11 February 2020

Innovation procurement at the European Innovation Summit

As part of the 11th European Innovation Summit, Sunčana Glavak MEP and partner organisations - Regional Energy Agency North, City of Koprivnica, Sviluppumbria and Be.Funded - hosted an event at the European Parliament on the policy instruments which can support the public procurement of innovation. The aim of the conference was to help policymakers, public authorities and other stakeholders to recognize and use the power of innovation procurement.

Addressing the event was Marzena Rogalska, Director – DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, and Public Procurement (DG Grow), who spoke on the importance of viewing public procurers as active partners in strategic ambitions. This underpins European Commission support for innovation procurement, including via the Big Buyers initiative, which brings together public procurers to pool their resources and maximise their market power, in areas such as electric vehicles, circular construction materials, and zero emission constructions sites.

Among the high-level policy panellists was Peter Defrancesci, Head of ICLEI Europe Brussels Office, who emphasised the role of innovation procurement as a tool that public authorities can use to address societal challenges such as climate change. He emphasised the importance of support services, such as those provided by national Competence Centres for Innovation Procurement, and projects such as Procure2Innovate, which is helping to expand the availability of such services for procurers of ICT.

Likewise, initiatives such as Innovation Procurement Brokers are essential for bridging the divide between big buyers and innovative suppliers, while Pre Commercial Procurement (PCP) activities can help Europe develop truly innovative solutions, as is the aim of the new AI4Cities project, which focuses on accelerating carbon neutrality.

Other panellists included Mišel Jakšić, Mayor of Koprivnica, Ivo Locatelli, Senior expert from DG Grow, Anna Lucia Jaramillo of Corvers Commercial and Legal Affairs, Ivan Palčić, Permenant Representative of Croatia to the European Union, Cristoph Maier, Interreg MED Programme Representative.