8 challenges and solutions in Public Procurement of Innovation

Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI) plays a vital role in driving technological advancements and fostering innovation within the public sector. However, to achieve effective and efficient outcomes, it is essential to identify and address the challenges associated with PPI. 

In this article, we delve into the specific challenges faced in PPI and present potential solutions based on our workshop held in Turku, Finland.

  1. Identification:Unveiling Innovation Potential

    One of the primary challenges in PPI is the difficulty in identifying the innovative aspects, needs, and desired outcomes. Additionally, there often exists a lack of courage to label procurement as innovative. To tackle this challenge, a potential solution is the design and implementation of a tool that facilitates the identification of innovation potential. Moreover, engaging more buyers and end-users in market dialogues can provide valuable insights and contribute to recognizing innovative procurement.

  2. Anticipation and Timetable: Ensuring Efficiency and Timeliness

    Anticipating costs and adhering to strict deadlines are significant concerns in PPI. To address this challenge, it is crucial to develop annual procurement plans that provide a clear roadmap for the procurement process. Furthermore, establishing a forum for collaborative planning can facilitate effective coordination among stakeholders and ensure efficient timetabling.

  3. Involvement: Enhancing Engagement in Management and Finance

    A lack of engagement in management and finance poses a hurdle in PPI. To overcome this challenge, it is essential to provide fact-based training to professionals in these sectors. By increasing their understanding of the benefits and procedures of PPI, stakeholders can become more actively involved. Additionally, fostering market dialogues through multiple channels can promote collaboration between procurers and companies.

  4. Market Knowledge: Fostering Cooperatio.

    Insufficient cooperation between markets and public procurers limits the potential for successful PPI initiatives. To enhance market knowledge and collaboration, it is crucial to disseminate procurement information in advance. Furthermore, organizing events that facilitate innovation sharing among companies can foster mutually beneficial partnerships and contribute to the success of PPI projects.

  5. Lack of Concrete Instruction: Guiding the Way

    A common challenge in PPI is the lack of concrete instructions for implementation. To address this, it is vital to establish channels for sharing successful case studies and guidelines for each step of the PPI process. These resources can provide valuable insights and serve as practical references for procurers, encouraging them to embrace innovative approaches.

  6. Know-how and Comprehension: Encouraging Innovation

    Fear of failure and reluctance to try something new can hinder PPI initiatives. To foster a culture of innovation, it is crucial to shift the focus towards achieving the best possible results within existing budgets. By emphasizing the importance of generating value and maximizing impact, procurers can overcome the barriers of fear and encourage experimentation.

  7. Risk Management: Identifying and Mitigating Risks

    Effectively managing risks is paramount in PPI, particularly when dealing with untested products or solutions. Sharing risk models and involving subject matter experts can aid in the identification of potential risks and the development of suitable risk management strategies. By fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing, procurers can navigate uncertainties more effectively.

  8. Bureaucracy and Law: Navigating Legal Boundaries

    The impact of bureaucracy and legal constraints on market dialogues in PPI cannot be overlooked. Providing clear guidelines and illustrating examples of permissible practices can help procurers understand the extent to which market dialogues can be conducted. By promoting transparency and compliance, procurers can navigate legal boundaries while engaging in effective market dialogues.

In conclusion, the experiences in Turku, Finland, shed light on these challenges provided a few solutions to be implemented and shared to enhance PPI. These points are part of a preliminary Market Consultation that equipped participants and BUILD’s PPI experts with new tools to proceed in our project journey to enhance Public Procurement of Innovation.

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Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.