Government departments can for the first time talk directly to businesses about their innovation needs. As a result of this, the ultimate innovations will be better matched to their specific needs.
Businesses are given the unique opportunity of collaborating directly with government departments on innovation. In due course, the projects shall also lead to new markets and promising niches for participating companies.
Citizens will be able to enjoy a more modern and efficient public service. Furthermore, societal challenges such as mobility and ageing will be tackled in an innovative manner.
Flanders will be given a boost as a knowledge region. In time, Procurement of Innovation must contribute towards achieving the Lisbon targets, which specify that 3% of GDP is spent on Research and Development.
Benefits for Business and Research Institutes
- Direct contact with the government. Procurement of Innovation brings you into direct contact with the government as a buyer of innovation. You are given the opportunity of working on innovative projects in close consultation with the relevant departments, in an open atmosphere and without the red tape that is often associated with a conventional public tendering procedure.
- New markets, promising niches. The projects that are eligible for Procurement of Innovation involve current societal themes such as smart pay-as-you-drive, the ageing population, energy-efficient housing, etc. Each of these projects will result in new markets and promising niches for innovative businesses.
- Visibility. Working with Procurement of Innovation means working on projects that have a high government priority and high visibility.
- Financial support. Procurement of Innovation has a budget of EUR 10 million for research and development by businesses.
Benefits for government departments
- Direct contact with the right partners. Procurement of Innovation makes it easier for government departments to come into contact with the right partners. Via our Innovation Platforms government departments can discuss their needs directly with the partners that possess the required know-how: businesses, research institutes and other subject specialists.
- Innovation that matches government departments' needs. The close consultation with the businesses and research institutes and the support provided by subject experts, guarantees solutions that perfectly match government departments' real needs.
- Financial resources. Procurement of Innovation has a budget of EUR 10 million for any research that may still be required for achieving a feasible and workable solution.
- Simpler tendering. A clearly defined solution makes it easier for government departments to prepare the public tender documents for the project.
- Government departments define their own needs. Each policy domain will be instructed to define its short-term and long-term challenges / requirements. What resources do government departments need to improve their service? What innovations can help government departments tackle the major societal challenges that government departments are facing within their policy domain?
- Innovation Platform brings partners together. Once government department project has been defined we set up an Innovation Platform which is open to all interested parties - businesses, research institutes and other subject specialists. In this way government departments are able to come up with innovative solutions that are customised to government departments needs.
The "Public Procurement of Innovation" pilot approved by the Flemish Government in July 2008 is the first implementation of the integrated approach to procurement of innovation. The pilot scheme has been introduced to all interested stakeholders in September 2008, followed by a positive response from all governmental departments. Rollout is planned in over the 2010-2014 period.
At the beginning of 2009 ten topics for procurement projects were defined. Innovation platforms are being set up for the selected projects. The first recently launched pilot came from the cultural sector with a digital book platform (e-book). Four others are in the pipeline: eye screener for young children, a leisure infrastructure and culture information system (ICIS), ICT in health care and a personal development plan for citizens.
The first Innovation Platform related to the e-book procurement project already had its first kick-off meeting 21 April 2010 and will finish end of this year when the e-book call for tender is expected to be published. The aim of the e-book project is the development of a digital platform for lasting and secure storage of digital works in function of a pluriform exploitation by different actors in the book profession: editors, book stores, libraries and content aggregators.
A second Innovation Platform related to the ICIS procurement project will have its first kickoff meeting 28 October 2010. The call to join the ICIS Innovation Platform was published in the Official European Journal. The aim of ICIS (Infrastructure and Culture Information System) is to create a public information service where users can find at any time relevant personalised information about the culture, leisure and infrastructure offer in Flanders.