Public procurement of innovation is now a reality. With around 14 per cent of EU GDP spent on the purchase of products and services by public authorities, public procurement is a familiar and important EU public policy tool.
This approach has led to the development of a new public procurement policy, aimed at increasing and popularising innovative products and services and using their advantages to help public bodies implement their responsibilities more effectively: Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI).
The pilot PPI project PAPIRUS (Public Administration Procurement Innovation to Reach Ultimate Sustainability) is funded by the European Union Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme and coordinated by Spanish private research and technology entity Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation.
Training activities in the area of PPI were among the key objectives of the PAPIRUS project and therefore one of the project results is an innovative eLearning course that is aimed specifically at public procurers and contracting staff within the EU institutions.
Participants have the opportunity to learn about the benefits of PPI, can receive professional training on proper implementation procedures and learn about the various challenges associated with PPI implementation.
As this procurement process is new and a bit more challenging (but at the same time more profitable in the long run) than common public procurement procedure, and requires more engagement and skills, the eLearning course is based on a detailed step by step approach.
The course presents not only formal and abstract rules and guidelines, but also real examples of the challenges that were faced by the PAPIRUS consortium while implementing the pilot PPI across four European countries.
The cases in question refer to areas such as market research, realistic requirements, end-users' involvement, networking and tender implementation.
The eLearning course is available in English on a dedicated platform where everybody interested in PPI can register and take part in the training. Those taking the course do not have to complete it immediately, as every participant has the possibility of pausing their training whenever they wish and resuming when suitable.
It is expected that the PAPIRUS eLearning course will be the first step towards the successful implementation of innovation procurement on a wider, European level.
PAPIRUS began in 2013 and ends in October 2016. Its main ambition was the introduction of a new public procurement process focused on obtaining nearly zero energy materials for the repair and construction of buildings. The buildings included in the procurement process were located in four countries: Germany, Italy, Norway and Spain.
The PAPIRUS eLearning course is available at: http://www.elearningasm.10.ires.pl/en/