Through eafip, the European Commission is supporting public authorities to sign more and better innovation procurements of ICT based solutions across the EU.
The eafip initiative focuses on promotion of the benefits of innovation procurement, as well as training and assistance to public procurers with a concrete interest in implementing innovation procurements of ICT based solutions across the EU during three years (2015-2017). It aims to promote the benefits of and best practices in innovation procurement across Europe to encourage public procurement innovative ICT solutions. The key components of the initiative are the:
- Identification and establishment of contacts with key public procurers of ICT based solutions across Europe across different sectors of public interest, gathering information about their needs for innovative solutions and awakening their interest in undertaking innovation procurement link.
- Preparation of a Toolkit to assist policy makers, public procurers and legal services in how to support, design and implement PCP and PPI procurement procedures link.
- Provision of assistance to selected procurers in the design and implementation of a PCP or PPI procurement link.
- Organisation of 3 major EU-wide events to raise awareness about PCP and PPI initiatives across Europe and to discuss new ideas and initiatives for EU-wide cooperation on PCP and PPI link.
- Organisation of 9 workshops across Europe specifically targeted at providing procurers with access to good practice approaches and hands-on support link.
The initiative will focus on the following public sectors:
- Construction, housing and community amenities
- Health and social protection
- Education, recreation, culture and religion
- General public / services – public administration – economic and financial affairs
- Public order, safety and defence
- Exploration, extraction, production, transport and distribution of energy such as electricity, gas, heat, oil, coal, other solid fuels
- Transport services such as railway, urban railway, tramway, trolleybus, bus services, airport and port related activities
- Postal services
What can innovation procurement do for you?
Innovation procurement empowers public authorities to obtain pioneering, innovative solutions customised to their specific needs. It helps local and central governments to provide tax payers with the best possible quality services, while at the same time saving costs.
The European public sector faces significant public interest challenges, like health and ageing, climate change and energy, and resource scarcity. The public sector is also under pressure to modernise internal operations while delivering high quality public services. Innovation procurement can deliver solutions to these challenges and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) play a major role in this.
Public procurers have a lot to gain from innovation procurement. It enables the public sector to modernise its services while saving costs and creating market opportunities for companies in Europe.
Impact studies show that innovation procurement creates on average 20% cost savings on public procurement expenditure (which constitutes about one fifth of Gross domestic product (GDP) in Europe – or around € 2,400 billion a year). Innovation procurement is also a way to foster growth and create new jobs, especially for the smaller innovative companies that are the backbone of the European economy and which are ideally placed to supply these new innovative products and services.
Under Horizon 2020, the EU increases support for groups of public procurers who work together on innovation procurement through two different approaches:
Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP): The procurement of R&D services, involving risk-benefit sharing under market conditions and competitive development in phases. PCP offers a way for public procurers to share risks and benefits of procuring R&D and to address challenges of public interest for which no satisfactory technological solution is available on the market yet. The procurement of R&D services is clearly separated from the deployment of commercial volumes of end-products.
Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI): The procurement in which public procurers act as launching customers of innovative goods or services which are not yet available on a large-scale basis and may require conformance testing. This is applicable when contracting authorities/entities, possibly in cooperation with additional private buyers, act as a lead customer for the procurement of existing “innovative” solutions (not the R&D services to develop them) that are not yet available on large scale commercial basis due to a lack of market commitment to deploy.
Partners The eafip initiative is launched by the European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology (DG Connect) and implemented by the two consortium partners STELLA Consulting and Corvers Procurement Services. In addition, the consortium partners are supported by three subcontractors (MVO Nederland, CompletImage and LiveMedia), one non-profit organisation (EuroCloud Italy) and three independent experts (Prof. Nicola Dimitri, Dr. Georg Zellhofer, and Ms. Sara Bedin).