innoPROCUR has been funded by the Horizon 2020 European program under grant agreement No 759596.
The overall project objective is to collaboratively address a common innovation support challenge, namely to facilitate and foster the participation of innovative SMEs in PCP - Pre Commercial Procurement (which steers the development of solutions towards concrete public sector needs, whilst comparing/validating alternative solution approaches from various vendors) and PPI - Public Procurement of Innovation (aimed at acting as launching customer / early adopter / first buyer of innovative commercial end-solutions newly arriving on the market).
The target group is represented by innovative SMEs, which can be the suppliers of innovative goods and services, and benefit by participating to PCP and PPI gaining new business opportunities and resources for the development of innovation and boosting their competitiveness on the market. However, they have no specific and effective support services increasing their awareness about these opportunities, informing and supporting them in the PCP/PPI procedures.
Support services facilitating SMEs in participating to PCP/PPI can help firms with easier access to private third-party funding and to bridge the pre-commercialization gap for their innovative products and services (i.e. first sales of technology).
The Peer learning activity will serve to project partners to learn from the best and to share good and bad practices in support services to SMEs about PCP/PPI.
The realized Design Options Paper will serve as a “guide” or a “handbook” to other agencies and business support centres to provide similar and/or more focused services.
· FINN - Friuli Innovazione Research and Technology Transfer Centre, Italy
· PIANOo - Dutch Public Procurement Expertise Centre, The Netherlands
· LARR - Lodz Regional Development Agency, Poland
The specific objectives of innoPROCUR project are the following:
· Identification and evaluation of good practices on how facilitating SMEs participation in PCP and PPI, to be transferred in SMEs innovation support local/national programmes. Thanks to the creation of a peer-learning group and the application of Twinning + methodology, the partners will identify the best practices and provide recommendations to the local/national policy makers/relevant stakeholders engaged in the definition of SMEs innovation support programmes at local/national level.
· Establishment of a sustainable partnership among the involved organizations to engage in more frequent peer-learning activities. A MoU - Memorandum of Understanding will be undersigned by the partners at the end of the project, as the first step of an EU-based network of organizations aiming to foster, enforce and further develop PCP/PPI support services to SMEs.
To achieve these objectives the innoPROCUR project will facilitate the knowledge exchange among the participants on the following matters:
· Provision of support services to facilitate and foster the participation of innovative SMEs (which are agile and flexible enough to meet the specific needs of the public procurers) in European PCP/PPI.
· Improvement of administrative and ‘back-office’ aspects in the management of innovation support programmes to SMEs.
· Enhancement of qualitative procedures in identifying European PCP/PPI and inform SMEs on the basis of their specific skills and technological offer.
· Identification of “good practices” among innovation agencies and intermediary organizations that have effectively supported SMEs in exploiting the opportunities offered by PCP/PPI.
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