New developments in pre-commercial procurement for innovation in Europe

On 19 March 2018, the Corvers-MSM Chair in Innovation Procurement at Maastricht School of Management gave a short series of public lectures to highlight new developments with respect to Pre-Commercial Procurement for Innovation in the European context.

Prof. Naudé, Dean of Maastricht School of Management welcomed the MSM MBA students,  Master in Management students and MSM staff and gave an introduction to the subject. Prof. Nicola Dimitri, holder of the MSM-Corvers Chair in Innovation Procurement, gave the first lecture in which he introduced Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP), a methodology defined in 2007 by the European Commission, with the aim to encourage the EU public sector to procure R&D services for the development of innovative solutions, unavailable in the market.

To induce firms to participate in a PCP, the EC suggests contracting authorities to leave the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) of the new solution with the firms. Based on the perspective of a possible commercial success, the IPRs should work as a major incentive for companies to engage in a PCP. As important as the EC seems to consider the IPRs, for a successful PCP, so far no guidelines have been provided on how to estimate their economic value.

During the lecture a proposed methodology for such evaluation was discussed, including its advantages and limitations. Though its implementation poses some challenges, Nicola, Ramona and Anne believe the proposal could help to shed some light on how to proceed for computing the IPR economic value.

Research Fellow at MSM, Dr. Ramona Apostol gave the attendees more background information on Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP). It was stated that Innovation drives economic growth. She also indicated that in addition to innovation friendly regulation, “innovation demand policies, such as public procurement will be critical”. These actions will speed up the creation of benefits from innovation. (SRIP, 2018). Dr. Anne Rainville took a closer look at the state-of-the-art analysis, one of the steps in the deployment of PCP. A proper state-of-the-art analysis will enable informed decision-making regarding the legal and managerial justification of the PCP and the definition of the project parameters (such as the division of IP rights, the need to  consider existing or missing standards etc.). She outlined the inputs, how to interpret state-of-the-art analysis and the practical challenges. The advantages of state-of-the-art analysis were also outlined such as providing structure to the planning phase, providing transparency and clarity between phases and easing the burden on procurers.

The full paper can be downloaded here:

About the Chair in Innovation Procurement
The Corvers-MSM Chair in Innovation Procurement was launched in October 2016 at the Maastricht School of Management. The Chair holder is Professor Nicola Dimitri, who is supported by a team of researchers.

The scope of work of the Chair builds up on the strong attention received in recent years by both Public Procurement and Innovation, as two fundamental drivers for growth and development, a point particularly stressed by the recent 2014 EU Public Procurement Directives. Indeed, since for example in the EU innovation procurement through public expenditure counts for about 18% of the GDP, with tight public finances procurements delivery of best value for money has become crucial for the public sector. Moreover, because of its size, innovation procurement is in a best position for promoting innovative solutions to enhance societal growth and welfare. Innovation procurement also plays a role in industrial policy – vital for creating and maintaining a competitively growing economy, and an area of concern in the EC and industrially lagging countries in Africa and Latin America in recent years.

The Corvers-MSM Chair in Innovation Procurement has since it inception been active in generation of a number of publications and public lecturers on the topic (see ) Moreover, it has created and offers a flexible training programme in innovation procurement that is suitable for open enrollment as well as to be tailored to organizational needs. Recent clients include the Dutch Ministry of Defense.

In this the Chair is deepening the expertise of Corvers Commercial and Legal Affairs,  a leading legal consultancy firm in the Benelux area, specialized in European public procurement law, innovation, IPR and contracting.

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