The levels of innovation procurement

Innovation procurement is not a specific method or procurement procedure. It is rather a formalised way of promoting development in and through public procurement. Innovation procurement can use a broad range of methods and procedures. It does not have to be complicated but is generally about having a broad perspective on procurement and to be open to new solutions.

Innovation procurement can be divided into three levels: the first step is development-promoting procurement where the public procurer seeks fresh solutions and asks for the suppliers’ ideas on development. The product is not necessarily new on the market, but it is new to the procurer.

The second step is the development of novel solutions where goods and services are introduced on the market in the form of a test product or prototype and where a public procurer acts as the first customer. This is essentially the same definition as PPI, public procurement of innovation, where the innovation is new on the market and new to the procurer.

The last step is about purchasing goods and services that are not available on the market, which demands research and development. That can be done using pre-commercial procurement or innovation partnership as well as other types of methods.

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