This action proposes to bring together potential public buyers, suppliers of innovation (with a special focus on SMEs and start-ups), and potential investors and researchers, with a view to determine projects suitable for public procurement of innovation.
The purpose is to:
- Determine the emerging needs of the public sector (i.e. large buyers) in strategically selected technologies.
- Provide network with stakeholders, such as scientists and other suppliers of knowledge (e.g. start-ups) in strategic fields.
- Provide for the engagement of funding partners: public funds (such as EU funding opportunities), private funds and large enterprises willing to provide funding at various stages of commercialisation of innovation.
- Allow for the brokering funding opportunities, technological and business aspects between all stakeholders.
Pilot projects will be identified in order to help them developing a proof of concept.
Programme funding would include the following activities:
- A Facilitator for networking activities and stakeholders management;.
- Logistics, including travelling costs of participants.
- The proof of concepts of selected projects.
- Stakeholders' costs relating to the participation in the process (the cost of procurement of the relevant goods or services is excluded from this funding).
The facilitator would engage with large buyers and/or aggregators of public procurement to identify a small number of needs (problems). Subsequently, the facilitator would engage the "sources of innovation" (i.e. start-ups, innovative SMEs) through its network and asked them to provide solutions for the identified need. A small number of those solutions would receive funding to develop their competitive ideas to a proof of concept that the enterprises could pitch to the buyers for potential procurement at a later stage.
The action would involve parties coming potentially from any EU MS. This new approach will be tested for further wider application at EU level.
There is also a clear focus on the promotion of SMEs and start-up companies, who could become involved through pilot projects to provide innovation through this programme.