Urban Case Study #3: Financing Innovative Procurement Can Help Support Independent Living for the Elderly

The Case for Innovative Procurement

Local authorities have the power to create a market for innovative products with the way they purchase work, goods or services from companies (also known as public procurement), which can help them achieve their social, economic, and environmental goals. Using Innovative Procurement can indeed lead cities to reinforce growth and create new jobs, especially for smaller innovative SMEs which are ideally placed to supply these types of products and services.

To do this, cities need financial support, as this can often come at a higher cost than traditional procurement. 

In this case study, we look at some concrete examples and opportunities of innovative procurement for urban procurement practitioners, issued from Action 3 of the Partnership on Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement.

SILVER: Supporting Independent LiVing for the Elderly through Robotics

The SILVER project demonstrates the effectiveness of an Innovative Procurement approach to address societal and governmental needs.

SILVER searches for new technologies to assist elderly people in their everyday lives. By the use of robotics or other related technologies, the elderly can continue independent living at home even if they have physical or cognitive disabilities.

The project links to Innovative Procurement as new technologies and solutions are sought by using a Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) process. In Europe, the PCP has (thus far) been an under-used tool for promoting innovation.

As a result of this successful project, public organisations in participating countries (Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK) were made familiar with the PCP process and tools and use them to meet their needs and identify new technologies and services. By this year, new solutions implemented are expected to make it possible to care for 10 % more care recipients with the same number of caregivers.

To help cities with Innovative Procurement:

  • The European Assistance for Innovation Procurement (EAfIP) offers technical and legal assistance free of charge to public procurers across all EU Member States in the preparation and implementation of innovation procurements of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) based solutions. The service also promotes good practices and reinforces the impacts achieved by completed innovation procurement around Europe.
  • The SELECT for Cities competition is built around the premise that cities across the world are seeking new methods, technology and tools to foster open innovation to solve challenges, create value for their citizens and business, and to become ‘smart cities.’

To learn more:

About Action 3 and the Report on Financing Innovative Procurement

About the Action Plan in the Monitoring Table of Actions

About the Partnership on Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement