29 August 2019

On Innovation Procurement - Interview with Floris den Boer, PIANOo

On Innovation Procurement - Interview with Floris den Boer, PIANOo

Interview with Floris den Boer, senior advisor at PIANOo. The full interview is published on the P2I Website.

PIANOo is the Dutch Procurement Expertise Center of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. Thee Center offers information, advice, tools and practical tips to anyone involved in the public sector with the procurement and procurement of works, supplies and services.

Since PIANOo started working on PCP and innovation procurement, have you seen any change in the mentality of public buyers?
PIANOo sees great enthusiasm among public procurers, internal clients and innovation managers to embrace the potential of innovation procurement. Known cases of innovation procurement at PIANOo are growing. Figures show that public procurers indicate a significant portion of their procurements as innovation procurement (7,7%).
Next to that, we see that innovation procurement is becoming more a means than a goal in itself for contracting authorities. Strategic goals in the public sector - such as sustainability, digitalisation and cost reduction - are driving the use of innovation procurement.

What do you think are the main barriers for procurers to start a PCP or an innovation procurement process?
In our opinion, there are three main barriers for innovation procurement. First, contracting authorities need to define more clear innovation targets for themselves such as reduced CO2-emissions, more efficient material use, or reduced costs. Second, it is not always rational for contracting authorities to bear the full risks and R&D costs of innovation procurement, and instead, they prefer to wait until innovations are proven elsewhere. Third, contracting authorities do not always see the market as the most suitable partner to develop and deliver innovative solutions for their innovation needs. In our opinion, these barriers can be lowered by improving trust and lowering risk and cost-sharing between the contracting authorities and the business sector. We also see room for improvement in the tacit or experiential knowledge among all public stakeholders involved in the form of learning by doing.

What are the goals of the Netherlands in terms of innovation procurement in the next years?
The programme is currently being evaluated, so our new goals might be defined in the coming months. Our current ambition is to support a paradigm shift. Innovation procurement is not the sole responsibility of the procurement professional, but of the entire organisation. This procurement professional has a large responsibility in the sound design of the innovation procurement process. However, for identification of needs that might require innovation, providing room for experimentation and ensuring the upscaling of innovation procurement results, the innovation manager, the asset manager and the policymaker also play an important role.

Read the full interview here.

Learn more about PIANOo.