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Innovation procurers share experiences in Tallinn

Minister Urve Palo opened the Conference in a historical cinema called "Kosmos" or "space" today.
Minister Urve Palo opened the Conference in a historical cinema called "Kosmos" or "space" today.

The two-day international Conference on Innovation Procurements began in Tallinn today. Participants from 33 countries discuss how to point contracting authorities towards using public funds in smarter ways and the opportunities for encouraging innovation procurement in the EU Member States.

Minister for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo explained in her opening speech that need-based procurement helps make the state a smart contracting entity resulting in completely novel solutions, in other words, innovation being procured.

"It's clear that innovation is not procured for innovation's sake, but it is in itself an added benefit to purchasing innovative solutions that better serve the needs of the user, are more resource-efficient, effective or otherwise better," said Palo. "Participation in such tenders is also a great opportunity for the private sector, who can be the designers of the solutions."

During the process of innovation procurement, the contracting authority sets up a specific task based on the nature of the problem and is not limited to the selection of existing products or services.
As an example, Anders Bylund, Head of Road and Rail electrification at Siemens Mobility, will speak in a panel discussion about a project, that plans to create an electrified transport network solution for freight transport on highways. The result is a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly solution.

Authors of the London underground lighting project, Leon Smith and David Bide talk about how they procured a lighting solution for the public spaces, that would be lower in cost, make the room's lighting more natural and at the same time provide information in the form of directions. The project was also declared last years Innovation Procurement of the Year.
The Conference on Innovation Procurement will be held today and tomorrow in Kosmos IMAX, Tallinn. The conference aims to raise awareness among procurers, policy-makers and private sector representatives about innovation procurement and its benefits.

The conference takes place within the framework of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and is organised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications in co-operation with the Directorate General for Communication, Content and Technology of the European Commission (DG CONNECT).

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