New procurement guide helps public authorities unlock the benefits of innovation

Freiburg, Germany,  23 June 2014 - Harnessing private sector innovation to solve public sector problems is at the heart of public procurement of innovation (PPI). To reduce the existing knowledge gap on PPI, the EU-funded Public Procurement of Innovation Platform project has launched a comprehensive guide.

PPI is a powerful procurement approach that can help public authorities achieve more efficient and effective public services by finding social beneficial solutions that reduce environmental impacts.

The guide - available online and in print - is ideal for all stakeholders involved in PPI, both those starting out and those looking to improve their current procurement activities. It offers explanations of procedures, definitions and answers to common questions, a selection of case studies, and useful resources for further reading. Particular emphasis is placed on ways in which procurement procedures can facilitate greater innovation. The guide is based on the latest EU procurement directives.

“In a time of decreasing public budgets, innovation can facilitate the delivery of vital infrastructure and services. It is of the utmost importance, therefore, that public procurers can effectively engage in PPI. This guide will empower procurers to create a more efficient, sustainable and modern Europe.” said Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission.

Through PPI, the market is made aware of specific needs in the public sector, and businesses are encouraged to develop and test innovative products. Such activities are vital to stimulate the local and wider economy. As public authorities can provide a guaranteed contract, the outcome is mutually beneficial - public organisations gain an innovative solution, while businesses secure a new customer.

The total value of public procurement in the EU is estimated at €2 trillion per year – or about 19% of European GDP. However, many public authorities and businesses in Europe require support to tackle the less well known elements within the process that can be used to facilitate innovation.  This easy-to-use document will be of interest to procurers, policy makers, consultants, private companies and others who have a stake in successful PPI.

"Europe has an enormous and as yet overlooked opportunity to spur innovation using procurement. Moreover, public procurement of innovative products and services are vital for improving the quality and efficiency of public services at a time of budget constraints. Through this guide, public procurers will be equipped with the necessary knowledge to effectively engage in PPI.” said Mark Hidson, Deputy Regional Director, ICLEI Europe, and coordinator of the PPI Platform project in partnership with PIANOo – the Dutch Public Procurement Expertise Centre, REC – the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe and IWT – the Flemish Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology.

To download the guide, click here.


ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability is the world´s leading association of cities and local governments dedicated to sustainable development. ICLEI is a powerful movement of 12 mega-cities, 100 super-cities, 450 large cities and urban regions as well as 450 small and medium-sized cities and towns in 83 countries. ICLEI promotes local action for global sustainability and supports cities to become sustainable, resilient, resource-efficient, biodiverse, low-carbon; to build a smart infrastructure; and to develop an inclusive, green urban economy with the ultimate aim to achieve healthy and happy communities.

PIANOo - the Dutch Public Procurement Expertise Centre, was set up to professionalise procurement and tendering in all government departments, with a view to improving efficiency and compliance with the rules. Professional procurement can contribute to successful policy and offers value for taxpayers' money. PIANOo brings procurement and tendering experts together, pools knowledge and experience and provides advice and practical tips. The Expertise Centre also fosters dialogue between public contracting authorities and private sector companies. PIANOo works for and with a network of around 3,500 public procurement and tendering professionals. PIANOo is part of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The Procurement of Innovation Platform is the starting point for public authorities, procurers, policy makers, researchers and other stakeholders working in the field to discover the particularities of PPI, providing a place to learn, connect and discuss. It is comprised of three elements: Website, Procurement Forum, and Resource Centre. The website contains the latest news on PPI and PCP developments and events, as well as policy support and background information on the European legal framework. The Procurement Forum is a specially designed networking tool, designed as a space for procurers and stakeholders to discuss, share and connect. The Resource Centre provides a centralised database for PPI guidance.

More information:

Website: www.innovation-procurement.org/about-ppi/guidance/
Twitter: twitter.com/ProcureInno


Marlene Grauer
ICLEI European Secretariat
Tel: +49-761 / 3 68 92-0
E-mail: marlene.grauer@iclei.org