Public sector changes in order to face important challenges. Solutions can be found near the market and if clear requirements or sufficient demand are expressed by the market, it would be provided (PPI). But in other cases, more R&D work is required before committing to large scale deployment (PCP).
The main goals are to open markets for industries and researchers and by doing so creating growth and jobs in Europe. PPI and PCP are still underutilised in the European Union.
PPI: Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions
It’s when the issue needs a solution which is almost or already on the market in small quantity but not fit for large scale deployment yet. It doesn’t need either new Research and Development (R&D).
Therefore, public sector can act as an early adopter for innovative products and services that are new or just arriving on the market and that is helping in launching the product or service. It establishes a buyers group, which will trigger industry to scale up and to offers on the market products which are with desired quality/price ratio, in a defined time.
PCP: Pre-Commercial Procurement
It’s when the challenge needs a consequent innovation, and that it’s not close to market yet. R&D are still needed to de-risk and to compare and validate the pros and cons of different alternatives.
This tool is important to encourage innovation and in the meantime facilitates the orientation towards the development of new solutions corresponding to the needs of the public sector, and by the public sector. Public procurement of R&D in Europe is underused in comparison to other parts of the world. But thanks to Horizon 2020, the European Union support those kinds of initiatives, especially groups of publics procurers working together on Pre-Commercial Procurements.
The goal is to be better informed to be ready to possibly do a follow-up PPI and to avoid a supplier lock-in. Therefore, Public sector has to buy R&D from multiple suppliers in the same time, in order to compare different solution approaches. By doing so, this is creating some competition where it can evaluate the progress of the R&D such as design, prototyping, test phases, but also the risks and benefits of it. In the end, it has to be shared with the suppliers to make them ready to a wide commercialisation.
PCP and PPI are complementary!
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PCP and PPI projects exist in different sectors. Here some examples:
- THALEA is a PCP project on tele-detection/care of ICU patients and THALEA II is a PPI project;
- CHARM is a PCP project on Traffic Management;
- HAPPI is PPI project on Healthy Ageing;
- INNOCAT is PPI project on Sustainable catering.
Next calls for 2018: Digital health & care (DTH-10); Security (SU-GM03).
Next calls for 2019: ICT based solutions for any area of public interest (ICT-34); Next generation sequencing for routine diagnosis (BHC-10); Wave energy (LC-SC3-JA-3-2019); Security (SU-GM03); Digital health & care solutions for an ageing society (DTH-05).
Next calls for 2020: Infection & integrated care (BHC-20); Climate Change resilience (LC-SC3-RES-10-2020); Security (SU-GM03); Innovative HPC systems (INFRAEDI-04).
One call of the Programme COSME about Public Procurement of Innovation (COS-PPI-2018-2-01) - focused on SMEs - is also open until December 2018!