Press Release

Strictly under embargo until 18:00, 25 September 2014

Winner of the Public Procurement of Innovation Award announced at EcoProcura conference

Ghent, Belgium, 25 September 2014 - Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam (the Netherlands) was announced as the winner of the Public Procurement of Innovation Award today. The ceremony was held during the EcoProcura conference, in Ghent, Belgium. The Dutch hospital, which overcame competition from five other finalists, was praised by the jury for its innovative robotic bed washing facility. The award was presented by Bonifacio Garcia Porras of DG Enterprise and Industry, European Commission. 

The Erasmus University Medical Centre asked the bidders to design a more cost and environmentally efficient solution to disinfect the hospital's 70,000 beds and mattresses. The contract was won by IMS Medical, who proposed a creative approach - high precision cleaning robots that disinfect the beds in a conveyor belt format, similar to the set-up employed by car manufacturers. Through the facility, the cleaning costs per bed were lowered by 35 percent compared with the existing solution, and the CO2 footprint reduced by 65 percent.

The City of Oslo (Norway), Région Rhône Alpes (France), and A Coruna City Council (Spain) were given honourable mentions during the ceremony. A more in-depth profile of each finalist, detailing their organisation, procured innovation and supplier, is available here.

The jury also praised the private companies who supplied the innovative solutions, with each company involved in the procurement processes commended for contributing to a more efficient and competitive Europe. 

Improved public procurement practices can help foster market uptake of innovative products and services and will raise the quality of public services. "Public procurement has a significant role to play in stimulating innovation to ensure that Europe successfully meets future economic, social and environmental challenges. Procurement requirements that demand innovative solutions can stimulate new sources of jobs and growth in Europe. I warmly congratulate the winner of the PPI Award and I hope that the procurement practices of the winner and the nominees will act as an inspiration to others." said European Commissioner Ferdinando Nelli Feroci.

“This solution to disinfect hospital beds shows that companies are able to deliver innovative solutions for the social challenges related to health care and the aging population. Now we can clean more beds, with less cleaning agents and lower CO2 emissions: that is a sustainability gain, particularly with a 35 percent reduction of costs.” said Bertholt Leeftink, Director-General, Enterprise and Innovation at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

With the 2014 edition of the PPI Award now closed, applications for the next edition have opened. Those interested in applying can find out more by contacting

The Public Procurement of Innovation Award aims to recognise successful public procurement practices that have been used to purchase innovative, more effective and efficient products or services. The award is part of the Procurement of Innovation Platform, an online space for procurers coordinated by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and developed with support from the European Commission, 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.

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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 has been set up to professionalise procurement and tendering in all government departments and to improve efficiency and compliance with the rules. Professional procurement contributes 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:



Sean Carroll
ICLEI European Secretariat
Tel: +49-761 / 3 68 92-0