19th of May

iBuy – boosting innovation through public procurement

2018-07-04 14:35 Share:

There are two ways in which innovation can be initiated. The first one is when an entrepreneur, creator or innovator has an idea and then looks for possibilities to materialize it. The second one is when a public institution needs to solve a particular problem with a solution or product that has not been developed or introduced to the market yet, and therefore asks for innovation. Experts from seven European countries have joined their efforts to foster the application and development of the latter, as it has not been receiving as much attention as the former neither from the political, nor from the business support stand points. Representatives from Lithuania, Spain, Finland, Romania, Greece, Latvia and Portugal have launched iBuy, the project for fostering the role of public authorities as demanders of innovation through public procurement. ‘We seek to enhance an efficient implementation of the new generation public procurement programmes for innovation that are co-funded by the European structural and investment funds and are linked to research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation. We are devoted to encourage public authorities to start acting from the demand side for innovation as it has been conceptualised in the Europe 2020 strategy and the Innovation Union’, says Mantas Vilys, the director of Lithuanian Innovation Centre, that acts as a lead partner in the project. The partners involved represent territories that are in early stages in the implementation of public procurement programmes for innovation. Thus, they collaborate to overcome common challenges, mostly based on their lack of experience as innovation demanders. The latter could be easily supported through interregional cooperation in order to generate synergies and common added value. iBuy aims at developing innovative models suitable to mobilise public and private stakeholders on the basis of the ‘entrepreneurial discovery process’ linked to the research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation in the area of public procurement for innovation, while promoting a European perspective and ensuring the durability and transferability of the achieved results. The first stages of the project include partners’ meeting that has been already held in Vilnius as well as sharing and evaluating current practices in the field and setting up an activity plan for the latter stages of the project. Project iBuy is being implemented as part of the Interreg Europe programme with the support from the European Regional Development Fund. It has a budget of 1,471 ml. euro for the duration of 50 months, starting 1 June, 2018.

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