Co-financing of public procurement of innovation consortia

Convocatòria oberta
Entitat convocant:
European Commission, COSME Programme
Termini FSJD:
: The grant per project will range from a minimum of EUR 2 million to a maximum of EUR 5 million (co-financing)

Introduction- Public Procurement of Innovative solutions or public procurement of innovation (PPI) happens when the public sector uses its purchasing power to act as early adopter of innovative solutions which are not yet available on large scale commercial basis. The PPI process broadly refers to any public procurement that presents one or both of the following aspects: - buying the process of innovation; - buying the outcomes of innovation. Public procurement of innovation may commence with research and development of products, services or processes that do not yet exist. Public buyers state their need with little to no concrete idea of the solution and support innovative businesses and researchers in finding the perfectly suited product, service or process. In this way, the public buyer effectively becomes part of the innovation lifecycle from the very beginning of product or service development. Furthermore, public buyers may choose innovative products, services or processes that are new in the market instead of renewing or replicating existing procurement contracts. In addition, PPI can contribute to finding useful solutions to address the challenges created by the current COVID-19 epidemics. These solutions obviously pertain to the public health area, but not exclusively.

Call Objectives- The first objective is to encourage cooperation between public buyers to promote the use of public procurement to contribute to the development of innovative solutions able to tackle their needs; The second objective is to increase the impact of public procurement on innovation; The third objective is to link and establish synergies with research and innovation projects funded by the EU whenever posible.

Eligible activities-This call for proposals aims at setting up consortia of public buyers from at least two eligible countries (see below). The consortia shall design and implement a public procurement for innovation (PPI) action by carrying out the tasks described in the paragraphs below. The public buyers in the consortia will procure the identified innovative solution(s), if possible in a joint manner, in full compliance with EU and national public procurement rules. Applicants must demonstrate (i) that the envisaged procurement solution(s) will be new to the procurer, (ii) that the solutions are not yet available on a large-scale commercial basis and (iii) that the solution(s) can be replicable and of interest to public buyers in other EU Member States.

The following activities are mandatory to be carried out in the context of this call for proposals:

  • Assessment of the public buyers' needs. It is essential that projects define a preparatory phase to clearly identify, prioritise and develop the client's needs.
  • Market consultation supporting dialogue with potential contractors to assess the state-ofthe-art and technological limitations for potential innovative solutions and carrying out wideranging market research to come to a better view on the state-of-the art and identify the companies working in the field
  • Engaging the market jointly, giving to the market signals concerning the size of the procurement in order to trigger the interest of providers.
  • Capacity Building and Coordination between public buyers including trainings, exchanges, secondment of personnel and other similar practices.
  • Developing the specifications: assisting contracting authorities to articulate their needs in a way that ensures the best response from potential contractors
  • Preparation and implementation of the tendering procedure, covering the following steps:
    • Design of the tender bearing in mind the specificity of cross-border procurement, if applicable. Legal expertise (internal or external) is important at this stage.
    • Definition of award criteria.
    • Publication of the call for tenders for innovative solutions in the Official Journal of the European Union at least in English and on the dedicated project website. Publication on other media is encouraged since it will help increase the visibility of the tenders.
    • Evaluation of the received offers on the basis of the award criteria and completion of the award procedure.
    • Purchase, as launch customers, of the innovative solution on offer15 .
    • Co-ordinate the procurement process at least among the participating public procurement bodies
  • Communication on the achievements of the projects. Projects shall:
    • Design a communication strategy;
    • Create and maintain a project website.

Expected results- Consortia shall contribute to fostering the cooperation between public buyers towards the increased use and impact of public procurement to develop innovative solutions to meet their needs. As a result of the project, each public buyer is expected to carry out at least one actual purchase. This is to be done either jointly with other public buyers of its consortium, which is the preferred option for this call for proposals, or individually. In practical terms, this process shall involve in particular:

  • Conducting and/or participating in the market consultation;
  • Negotiating with potential providers with a view to arriving at the best possible solution;
  • Paying attention to the issue of intellectual property rights (IPR).


The evaluation process will apply a two-stage methodology. In the framework of stage 1 of the evaluation, applicants will have to submit an "outline". The objective of this outline will be to present a strategy for the whole project in brief. Only the six highest ranked successful proposals that will be successful under stage 1 will be invited to stage 2. In the framework of the second stage of the evaluation, the applicants invited to stage 2 following the criteria defined above will have to submit a "full proposal"


The grant per project will range from a minimum of EUR 2 million to a maximum of EUR 5 million.



Proposals may be submitted by any of the following applicants:

  • non-profit organisations (private or public);
  • public authorities (national, regional, local);
  • universities or educational institutions24;
  • research centres;
  • profit making entities;

Eligible consortia: In order to be eligible, a proposal must be submitted by a consortium composed of at least two public buyers from two different eligible countries. The public buyers will act as Contracting Authorities of the procurement procedures launched and finalised in the framework of the project(s) funded under this call for proposals. Other organisations who are not public buyers and meet the eligibility criteria may join a consortium as the partners see fit.


Deadlines- Stage I- 19/01/2021 17:00 h Brussels time; Stage II 08/06/2021 17:00 h Brussels time.

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