A new report by the UN Economic Comission for Europe (UNECE) sets that public procurement of innovation (PPI) should be considered a strategic policy tool, however that requires specialized tools and processes which are “demanding in terms of governance and management capacity in the public sector.” The report states that the public sector faces four key barriers to pursuing PPI
These barriers are
Procurement is considered an “admin function”, while a large part of procurement is “compliance driven and not innovative”.
- Institutions and governance
There is a lack of a robust legal and regulatory framework on IEP, risk aversion and resistance to change, poor management and coordination, and lack of financial support.
There are difficulties in ensuring a competitive process, poor measuring systems and IT tools, and lack of capacity to measure and monitor performance over the life of the contract.
- Capacity and skills
There are challenges around lack of administrative capacities, lack of knowledge and specific skills, and difficulty in the management of pre-commercial procurement and competitive dialogues.
To overcome these barriers, the report argues for a shift from “defining detailed parameters” to allowing suppliers “the space to propose solutions according to strategic goals”. Among the list of actions, it is suggested to provide specific trainings, in line with the HAePPI objective of offering a massive online training for SMEs.
The full report can be downloaded here.