Innovative public procurement as an innovation policy instrument
The value of public procurement in Finland is approximately EUR 47 billion annually, with municipalities and joint municipal authorities accounting for two thirds, and the central government for one third. Purchases from enterprises are EUR 31 billion. It is important to turn this economically significant public sector activity into a driver of social and economic development towards sustainable growth.
Innovative public procurement refers to the procurement of new or significantly improved goods or services that can help to enhance the productivity, quality, sustainability and/or effectiveness of public services.
Innovative public procurement can contribute to major developments such as low-emission technologies, new digital solutions that improve health and social services, and new business models for the circular economy. At the same time, the public sector encourages companies to engage in research, development and innovation to accelerate the dissemination of new solutions and business growth. With extensive procurement of new solutions, the public sector can also help to create reference markets and promote exports.
Objectives of the Government Programme for innovative public procurement
The Government Programme includes a strategic objective: Finland will be known as a front runner in technological advances, innovative procurement and the culture of experimentation. To fulfil this objective, action will be taken to increase innovative procurement and thereby to improve services, generate growth and enable the creation of a reference market. The Government Programme also includes the objective of increasing the share of innovative procurement to 10 per cent of all public procurement by the end of the parliamentary term.
Key challenges in implementation are linked to
- procurement competence and management;
- linking procurement with the implementation of strategy objectives; and
- cooperation with companies.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has led the preparation of an action plan to implement the objectives of the Government Programme and the innovation objectives of the national procurement strategy.
Background document complements the action plan.
Situation of innovative procurement in Europe
In 2020 the European Commission has published a report on the strategic use of public procurement in Europe. Finland is at the forefront of Europe’s 30 countries in terms of both policy measures as a whole and the volume of innovative solutions (share of total). One of the main conclusions of the study is that there is a positive relationship between the degree of maturity of policy measures and the volume of innovative procurement carried out.
Business Finland - Services for the public sector
A comparative study by the EU Commission on member states' measures to promote innovative public procurement
The strategic use of public procurement for innovation in the digital economy – Final report
OECD report: Public Procurement for Innovation
A report by the National Audit Office of Finland on the implementation of innovation strategy on public procurement
Kirsti Vilén - kirsti.vilen(at)gov.fi
Jaana Räsänen - jaana.rasanen(at)gov.fi