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Shaping Europe’s digital future

Procurement of ICT innovation

The European Commission supports innovation procurement as a tool to deliver solutions to economic and societal challenges.

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infographic showing 3 phases of Pre-Commercial Procurement and 4th phase of Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions
Infographic showing 3 phases of Pre-Commercial Procurement and 4th phase of Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions

Public Procurement of Innovative solutions (PPI) is used when challenges can be addressed by innovative solutions that are nearly or already in small quantity in the market and don't need new Research & Development (R&D).

Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) can be used when there are no near-to-the-market solutions yet and new R&D is needed. PCP can then compare the pros and cons of alternative competing solutions approaches. This will in turn enable to de-risk the most promising innovations step-by-step via solution design, prototyping, development and first product testing.

By developing a forward-looking innovation procurement strategy that uses PCP and PPI in a complementary way, public procurers can drive innovation from the demand side. This enables the public sector to modernize public services faster while creating opportunities for companies in Europe to gain leadership in new markets. Currently however, compared to other parts of the world, PCP and PPI are underutilized in Europe.

For more information on how to square this circle, see the Frequently Asked Questions list on PCP and PPI

1. Better policy framework

2. EU co-financing

3. Networking - Experience sharing - Training

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