Charles has written a report on public innovation procurement for the national Swedish Competition Authority (‘Konkurrensverket’). Entitled “Public Procurement and Innovation”, the main issue addressed is if and how public procurement can be a driving force for innovation.
Included is a focus on the public procurement with the objective to enhance innovation that is already taking place (which is a very small part of public procurement as a whole). In addition, it is analyzed if and how a part of the current large volume of regular (‘off-the-shelf’) public procurement can become transformed into innovation procurement and “innovation-friendly” public procurement.
The best way to make regular procurement innovation-friendly is to implement it in the form of functional procurement, i.e. by describing the function rather than the product to be achieved by the procurement. Emphasizing the product in public procurement discourages the creativity and innovativeness of potential suppliers.
This means that the obstacles to such a transformation are identified, as well as the possibilities to mitigate these obstacles.
The 70-page report was published on September 11, 2014. The report is written in Swedish, and has a 5-page summary in English. It can be downloaded here.