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Guidance on Innovation Procurement

16 May 2018

The European Commission issued a notice on Guidance on Innovation Procurement. The purpose of this Notice is to offer practical guidance on innovation public procurement.

While the Notice occasionally paraphrases the provisions of EU legislation, it is not meant to add to or diminish the rights and obligations set out in that legislation. Insofar as the Notice could be understood as interpreting EU legislation, it warrants stressing that only the Court of Justice of the European Union is competent to give a legally binding interpretation of EU law.

Adopted in the context of the Communication on “A renewed European Agenda for Research and Innovation – Europe’s chance to shape its technological leadership” and the input to the Leaders’ informal dinner in Sofia on 16 May 2018, this guidance document presents in a concise manner the fundamental aspects of innovation procurement: why it is important, who has interest in it and how it can be done.

Public procurement rules are no longer only concerned with “how to buy” – they provide scope for incentives on “what to buy”, without prescribing them. The objective of spending tax-payers’ money well is gaining new dimensions, beyond merely satisfying the primary needs of public entities. With each public purchase, the public opinion is rightly interested to know whether the procured solution is not only formally compliant, but also whether it brings the best added value in terms of quality, cost-efficiency, environmental and social impact and whether it brings opportunities for the suppliers’ market.

Innovation procurement addresses all of the above concerns. It opens the door to higher quality and more efficient solutions that value environmental and social benefits, better cost-effectiveness; and new business opportunities for enterprises.

Click here to read the entire document.