European Commission

European Commission

Through EAFIP, the European Commission supports public procurers (including contracting entities in the utilities and security sector) in developing and implementing more and better innovation procurements of ICT based solutions across the EU.

European Assistance For Innovation Procurement EAFIP

The European Assistance For Innovation Procurement (EAFIP) is an initiative financed by the European Commission (DG CONNECT) for providing local assistance to public procurers for starting new innovation procurement and for promoting good practices and reinforcing the evidence base on completed innovation procurements.

EAFIP is coordinated and led by Corvers Procurement Services.

The initiative started in 2015. During 2015-2018 (the first contract phase) the following activities were completed within EAFIP:

  • Events in different EU countries focusing on information and training on PCP & PPI. Eleven workshops were given in 10 different countries, as well as three main events in three different countries.
  • Six videos in which public procurers from different sectors talk openly about the procurement approach, lessons learnt and benefits of their completed PCP and PPI procurements.
  • Innovation procurement toolkit with 3 modules for policy makers, public procurers and legal staff on why and how to implement PCP and PPI, illustrated by examples. An online helpdesk with FAQs.
  • Assistance was provided to 12 PCP and PPI procurements for ICT based solutions

Eafip has also identified a list of key procurers across different sectors of public interest across all the EU Member States and conducted a survey about the interest of public procurers in different sectors in starting innovation procurements over the coming years.

During 2019-2020 the following activities took place:

  • Providing free of charge technical and legal assistance to public procurers across all EU Member States in the preparation and implementation of innovation procurements of ICT based solutions. This includes local assistance for PCPs and PPIs supported by local lawyers that speak the local official EU language.
  • Promoting good practices and reinforcing the evidence base, in particular on the impacts achieved by completed innovation procurements around Europe. In this context, the eafip website and the innovation procurement toolkit will be updated with new evidence and good practices.
  • The webinar Opportunities to tackle the COVID-19 Crisis through Innovation Procurement was given beginning of April 2020. A replay can be watched/ downloaded here.

For the period 2021-2023 the following activities are taking place within EAFIP:

  • Assistance to newly selected ICT-related innovation procurement projects. Free of charge technical and legal assistance will be provided to public procurers in the preparation and implementation of their project. New calls to apply for assistance will be launched every three months. (for a schedule of calls click here)
  • A series of webinars and workshops is organized to explain the EAFIP methodology for innovation procurement, highlight the benefits of innovation procurement as well as lessons learned, success stories and best practices.

Interested to benefit from this European assistance on innovation procurement? Get in touch with the EAFIP-team and let us know.

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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.  

Policy context

Under Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, 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.


The EAFIP-initiative was launched by the European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology (DG CONNECT).
In 2015 – 2018 it was implemented by the two consortium partners STELLA Consulting and Corvers Procurement Services. In addition, the consortium partners were supported by the subcontractors Vtrek, MVO Nederland, CompletImage and LiveMedia and three independent experts: Prof. Nicola Dimitri, Dr. Georg Zellhofer, and Ms. Sara Bedin.

In 2019-2020 EAFIP was led and implemented by Corvers Procurement Services supported by subcontractors Vtrek, IrRADIARE, MSMUniZar, JADS and external experts Prof. Nicola Dimitri, Dr. Georg Zellhofer, Ms. Sara Bedin and Dr. Steven van Garsse.

For the period of 2021-2023 EAFIP is led by Corvers Procurement Services supported by subcontractors Vtrek, IrRADIARE & UniZar, and external experts Prof. Nicola Dimitri, Dr. John Rigby, Dr. Georg Zellhofer and Dr. Steven van Garsse.

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European Commission © European Union, 2150. This website is created with EU funding by Corvers, as contractor that is implementing the European Assistance for Innovation Procurement for the EU under procurement contract LC-01619918. All rights reserved. Certain parts are licensed under conditions to the EU. See copyright notice for more info on the conditions for reuse of content on this website. Corvers - Commercial & Legal Affairs