IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hhs/lucirc/2020_001.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Functional procurement for innovation, welfare and the environment

Author

Listed:
  • Edquist, Charles

    (CIRCLE, Lund University)

  • Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, Jon Mikel

    (University of Deusto)

Abstract

Public procurement represents a very large share of most economies worldwide. Besides its direct purchasing power, public procurement has an enormous potential to become one of the most important mission-oriented policy instruments in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. The paper argues that the key to achieve more innovations when pursuing public procurement is to describe problems to be solved or functions to be fulfilled (functional procurement) instead of describing the products to be bought (product procurement). We contend that if products can be described in the procurement documents, it is because they exist, and hence, they cannot be regarded as innovations. Innovations cannot be described ex ante, simply because they do not exist. It is thus not accurate to talk about ‘innovation procurement’. Accordingly, the only way to achieve an innovation by means of procurement is by describing the functions it shall fulfill or the problems it shall solve. For public procurement to become an effective policy instrument supporting innovation, product procurement should thus be transformed into functional procurement. Hence, contracting authorities need to identify the problems to be addressed by policy. The new products (innovations) solving the problems are to be designed by the potential innovators/suppliers, not by public procurers. Hence, the societal needs and problems must be translated and transformed into functional requirements. Functional procurement is allowed in EU regulations, and hence, there are no legal obstacles to use it for innovation policy purposes. Above and beyond, the European directives recommend using functional requirements “as widely as possible”. Besides, it leads to increased competition, not only among potential suppliers of similar products, but also among different products that solve the same problem. Functional procurement thus not only supports innovation but also serves as a powerful instrument of competition policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Edquist, Charles & Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, Jon Mikel, 2020. "Functional procurement for innovation, welfare and the environment," Papers in Innovation Studies 2020/1, Lund University, CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research, revised 19 Jul 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2020_001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://wp.circle.lu.se/upload/CIRCLE/workingpapers/202001_edquist.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dirk Czarnitzki & Paul Hünermund & Nima Moshgbar, 2018. "Public procurement as policy instrument for innovation," Working Papers of Department of Economics, Leuven 606259, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Department of Economics, Leuven.
    2. Fagerberg, Jan, 2018. "Mobilizing innovation for sustainability transitions: A comment on transformative innovation policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(9), pages 1568-1576.
    3. Jakob Edler & Wouter P Boon, 2018. "‘The next generation of innovation policy: Directionality and the role of demand-oriented instruments’—Introduction to the special section," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(4), pages 433-434.
    4. Julien Chicot & Mireille Matt, 2018. "Public procurement of innovation: a review of rationales, designs, and contributions to grand challenges," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(4), pages 480-492.
    5. Edler, Jakob & Georghiou, Luke, 2007. "Public procurement and innovation--Resurrecting the demand side," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 949-963, September.
    6. Nicholas Crafts, 2018. "The productivity slowdown: is it the ‘new normal’?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 443-460.
    7. Diercks, Gijs & Larsen, Henrik & Steward, Fred, 2019. "Transformative innovation policy: Addressing variety in an emerging policy paradigm," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 880-894.
    8. Schot, Johan & Steinmueller, W. Edward, 2018. "Three frames for innovation policy: R&D, systems of innovation and transformative change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(9), pages 1554-1567.
    9. Borrás, Susana & Edquist, Charles, 2013. "The choice of innovation policy instruments," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 80(8), pages 1513-1522.
    10. Uyarra, Elvira & Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, Jon Mikel & Flanagan, Kieron & Magro, Edurne, 2020. "Public procurement, innovation and industrial policy: Rationales, roles, capabilities and implementation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(1).
