Innovation Procurement is an important tool for the uptake of innovative results stemming from EU security research, as it enables public security authorities to compare alternative potential solution approaches and filter out the best possible solutions for addressing a security need before procuring it on the market.
On 6 July 2023, a CERIS event with a view to strengthening security research and innovation brought together close to 100 policy makers, security practitioners, researchers, and industry representatives to promote Innovation Procurement across different security sectors, including but not limited to border management, customs and law enforcement.
The aim of the event was to promote alternative ways for procurement of innovation, including Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) and Public Procurement of Innovative solutions (PPI). As more practical examples of PCPs in the security domain keep coming, the evidence of their value for the uptake of innovation also keeps growing.
During the event, panel discussions focused on 'Challenges and Opportunities of Pre-Commercial Procurement - supplier’s and buyer’s perspectives' as well as on other public procurement instruments such as joint cross-border public procurement, value engineering and functional specifications. The supply side of the market, and in particular SMEs, but also the buyers that were participating in innovation procurement, stressed the positive impact that engaging in PCP actions brings to their business. Among the most beneficial aspects of PCPs, they highlighted the opportunity to engage with first-time customers, the access to public buyers for small players, the discovery of new markets and the accelerating effect on their innovation strategies.
On the other hand, for these benefits to materialise it is important that a number of aspects are taken into consideration when designing and implementing the PCP: Aspects like engaging in thorough market dialogues, reducing the administrative burden of the tendering process, proposing SME-friendly payment schemes and designing business-enabling IPR management requirements are key for finding a middle ground in risk management that is mutually beneficial for buyers and suppliers.
Key recommendations from the participants include, increasing the number of PCP projects as they are concrete way to ensure uptake of innovative solutions and better connection of EU-Funded Security Research with DG HOME funds (ISF and BMVI) via innovation procurement. Participants emphasized the importance of increasing the support to public buyers, including EU-wide harmonised tools and methods, with the aim to ensure that future PCP actions attract innovators and innovation and become a real support for EU-industry to grow more competitive within the EU market and worldwide. Additionally, participants concluded that is important to increase the support to public buyers with the objective to attract them to future Pre-Commercial Procurement projects, as this will enable them to use innovative solutions in real operational environment and to continuously improve their capabilities.
- Publication date
- 14 July 2023
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs