“Win-Win for European Economy” – Strategic Innovation Network Launched
Procure2Innovate, a strategic innovation procurement initiative funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, was officially launched today in Nijmegen in the Netherlands.
4 October 2018 | 10h00 | Nijmegen, the Netherlands
The European Union’s innovation agenda was given a boost today with the official launch of a new initiative funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
Procure2Innovate is an ambitious four-year project which aims to create a lasting European network of expertise in innovation procurement – a vital tool which the European Union is eager to see moving markets and investment for the creation of more innovation in the bloc.
The Procure2Innovate network is formed by “competence centres” in more than 10 European countries – centres from which experts provide advice and key services to public procurers nationwide looking to purchase innovative services and products. These could be in such areas as ICT and healthcare.
“This project can really support European businesses,” said Procure2Innovate co-ordinator Marlene Grauer.
“By encouraging public procurers to purchase innovative products and services, this project can inspire a range of markets to become more competitive and, in turn, even recognise the value of increased research and development (R&D) spending. This is a win-win for the European economy.”
Public procurement accounts for about 14% of GDP in the European Union and offers an enormous potential market for innovative products and services. This is especially the case for small- and medium-sized enterprises (or SMEs) for which the EU is particularly keen to create access to new customers.
Ms Grauer, of Germany’s Association for Supply Chain Management, Procurement and Logistics (BME), has been managing the network since it kicked off in early 2018.
The network comprises five well established competence centres (in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden) and five newly created centres in Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Portugal. But there are firm plans to expand the network and boost its presence across the continent.
According to BME Managing Director Dr. Silvius Grobosch, Lithuania is one such country.
“Lithuania has been modernising its public procurement over the past several years and has already joined Procure2Innovate as an associate country,” he said, adding that the addition of the Baltic state was a “first result of intensive work with the European Commission.”
The Procure2Innovate website is online at www.procure2innovate.eu.
Procure2Innovate was officially launched at the EcoProcura conference in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. This year’s international gathering is a hub of thinking and exchange on public procurement and sustainable procurement practices, and has attracted leaders from business, the European Commission and major European cities.