On the 2nd of May, procurement experts gathered at the event “Releasing the Power of Procurement” in Brussels to discuss the state of innovation procurement in Europe and find a solution to improve the use of benefits of procuring ICT solutions for SMEs and public administration.
In the European Union, public procurement accounts for 14% of GDP. However current procurement processes are struggling to keep up with the fast pace of digital innovation in smart cities, health-care, energy and other key domains. We presented the LEA project at the event. The project offers innovation procurement support for the uptake of innovative products, works and services and helps to establish more favourable conditions for the creation of new markets, in particular in areas of public interest.
Innovation is happening in Europe, but SMEs and start-ups are facing barriers to accelerate market uptake. Procurement can be the key to foster innovation in Europe. The workshop revealed that public procurers need to integrate SMEs and start-ups to stimulate innovation.
The workshop sought to stimulate a debate on the benefits and shortcomings of public procurement processes and how to fix the shortcomings to benefit both public purchasers and the local innovation ecosystem. The main takeaways were that we need alternatives to major dominant players of today including opening up to SMEs, a clear policy strategy to push investments and defined goals and bring the demand side together and ensure that relevant events follow up.