As security challenges evolve, procurement tools also need to become more flexible and swiftly adapt to constantly changing needs.
- security research
In the domain of civil security, public procurement can be a catalyst for the uptake of innovative solutions. Nevertheless, traditional procurement schemes do not always incentivise the acquisition of innovation, and the risk perceived by public buyers when investing in new technology solutions is high.
As security challenges evolve, procurement tools also need to become more flexible and swiftly adapt to constantly changing needs. Public procurement would need to be regarded as a strategic tool rather as a purely administrative one. In order to do so, public buyers need a variety of instruments that are fit for different purposes, that reduce the risk perception and that attract innovators and innovation. Therefore, the challenge is not only to buy innovation, but also to buy innovatively.
The EU public procurement directives have made available a set of tools that can contribute to closing the gap between research and the market. However, their implementation has proved to be challenging for public security buyers. Therefore, the debate around this topic needs to be intensified. The security community needs to have a common understanding of the opportunities brought by innovative procurement schemes, but also of the obstacles we face for their successful implementation.
Joint cross-border public procurement is another dimension that has not been sufficiently explored in the security domain due to its perceived legal and administrative complexity. However, it is regarded by many, not only as promising mechanism of effective purchasing, but also as the key to de-fragment the EU security market. Central purchasing bodies can play a crucial role in this regard, and so may EU agencies.
This workshop will contribute to increasing the body of knowledge about public procurement in the field of security, to raising the awareness about the existing opportunities and to identifying good practices on how to face the obstacles.
More concretely, the scope of this workshop is to:
- Assess the maturity of the Pre-Commercial Procurement instrument under the EU-funded security research work programme;
- Explore new forms of procurement that can stimulate innovation while ensuring the quality and fitness for purpose of the acquired goods and services;
- Reflect on the challenges of joint cross border public procurement for EU security buyers and its potential to articulate a single EU security market.