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.

Positive Impacts of Innovative Public Procurement   

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.  

Competence centre for sustainabe and innovative procurement KEINO promotes the competence, management and utilisation of innovative procurements in the implementation of the strategy objectives and promotes cooperation with businesses. One of the objectives of the national procurement strategy is to promote innovation.

Examples of sustainable and innovative procurement are available on the websites of KEINO and Business Finland (in Finnish)

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.      

European Benchmarking of National Policy Frameworks    
Volume of Innovative Public Procurement in Europe  
Relation between policy measures and volume of innovative procurement is positive    

Read more:

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

Further information:

Kirsti Vilén - kirsti.vilen(at)