December 20, 2013
Demand-side initiatives and procurement were important issues in the Aho group report presented to the European leaders at their spring summit in 2006 (Aho et al., 2006). The report called for the support of markets for innovative goods and services, including public procurement. In this report we want to further emphasize the negligence in the EU and its member states of demand-side innovation policy instruments, especially innovation procure-ment. Furthermore, this paper aims at approaching procurement in a much more proactive way than is done today. We strongly support Europe 2020, the Innovation Union, the Commission communications on Smart regulations (COM (2010) 543 final) and Modernising European public procurement (COM (2011) 15 final) to support growth and employment, but also stress the importance to further improve European policies in this area as well as increasing the number of areas of test beds for implementation at the national level.
It is important for all countries to offer public innovation procurement initiatives. A key aspect of this is to spread knowledge and inspiration and to develop tools so that more players take advantage of innovation procurement. Initiating pilot trials of innovative procurement containing interactive learning between organizations, setting up joint focus groups within certain procurement areas could be an efficient way. Furthermore, the introduction of a ‘Small Business Innovation Research’ programme, experimental in nature, for innovation procurement is another important vehicle as well as training a new generation into becoming the vanguard of Innovative procurement.
At the EU-level the paper calls for support to the important public procurers of innovation, the establishment of a powerful European working group for innovation procurement, as well as the creation of a strong dialogue between the regional, member state and EU-Level. The issue of Innovation Procurement is also dealt with in the Euro-CASE paper on Financing Innovation.