Responses from stakeholders in partner countries on public procurement for innovation
iBuy is a project dedicated to boosting innovation through public procurement. It aims at encouraging public authorities to start acting from the demand side for innovation as it has been conceptualised in the Europe 2020 strategy and the Innovation Union.
iBuy aims at developing innovative models suitable to mobilise public and private stakeholders on the basis of the ‘entrepreneurial discovery process’ linked to the research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation in the area of public procurement for innovation, while promoting a European perspective and ensuring the durability and transferability of the achieved results.
The main project outputs are:
Research and innovation
The instrument is aimed at strengthening the Lithuanian innovation system by creating environment for the spread of knowledge and technology. To do so, one of the main cores included is the Programme for Innovation Public Procurement, which is being developed properly for the very first time in Lithuania and which is foreseen to become one of the main instruments to support the demand of innovation.
During this programming period new projects within this instrument has been launched, which provides advisory services on Pre-commercial Procurement (PCP) for public procurers and business, mostly SMEs. It is expected that this instrument would help to create optimum conditions for the wide commercialisation and take-up of the results of R&D, develop innovative solutions for the societal challenges of the future, and encourage companies to invest in highly qualified R&D in Lithuania. This instrument sets favourable conditions for public procurers to start using pre-commercial procurement widely.
The need to improve this policy instrument is twofold. On one hand, the Ministry of Economy feels that more impact could be generated from the funds that has been allocated. On other hand, evolution of businesses and their needs clearly indicates that traditional public support services should be more dynamic and versatile. In other words, the stakeholders, from both supply and demand sides, lack the knowledge to further develop the instrument and make it more effective and efficient.
The Balearic Islands Government is currently establishing a public procurement programme in order to promote the purchases made through this model by the regional administration and thus achieve the target set by the national government for this purpose. With this initiative, the regional government will boost the development of innovative new markets from the demand side, in the sectors fixed in the smart specialization strategy and in the Plan for Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship of the Balearic Islands, such as marine science and technology; biomedical and health sciences; social sciences applied to tourism and information technology and communications; water resources, food and agriculture and energy; and knowledge-based digital content.
This impulse will improve public services by incorporating innovative goods or services, will encourage business innovation and will promote the internationalization of innovation using market local public as a customer reference. Public bodies may contract services in the form of pre-commercial public procurement (know-how) or public procurement of innovative technology. Even if there is some experience, the public authorities still need to improve their expertise to properly implement the strategy.
Since the beginning of 2017 Finland has a new national procurement legislation which derives from the European Community directives on public procurement. The regulation of public procurement aims at a more efficient use of public funds in order to ensure value for money on public procurement financed out of general taxation. When procuring goods, services or works the contracting authority must take advantage of existing market conditions and improve the functioning of markets.
Innovation public procurement is an excellent policy tool to find innovative solutions to regional challenges. However, so far, it has not been used at all in the ESIF financed projects in Tampere region. The aim is to increase the use of innovation public procurement in the ESIF financed projects in Tampere region. This will enable a novel approach to regional development, change the way of thinking related to the aims of public procurement and increase the impact of ESIF financed projects.
Through the project we aim to improve the understanding, guidance and adaptability of innovative public procurement, and identify the type of projects it could be utilized. With help of innovative public procurement the projects would better serve as innovation platforms for the companies and experts to enable more comprehensive approach to regional development. The project will enable the learning from European good practices in utilization of innovative public procurement.
The economic crisis marked the onset of the decline of the SME sector. The downward trend has intensified so that increases in the number of SMEs achieved in the period before the economic crisis was almost totally cancelled. Being aware of the importance of innovation public procurement for the development of the region, ADRBI has undertook actions in order to develop ideas regarding IPP programmes. For companies from the Bucharest-Ilfov Region competitiveness improvement is a key element in order to be able to determine international growth. Until now the local and regional support has not been really successful and therefore needs to be improved. One line of development that should be addressed is the one concerning Innovation Public Procurement for which the Bucharest-Ilfov Region does have a latent potential. This action, new in Romania works under the The Regional Operational Programme Investment in Growth and Jobs ERDF 2014-2020 includes as Priority Axis 1, Investment Priority 1b. However, due to the fact that is a new policy, new and better governance models are needed so the region gets to improve their skills on how to proceed with these programmes and deliver them efficiently.
The policy instrument addressed is under to Specific Objective 1a “Upgrading and expanding public research institutions for smart specialisation”. By promoting innovation in public procurement, it is expected that local innovation will be triggered to provide innovative goods or services to the public authorities that will act as customers. In other words, it is necessary to foster the demand of innovation and, through implementing innovation public procurement activities the region will be able to do so.
In this context, a regional innovation public procurement programme is scheduled to be implemented, referring to sectors of particular interest for the Region, such as eco-innovation and smart cities technologies, among other. Both domains represent areas with high levels of public demand and intense concentration of private suppliers, whose marketization and pre-commercialization gaps often constitute barriers for successful public private partnerships. The projected IPP programme is envisioned to battle the aforementioned limitations and provide critical support to investments in innovation while complementing other existing types of private financing/funding. The lack of expertise and previous experience as well as the limited country experience on innovative public procurement makes it imperative to investigate practices applied in other countries in the EU, to exhchange knowledge and information and finally transfer it to the regional context.
The Smart Specialization Strategy is a strategic approach document of economic development through targeted support for Research and Innovation (R&D) in Latvia. Also the Smart Specialization Strategy is providing the basis for the investment of the European Structural Funds in the field of Research and Innovation. Innovation public procurement is as the part of Smart Specialization Strategy is an important tool for promoting innovation at all levels of public government institutions, which can improve the efficiency and quality of public services, address the challenges and needs of the public institutions, while at the same time fostering the growth of innovative companies, creating new jobs and promoting investment in private Sector R&D activities. In this context, the Latvian Government is launching for the very first time an ambitious plan to promote IPP as the central instrument to promote the innovation demand from the public authorities. However, since this is the first time the country implements it, there is need to expertise in order to avoid problems or barriers that could appear, and the project is a tool to develop those skills to properly implement the IPP.
COMPETE2020 is the national operational programme that supports R&D and Innnovation, also focusing on the reduction of context costs. In the latter dimension, COMPETE has a dedicated Axis to public administration modernization which is the perfect instrument to fund highly innovative public procurement projects, coupled with side incentives to SMEs R&D. Until now, this modernization instrument has been used without taking advantage of the lever effect on SME innovation. That means that, instead of promoting public administration modernization in-depth, it has promoted lighter changes. Unlike other territories which is already in the 3rd generation of Public Procurement, Portugal is still dealing surpass legal boundaries and launch and it is about to launch the first projects just now. Hence, there is room to learn and launch a public procurement initiative based on mutual learning and the experience of our European partners, which is needed in the current implementation phase, which is much needed in this context.
Responses from stakeholders in partner countries on public procurement for innovation
iBuy project partners met in Lamia (Greece) to review all the actions carried out so far and share the link between their RIS3 and IPP/PCP with the consortium.
First meetings with stakeholders held. What policy makers and procurement implementors had to say about PCP/IPP?
Project partners have carried out research and capitalisation on results of interregional and other European / national projects related to IPP.
Experts from Lithuania, Spain, Finland, Romania, Latvia and Portugal have gathered in Vilnius to get acquainted and agree on the work plan for the project.