What was crucial in implementing Public Procurement of Innovation in the framework of PAPIRUS project? What kind of challenges were faced partners when implementing the tenders and what have they learned? The answers were given during PAPIRUS final conference which was held on 29 September 2016 in Bilbao, Spain.
The conference was a chance to sum up the project results among wider audience interested in PPI (Public Procurement on Innovation). Partners involved in PAPIRUS shared their knowledge gained during realization of the project in the last 3 years.
The audience had also a chance to hear representative of European Commission who talked about EU policy in regard to PPI and what kind of actions are planned in the nearest future to encourage public authorities in implementing PPI.
We can show now the real experiences which makes PPI more credible for other state members when they think about implementation of PPI in their country – said Philippe Le Quement from European Commission.
For participants it was also very important that they had the possibility to hear about lessons learned during realization of PAPIRUS project.
Project partners emphasized that there is no legal frameworks and no decisions from national courts on what is good and what is wrong in proceeding PPI, that is why implementing PPI requires change mind-sets. For example question about certification of the new products arised. To let the SMEs take part in the tender, local authorities need to stick to minimum acceptable requirements. Otherwise (which seems to be natural) small and medium size enterprises would not be able to go through the process of certification before setting the tender.
Public body which is preparing the tender also has to take into consideration that innovation needs time which means that the investment process will last longer. What is more, project partners suggested to extend the time for submitting the offers to the maximum possible time according to local law. It will give the suppliers chance to submit questions which is very important because often it is a new way of doing business for them.
For the public authorities the most important lesson learnt from PAPIRUS was the ability and need of a dialogue. It is crucial for successful implementation of PPI to discuss with the market all steps of the tender – starting from the concept, through the consultations and negotiations, finishing on cooperative work during the realization of the investment. Public authorities have to continuously ask the suppliers what is new on the market, what indicators can be fulfilled, what kind of risk should be taken into account while installing specific product. Only dialogue between companies and authorities can allow to find the best innovation which can be implemented under the PPI.
However the dialogue need to be open and transparent. In that case nobody will accuse participants of corruption.
Even though PPI is time consuming, project partners stressed that they were very satisfied with the results. They want to work with PPI on a daily basis. For example Andalusia Region wants to allocate 50 million euro to promote PPI because the authorities believes that it will improve energy efficiency of the buildings. In Oslo there is a plan to reduce CO2 emission by 95% until 2030 and PAPIRUS partner from Norway is convinced that PPI will become a tool in reaching this ambitious target.
During closing session all partners came to the conclusion that public procurers should be widely informed about the PPI. The procedure does not have to be used in every tender but even some aspects of PPI can be implemented in traditional public procurements, like pre-demand dialogue with the market. However PAPIRUS project consortium was aware of the fact, that public bodies needs training, training and once again training on PPI and the free e-learning course which was implemented under the PAPIRUS project can be a possible way of sharing knowledge about the PPI.
All public procurers can take the e-learning course on http://www.elearningasm.10.ires.pl/en/.