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Innovation procurement can support innovation from the demand side. This enables faster modernisation of public services while opening market opportunities for companies in Europe. Highlighting the importance of the topic, ERAC set up a Task Force on “Public Procurement of Innovation” in 2014 and released an Opinion to mark the way forward for innovation procurement.
Horizon 2020 provides EU funding to start innovation procurement. This funding is targeted at potential buyers of innovative solutions.
Two complementary types of innovation procurement are supported by Horizon 2020:
• Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) can be used by procurers when there are no near-to-the-market solutions yet that meet all the procurers' requirements and new R&D is needed to get new solutions developed and tested to address the procurement need. PCP is public procurement of R&D services that does not include the deployment of commercial volumes of end-products.
• Public Procurement of Innovative solutions (PPI) can be used by procurers when challenges of public interest can be addressed by innovative solutions that are nearly on the market, or are already on the market in small quantities. A PPI may still involve conformance testing before deployment.
Through the European Assistance for Innovation Procurement (eafip), the European Commission supports public authorities in signing more and better innovation procurement of ICT-based solutions across the EU.
Demand-side innovation policy instruments in general as well as public procurement promoting innovation (PPPI) in particular have also received attention at national level. As part of these developments, the Austrian government started a "PPPI strategy process“ in March 2011. As a consequence, the PPPI service point (IÖB Servicestelle) was established in 2013 as part of the Federal Procurement Agency (BBG).
Further information, calls for proposals and guidance can be found on the following websites:
Austrian Research Promotion Agency: Innovation Procurement in Horizon 2020
European Commission: Website on Innovation Procurement
European Assistance for Innovation Procurement eafip
Austrian PPPI service point: IÖB