Public procurement should embrace innovation not limit it. That’s where public procurement for innovation comes in handy – a point proven during the partnership study visit at ELI-NP.

Within the Bucharest meeting of the consortium, iBuy partners visited the Extreme Light Infrastructure – Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP), a reference point for scientific research worldwide in Bucharest, focusing on the study of photonuclear physics and its applications. As it is comprising a very high intensity laser of two 10PW ultra-short pulse lasers and the most brilliant tuneable gamma-ray beam, ELI-NP is very much depended on innovations to produce the ones of its own. However, obtaining novel items, more often than not, presents a challenge for the facility.

ELI-NP has to go through general public procurement procedures under the Romanian law to purchase the most relevant products and solutions for its activities. That presents an obstacle when the facility needs to acquire an item from a single producer worldwide or something that has not even been developed yet. ELI-NP is often bound to do its all purchases through open call procurements, which take a lot of time and also are very inflexible, especially when it comes to innovations, thus effecting the productivity of the site.

That is why and when public procurement for innovation (PPI) should be embraced. It paves the way for public buyers, like ELI-NP, to purchase specific products and solutions without going through all the restrictions and limitations coming from regular public procurement procedures. Of course, PPI requires some time, resources and knowledge as well as constructive legal regulation to be effective, but the end result might be the most beneficial for the public buyer.