Innovation Procurement typologies

“Any public purchase, if admitted and properly valued in the award criteria, may end up being a public procurement of innovation” (INAP, 2013), so that, as far as public procurement relate to innovation (Innovation Procurement, IP) is refers, it can act in three ways, from the point of view of the degree of maturity of the innovation at the beginning of the contracting (Innovation Policy Platform, online):

1. Regular Procurement of Innovation: “occurs when public sector organisations buy ready made products for which no R&D is required, can incorporate innovation- related criteria in the tender specifications and in the assessment of tender documents, for instance”.

2. Public Procurement of Innovative solutions (PPI): “public procurement can strategically create a demand for technologies or services that do not yet exist. This procurement involves purchasing a not-yet-existing product or systems”.

3. Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP): “public procurement can target the purchase of research and development services to support the activities and decisions of government and public authorities. This is the case for pre-commercial procurement of R&D (with no guarantee that the public sector will buy the goods or services developed)”.

So, although the IP typologies are two: PPI and PCP, in Public Administration there is a growing tendency to encourage public procurement to be carried out as far as possible taking into account innovation criteria, and the term Regular Procurement of Innovation has been coined to refer to the public procurement of goods and/or services with innovation criteria, so in order to differentiate it from the IP typologies we will use the term Public Procurement with Innovation criteria.

For more information, read chapter 2 of :
Transnational Water Innovation Strategy – TWIST (online, 2021). E 4.1.1. Training materials for Innovation Procurement in the water sector.

Available here.