Procurement of Innovation platform

Project

The European network of competence centres for innovation procurement

The Procure2Innovate project will improve institutional support for public procurers in a range of sectors that implement innovation procurement. The project will establish or expand competence centres for innovation procurement in 10 European Union countries: five are already established in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden; while five new competence centres will be established in Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Portugal.

Procure2Innovate is a truly European project, with 19 partners from 10 European countries.

Public procurement accounts for about 14% of GDP in the EU and offers an enormous potential market for innovative products and services. This is especially true for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which, through Procure2Innovate, will have access to the market and to potential customers from the public sector.

The project can also support European businesses by encouraging public procurers to purchase innovative products and services, thus inspiring a range of markets to become more competitive and in turn recognise the value of increased research and development (R&D) spending – a win-win for the European economy.

Funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Procure2Innovate will:

  • Build a permanent network of competence centres that will facilitate knowledge sharing, collaboration and the exchange of best practices.
  • Support (at least) five existing innovation procurement competence centres to enlarge their scope, increase their impact, and enhance their services for public procurers.
  • Establish five new innovation procurement competence centres, helping them to support public procurers as they become ever more established and experienced in the field.
  • Support all competence centres to develop expertise in cross-border co-operation and joint procurement.
  • Communicate and disseminate the tools and approaches (and results) developed by Procure2Innovate competence centres at a European level. This is key to making innovation procurement knowledge accessible to more public procurers and other stakeholders.

What will this network mean for innovation in Europe?

As the Procure2Innovate network develops, the approaches to innovation procurement across Europe will become harmonised, with more modern and effective services being offered to public procurers in EU countries.

This dynamic is crucial because it means that fragmented public services will be targeted - public services such as healthcare, public work and public transport that are all key to supporting innovation in our societies.

A truly European Procure2Innovate network will also support key sectors such as information and communication technologies (ICT) and healthcare in value creation and 'finding a first customer'. In fact, Procure2Innovate can have an important role in sustaining the EU's position as a key market for such sectors.

But the project consortium also has the intention to facilitate the creation of more competence centres beyond the five existing and five new centres, given the expectation that the activities of the network will raise substantial interest among procurement professionals in other countries.

Moreover, the way the project is structured means that other important activities will take place.

The internal networking among project partners is crucial to Procure2Innovate. Peer-to-peer learning through a ‘buddy’ system and ‘good practice exchange workshops’ means that more experienced or established competence centres are continuously paired with newer centres, allowing the consortium to maximise exchange and knowledge transfer. The good practice exchange workshops will address such topics as public funding instruments, the interpretation of new directives and legal assistance, as well as best practice from associate countries, such as Norway.

Engaging outwith the network

Other activities include the Procure2Innovate partners engaging fully with external stakeholders. This means, for instance, establishing a working group of European innovation procurement networks, arranging workshops on financial instruments for public procurement (important for buyers and sellers), in addition to further workshops and webinars in collaboration with the European Commission, European Investment Bank (EIB), and national finance institutions.

For procurers at national level, the Procure2Innovate network will be ideally placed to provide assistance on innovation procurement. And aside from raising awareness of key issues, Procure2Innovate can be considered en effective means of building capacity and knowledge – whether on pre-commercial procurement (PCP) or other procurement approaches.

In this domain, procurers can also be awarded excellence in innovation procurement through the annual Innovation Procurement of the Year award.

To contact Procure2Innovate, simply consult the contact page on this website, or meet us at one of several events across Europe.