting activities.
The LMI identified the following markets as worthy of special exploration: eHealth, Protective textiles, Sustainable construction, Recycling, Bio-based products and Renewable energies.