PPI4MED in Italy tries to change the mindset to promote innovation public procurement


The representatives from the Centro Nazionale della Ricerca (CNR)  under PPI4MED project took part in the event “Innovation Procurements: European perspective, daily uses”, organized by Policy & Procurement in HealthCare (PPHC) which took place online on March 8th, 2022.

The webinar aimed at better seizing the opportunities of the public procurement for innovation as one of the main topics of the project.

Innovative procurement is a priority for Europe, as well as for Italy, who knows that it is one of the key elements for economic recovery. As highlighted by the European Commission, procurement for innovation concerns the top 20% of the market for innovative solutions; a healthy economy needs 3% of innovative customers and 17% of early adopters to encourage more cautious customers to later adopt innovative solutions extensively. It is also necessary that 20% of public procurement is made up of procurement for innovation (3% public procurement for research and development and 17% for innovative solutions).

The Commission's public procurement strategy is rethinking the global approach to purchasing, it aims to professionalize public buyers, cut red tape, and reap the benefits of the digital revolution to make public administrations more efficient, more effective, and more accessible to citizens and enterprises. Unfortunately, much is still undergoing.

Both Mauro Draoli (Head of Unit Procurement strategies and market innovation from Agenzia per l'Italia Digitale (AGID) and Ivo Locatelli (Senior Expert at the European Commission, Team leader strategic procurement) underlined that the procurement of innovation needs an innovative approach to procedures, besides innovative tools.

The debate focused on the importance of catching new opportunities and overcoming resistance to change. Dr. Draoli underlined that the health system is the sector where Italy buys most of its innovative solutions but there is still the trend to manage the innovation procurement in a procedural and not in a managerial way. Some best practices come from systematic approach inside the Public Procurer such as in some foreign Ministries in which a multidisciplinary team is changing mindsets before changing solutions. An important aspect is also the Market Consultation, through which it is possible to understand the needs of the different parties involved in a public procurement. However, this is an aspect that is still undervalued in Italy.

The PPI4MED project is trying to support this change of mindset but the strict application of European Directives can turn it into a boomerang when applying the Project Model even if the innovation procurement is a priority for Europe, a stimulus for research and development, a vehicle for sustainability and of great help for the economy.