Why innovation procurement?

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Innovation procurement has many advantages, both for public authorities and for businesses and knowledge centres.

The benefits of innovation procurement for public authorities are numerous:

  • The government strengthens its knowledge of the state-of-the-art through market surveys and consultations;
  • Innovative solutions are potentially better and cheaper because the R&D phase is sometimes carried out by multiple competing suppliers and the (technological) risks when actually purchasing the solution are reduced by the prior testing phase(s);
  • The innovative solutions are more in line with real needs and challenges because the demand side is strongly interlinked with the supply side during the development process;
  • The government acquires user rights on the results of R&D activities, which is not the case with subsidies;
  • Innovation procurement mobilises resources for innovation across all policy areas and levels;
  • More satisfied customers of government administrations, and employees, as the offered public service is of better quality and functions more efficiently;
  • Innovation procurement also contributes structurally to a more sustainable government.
  • Innovation procurement contributes to tackling grand societal challenges.

Innovation procurement also benefits companies and knowledge institutions:

  • Through direct contacts with the government, entrepreneurs and knowledge institutions gain a better understanding of public innovation needs; this offers perspectives on new research and innovation themes and the development of new markets or promising niches;
  • More funding will be made available for R&D and testing activities and there will be more opportunities to establish partnerships between knowledge institutions and enterprises;
  • When the government acts as a launching or lead customer new possibilities are created to bridge the valley of death between product development and commercialisation; this can also positively influence the opportunities for export;
  • Improve access for SME’s and start-ups to public markets by simplifying the procurement process as much as possible, by opting for an interactive and phased approach and by including fewer technical specifications in the tenders, but desirable functionalities and possible variants instead.

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