The aim of the EcoQUIP project was to improve the efficiency, quality and environmental sustainability of healthcare through innovation procurement.
The project made progress towards this aim by creating an ‘Innovation Procurement Leaders Group’ of hospitals that have competence in innovation procurement and the capacity to pioneer new approaches to collaborative procurement.
As well as stimulating demand for innovative goods and services and delivering practical procurement outcomes (within the period of the project), it served also as a model of best practice for the wider population of some 15,000 hospitals in Europe.
Activities carried out:
Replication and extension.
Build the innovation procurement capacity of leaders, facilitators and associates in support of the collaborative procurement actions, by providing them with direct support, and the evidence, knowledge and tools to take the lead in pioneering new approaches to the procurement of innovative new solutions for the European healthcare sector, and thus equip the healthcare sector for the challenges of the future.
Leader-led collaborative innovation procurement compacts.
Lead to six transnational collaborative innovation procurement projects that will generate a credible demand for new and innovative goods and services to improve the efficiency, quality and environmental sustainability of healthcare services.
These actual innovation procurement pilots can serve as good practice for national authorities to build into their systems to boost innovation by modernizing the rigid and bureaucratic ordinary procurement processes.
To replicate the practice no extra funding is needed, just the restructuring of the use of current procurement processes and encouraging the use of innovation procurement in cases, where there is no immeidate solution for the unmet need of the buyers
Evidence of success
- 5 different pilots/case studies in real life settings based on real unmet need definition
- its not only a process innovation, but it has to be followed and supported by organisational change
- the case studies derived from the pilot projects can be used as good practice in any healthcare setting
- the methodology of the innovation procurement is readily available for all interested parties
The possibility of the innovation procurement has been drafted into the actual procurement law
routine old fashioned procurement processes
time limitations - innovation procurement process takes about 6-12 month logner
lack of HR resource and management buy in
short term financial constraints vs lifetime cost cycle - the innovative solution might not be the cheapest possible initially
Potential for learning or transfer
Regardless of the matter of the unmet need (from dirty hospital beds through bad lighting in wards till uncomfortable nurse uniforms) the solutions reached (automated bad washing machine, ambient LED lighting, eco friendly smart uniforms) had one main message in common. If the project started with a well invested management and dedicated team, and they spent enough time defining the real need, where the currently available solutions were not delivering satisfactory results, then the rest of the project itself went pretty smoothly, as all parties knew, what they expect as an outcome.
On authority level the innovation procurement can serve different policy objectives.
It can help spending public funds the most effective way - delivering solutions exactly tailor made for the unmet need, and having the lowest full lifecycle cost of projects
Also this procurement method can boost SMEs buy providing funding for their innovative yet not mass market products, overall help the ecosystem
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