Public procurement is the process by which public authorities purchase work, goods or services from companies
The Public Procurement has been the main tool used in the framework of the Civil UAS Initiative (CUI), strategic programme launched to the Xunta de Galicia, which is an example of how the innovation in the public policy of aerospace industry can respond to challenges of vital importance to the regional government, while improving economic growth, attracting talent or creating jobs.
The CUI aims at:
• Creating a technological R&D pole.
• Promoting the use of UAVs in the civil field.
The initiative has been addressed in two periods:
In the period, the Public procurement process has been addressed in the following phases:
• Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP): Technological and industrial strategic partners were selected to establish public-private collaboration through a partnership agreement for pre-commercial development where the aim is to jointly develop a research and aerospace technology pole based on UAVs.
• Public Market Consultation: means to identify companies, solutions,technologies, trends, etc. that will lead to progress in the strategic design to the PPI.
• Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI): Public procurement is used to obtain concrete innovative solutions based on UAVs for the technological challenges identified after a Market Consultation.
The new period reconfirms the commitment of the Xunta de Galicia, which will continue to use the public procurement within the framework of the CUI to boost the aerospace sector in Galicia.
The budget of the first period was 164ME in total, where 85 ME comes from public funds and 79 ME from the private sector. The budget for the second period is estimated at 160ME. This entire budget is being split to the creation of a good research and entrepreneurship network.
Evidence of success
The CUI design was recognized with the National Prize of Innovation 2016, by the Government of Spain.
Currently, the 1st period is coming to an end. In this period, 6 INVESTMENT PROGRAMMES have been developed, in which 59 projects are funded and more than 50 companies and research centres participate.
Finally, a technological centre for drones in Las Rozas (Lugo) has been created and companies such Indra, Boeing R&T, Airbus or Babcock have been attracted to Galicia, generating employment.
The CUI is the largest innovative public procurement operation to date in Spain. Not all administrations have the qualified personnel or they are not used to manage this type of R&D processes where a lot of things are undefined and open and where the competitive dialogue is not easy to perform.
Potential for learning or transfer
Galicia is being a good example of successful innovative public procurement in the space sector. Andalusian public authorities started promoting public procurement in 2017 and promise around 100 ME for the specific sector of UAVs.
There are a few differences with Galicia. Galicia enters into the aerospace area through the drones industry; Andalusia wants to promote the present drone network and consolidate its leading position at national level.
The approach of public procurement in Andalusia in the sector of UAV may be different having as its main objective the consolidation of an already existing drone sector and diversifying its important aeronautical sector (the second largest in Spain). Also, it could be interesting for Andalusia to focus on internationalization of Andalusian UAV products.
Finally, due to a political change (a new political party is in charge of the region after decades), this process has not yet. However, it is expected to be reactivated in the middle term.
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