Research and innovation play a central role in the Europe 2020 strategy as a guarantee of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. 

The Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI) thus becomes an opportunity to change the economic model, and an instrument to make public policies.

The Public Procurement of Innovation is an administrative action to promote innovation through public procurement. It is the acquisition, by public entities, of novel goods and services, which are introduced for the first time in the market.

The objectives of the PPI are: 

  • Improve public services incorporating innovative goods or services.
  • Promote business innovation.
  • Foster the internationalization of innovation using the local public market as a launch or reference customer.

Among the existing modalities we can find the Pre-Commercial Public Procurement, the Public Procurement of Innovative Technology and the Association for Innovation.

The Pre-Commercial Public Procurement (PCPP) consists of the contracting R&D services through competitive dialogue between the administration and multiple private companies, for the design and development of prototypes which, through successive eliminatory phases according to efficiency and effectiveness, define the best solution to a potential public demand. It is limited to the provision of completely new innovative solutions or substitutes for others less efficient, and not to the provision of marketable products. The public purchaser does not keep the results of the innovation for its own exclusive use, but he shares with the companies the risks and benefits of the R&D necessary to develop new solutions.

The Public Procurement of Innovative Technology (PPIT) is the purchase of a good or service that, by employing a technology or a substantial improvement of the existing one, meets the requirements of a specific demand of the public sector and does not exist at the moment of the purchase, but it can be developed in a reasonable period of time.

The Association for Innovation is a procedure foreseen when the solutions available on the market do not satisfy a need in relation to the development of innovative products, services or works and the ulterior acquisition supplies and services of the resulting works.

In order to help public contracting entities, the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness has published the Innovative Public Procurement Guide.

For the development of innovative projects, bidding companies can receive financing from an R&D financing entity, such as the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI).