The Innovation Procurement Brokers (InnoBrokers) project, funded by the EU, helps public procurers to procure innovative goods and services by linking public buyers with innovative suppliers. Once introduced to SMEs and start-ups that are able to develop innovative solutions responding to their requirements, the local authority can benefit from bids tailored to their requests.
The project is a two-year EU-funded programme, with funding from the COSME research and innovation programme and Horizon 2020, managed by ICLEI. Five regional procurement of innovation broker schemes will be piloted in the Upper Austria Region, Denmark, North Rhine Westfalia (Germany), Ireland and Andalusia (Spain), then scaled up to a European level.
The project intends to convince public procurers that purchasing innovation is not difficult, just a different process that is easy to learn and easy to apply. It starts with the buyer telling the supplier what is needed and determining the requirements in a pre-commercial stage. To SMEs and start-ups it intends to highlight how innovative public procurement can trigger the demand for innovative solutions that do not exist yet and which will be made available for the whole market. “The market needs innovative companies who take advantage of their size, simplicity and speed to quickly react to the public needs and demands,” says Innovation Procurement Platform.
Currently, buyers are identifying and defining their needs. These will then be published on the project website, and be shared via social media channels to encourage start-ups to respond to the challenge. So do look out for tweets and LinkedIn messages from:
ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (DE), Agencia Andaluza del Conocimiento (ES), Austrian Institute of Technology (AT), Gate21 (DK), OOE Land Oberösterreich (AT), Procurement Transformation Institute (IE) and ZENIT Zentrum für Innovation und Technik Nordrhein-Westfahlen (DE) who all are partnering in this initiative.
See the website for more information here.
And don’t forget that, even if you do not participate in this initiative, GovShop is a good way to source new suppliers.