10 / 01 / 2018

EARTO Proposals to Leverage the Untapped Opportunities of Public Procurement of R&I in Europe

In answer to the European Commission Public Consultation on “How to stimulate innovation through a modernisation of public procurement”, EARTO wishes to put forward proposals to leverage the untapped opportunities of public procurement of innovation in Europe.  
Public governments and their public extensions, including Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs), can drive innovation from the demand side by acting as technologically demanding customers buying new products or services for their own needs while testing new solutions. Public procurements of R&I can also be highly beneficial to the economy and society at large by addressing the funding gap for deep-tech start-ups and facilitating technology transfer, and by supporting SMEs to access funding, develop new technologies, and scale-up. However, public procurement of R&I remains underused in Europe despite recent efforts undertaken via Horizon 2020 to support such instrument.   EARTO hereby recommends to the European Institutions to improve the EU regulatory framework and further leverage the potential of public procurement of R&I in Europe. This entails to undertake the following steps, detailed in the paper attached:
  1. Negotiate a derogation with the World Trade Organisation’s Government Procurement Agreement (WTO GPA) Committee on public procurement of R&I. Such negotiation should aim to exclude the procurement of the goods resulting from successful R&I for the small businesses (commercialisation phase) from the scope of the WTO GPA to have the same rules as those negotiated by the US.
  2. Amend the EU Public Procurement Directives accordingly. Such amendment should aim at exempting from their scope not only the provision of R&I services but also the subsequent purchase of the products resulting from the successful R&I.
  3. Amend the EU RD&I state aids rules and the Horizon 2020 Pre-Commercial Procurement rules accordingly.
EARTO members hope that those recommendations will be taken into consideration by the European Institutions in further actions towards improving our EU regulatory framework for public procurement of innovation.  
EARTO Answer to EC Consultation on Public Procurement of R&I