In the framework of the PAPIRUS project a call for four, large international public procurements has been announced on 17th March 2015! The tenders are addressed especially to small and medium enterprises from all around the Europe who deliver energy saving building solutions. The uniqueness of the project, however, is not the scale of the order but the new approach to public procurement. Within the tender documentation the awarding party will not as usually describe in detail the requirements of each sought product but will describe the effects that are expected after their application. This approach will hopefully motivate innovative SMEs to take part in the PAPIRUS procurements.
PAPIRUS (“Public Administration Procurement Innovation to Reach Ultimate Sustainability) project is one of the pilot projects in the area of Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI) which is co-financed by the European Commission. The project implies an introduction of a new public procurement process focused on providing materials characterized by nearly zero energy consumption for the repair and construction of buildings in four European countries: Germany, Italy, Norway and Spain.
- The new public procurement process evolved by experts within the PAPIRUS is based on an approach where the awarding party determines the effects expected after the implementation of the solution, product rather than specific requirements for the product which is available on the market. This approach gives bidders more flexibility in presenting their innovative solutions. A new approach to public procurement means the introduction of a modern system, in which the essential elements for awarding public contracts are: innovation and social and environmental criteria instead of price only – explains Ewa Wojtczak, project manager at ASM – Market Research and Analysis Center, Partner in project Consortium.
According to project partners, the proposed approach to procurement process will increase the demand for innovative construction materials, which will lead to increase of resources devoted to research and development in small and medium enterprises.
- One of the key tasks of the public sector is to support and stimulate activities aimed at the development of innovation and new technologies using public procurement procedures. The objectives of these activities should be: improving R&D investment in Europe, stimulating innovation and creating groundbreaking solutions to major challenges the public institutions are facing – says Ewa Wojtczak.
Small and Medium Enterprises with a high chance of winning
Since there are still many barriers discouraging suppliers from responding to public tenders, when elaborating the PAPIRUS procurement process, the Consortium put great attention on the participation of SMEs in the project.
- Small and medium enterprises interested in the public procurement often complain that they are excluded from the possibility of applying for public contracts simply due to lack of sufficient capacity to bid for the implementation of the whole order - says Ewa Wojtczak
Therefore, the PAPIRUS tenders will be divided into lots. This clearly facilitates the access for SMEs, in both terms quantitative (the volume of individual lots can meet the SME’s manufacturing capabilities) and qualitative (scope of individual lots can respond better to the industry in which operates particular SME). Dividing the purchase into lots and thereby encouraging SMEs to participate in the tender is a great tool for boosting competition, which is beneficial for the contracting authorities.
Because of the impact on buildings energy performance, PAPIRUS will focus on technologies and solutions that:
- Reduce the energy losses through buildings opaque envelope;
- Reduce energy losses in winter and solar gains through window in summer;
- For light weight prefabricated panels with low specific CO2 emissions.
- Provide good quality natural day-lighting;
- Store thermal energy increasing the thermal comfort and shifting heating and cooling peak loads;
However, in the tenders the last two technologies have been left out due to lack of feedback from the market, lack of efficiency due to the high price for poor performance or lack of enough developed solutions that are not ready yet to be applied to construction sector.
Companies are invited to offer products classified in three technologies. Given the coordinated nature of the PAPIRUS tender, all four contracts follow the same or very similar object, similar requirements and solutions. A common evaluation methodology will be established for all four different pilot cases and tenders, while respecting the technical and legal specifications of each pilot building. This will facilitate the bidders to submit bids in more than one tender and in addition encourage SMEs to increase their activities on foreign markets.
Furthermore, in the process of tender evaluation each national evaluation committee will be supported by the Joint Cross-Border Evaluation Team (JCBET). The JCBET established for the project purposes will consist of seven members representing project public procurers, project coordinator and experts (technical and legal from each institution). The main task of the team will be to assess the technical aspects of the submitted bids.
In line with Public Procurement of Innovation best practices, the PAPIRUS Consortium started informing potential suppliers about the coming tenders long before their official publication. In 2014 five Market Events have been organized in Turin, Oslo, Bilbao, Enzkreis and in Brussels.
- The aim of the Market Events was to inform the potential suppliers about the Contracting Entities’ expectations and to discuss the opportunities and solutions that could contribute to the achievement of the expected results of the demonstration buildings - explains Ewa Wojtczak.
Participants of the Market Events received detailed information about the PAPIRUS project and the pilot buildings. The suppliers where encouraged to discuss the evaluation criteria and to have influence on the criteria weight during an interactive dialogue with public procurers.