Charles has written a popular article in Swedish with the title “Sätt fart på innovationspolitiken nu – börja med upphandlingen!” (English title: Start with the innovation policy now – begin with the procurement!). It has been published in the December issue of the journal Tiden.
The pdf version of the magazine pages can be downloaded through this link.
The article stresses the role of product innovations for employment and growth and argues that a holistic innovation policy is important to enhance product innovations. He uses the policy area of public procurement, which is about 20 percent of GDP, as an example of how innovations can be stimulated without any additional costs. To enhance product innovations through public procurement has an enormous potential. Currently at most 0,05 percent of the public procurement in Sweden is innovation-related. The best way to make procurement drive innovations is to perform the procurement in functional terms. This is to describe the function that shall be achieved instead of describing the product that shall be bought. There are no legal obstacles to do this. It can be done immediately and a plan of action can be formulated rapidly.
However, political action is necessary: it has to be demanded from the political level that procurement shall be performed (partly) in functional terms. This is not surprising since it is public agencies at the national, regional and local levels that account for demand in the case of public procurement. They are the market.
Innovation-friendly procurement and innovation procurement could be developed into the most powerful innovation policy instrument that is available for a future Swedish innovation strategy.
Edquist, C. (2014, December). Sätt fart på innovationspolitiken nu – Börja med upphandlingen! Tiden, 3(4).
Additionally, the article is built on the following published materials:
- A report written for the Swedish Competition Agency, ”Offentlig upphandling och innovation” (Public Procurement and Innovation – with a summary in English).
- A book chapter with the title ”En helhetlig innovationspolitik – varför, vad och hur?” (A holistic innovation policy – why what and how?).
- An article with the title ”Striving towards a holistic innovation policy in European countries – But linearity still prevails”, STI Policy Review, Korea, November 2014.