February 10, 2016

Insights into open innovation in public procurement

Distinguished Guest Speaker Event within the Professional MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation

The E&I Alumni MMag. Stefan Wurm, MBA talked about innovation in public procurement in Austria and trends in the US and the European Union and gave some interesting insights.

Generally, public procurement as the process of purchasing work, goods or services from companies is not perceived as the most innovative sector. However, the economic dimension of public procurement throughout the European Union is considerable and makes it worth some attention: public authorities in the EU spend around 14% of their GDP on public procurement, which means an estimated value of tenders of 422.78 billion euros (2013).

One initiative aiming at promoting innovation in the European Union is the Procurement of Innovation Platform (cofinanced by the European Commission): it is an initiative for sharing resources, projects, training and exchange. This initiative also awards the “Procurement of Innovation Award” which aims to recognize successful public procurement practices that have been used to purchase innovative, more effective and efficient products or services. In 2015, the award went to the ÖIB for the procurement of an innovative wastewater recycling system for the Austria Mint.

The “European Assistance For Innovation Procurement initiative” is a new initiative launched by the European Commission to support public procurers to start and implement more and better innovation procurements of ICT-based solutions across the EU.

In Austria, the Austrian Procurement Agency created the service point PPPI (Public Procurement Promoting Innovation) which has several functions, among others operating an online platform that serves as a brokerage tool between procurers and innovative suppliers.  For the Austrian Procurement Agency, the ÖIB set up an “Innovationspartnerschaft” (innovation partnership) a marketplace aiming at fostering innovation in public procurement. Public agencies in need of innovative products or services can post what they are looking for and companies can propose their solutions to different problems or needs. If you are interested in one or the other, we suggest having a look at their website.

Stefan Wurm is Head of Public Procurement Promoting Innovation Service Point (IÖB) at the Federal Procurement Agency and graduated from the E&I program in 2013.

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