    11. Bram Timmermans & Jon Mikel Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, 2013. "Coordinated unbundling: A way to stimulate entrepreneurship through public procurement for innovation," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(5), pages 674-685, February.
    12. Charles Edquist & Nicholas S Vonortas & Jon M Zabala-Iturriagagoitia & Jakob Edler (ed.), 2015. "Public Procurement for Innovation," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15642, June.
    13. Stefan Kuhlmann & Arie Rip, 2018. "Next-Generation Innovation Policy and Grand Challenges," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(4), pages 448-454.
    14. Hans Knutsson & Anna Thomasson, 2014. "Innovation in the Public Procurement Process: A study of the creation of innovation-friendly public procurement," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 242-255, February.
    15. -, 2015. "迈向中拉 经济 合作 新时代," Libros y Documentos Institucionales, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 38202 edited by Eclac.
    16. Edquist, Charles & Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, Jon Mikel, 2012. "Public Procurement for Innovation as mission-oriented innovation policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 1757-1769.
    17. Georghiou, Luke & Edler, Jakob & Uyarra, Elvira & Yeow, Jillian, 2014. "Policy instruments for public procurement of innovation: Choice, design and assessment," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 1-12.
    18. Obwegeser, Nikolaus & Müller, Sune Dueholm, 2018. "Innovation and public procurement: Terminology, concepts, and applications," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 74, pages 1-17.
    19. Metcalfe, J S, 1995. "Technology Systems and Technology Policy in an Evolutionary Framework," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 25-46, February.
    20. Thanos Fragkandreas, 2013. "When Innovation Does Not Pay Off: Introducing the "European Regional Paradox"," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(12), pages 2078-2086, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bengtsson, Lars & Edquist, Charles, 2020. "Towards a holistic user innovation policy," Papers in Innovation Studies 2020/11, Lund University, CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research.
    2. Krieger, Bastian & Zipperer, Vera, 2021. "Does green public procurement trigger environmental innovations?," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-071, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    3. Francesco Cappellano & Joanna Kurowska-Pysz, 2020. "The Mission-Oriented Approach for (Cross-Border) Regional Development," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(12), pages 1-17, June.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Uyarra, Elvira & Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, Jon Mikel & Flanagan, Kieron & Magro, Edurne, 2020. "Public procurement, innovation and industrial policy: Rationales, roles, capabilities and implementation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(1).
    2. Miller, Fiona A. & Lehoux, Pascale, 2020. "The innovation impacts of public procurement offices: The case of healthcare procurement," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(7).
    3. Obwegeser, Nikolaus & Müller, Sune Dueholm, 2018. "Innovation and public procurement: Terminology, concepts, and applications," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 74, pages 1-17.
    4. Mwesiumo, Deodat & Glavee-Geo, Richard & Olsen, Kjetil Magnus & Svenning, Geir Arne, 2021. "Improving public purchaser attitudes towards public procurement of innovations," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 101(C).
    5. Elvira Uyarra & Kieron Flanagan & Edurne Magro & Jon Mikel Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, 2017. "Anchoring the innovation impacts of public procurement to place: The role of conversations," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 35(5), pages 828-848, August.
    6. Jon Mikel Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, 2022. "Fostering regional innovation, entrepreneurship and growth through public procurement," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 58(2), pages 1205-1222, February.
    7. Kalyuzhnova, Yelena & Azhgaliyeva, Dina & Belitski, Maksim, 2022. "Public Policy Instruments for Procurement: An Empirical Analysis," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 176(C).
    8. Kiyoon Shin & Yeongjun Yeo & Jeong-Dong Lee, 2020. "Revitalizing the Concept of Public Procurement for Innovation (PPI) from a Systemic Perspective: Objectives, Policy Types, and Impact Mechanisms," Systemic Practice and Action Research, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 187-211, April.
    9. Švarc, Jadranka & Dabić, Marina, 2021. "Transformative innovation policy or how to escape peripheral policy paradox in European research peripheral countries," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    10. Martin Warland, 2016. "What kinds of regional innovation systems occur around federal agencies?," Diskussionsschriften credresearchpaper10, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft - CRED.
    11. Joanna Stryjek, 2021. "Counteracting the COVID-19 Crisis with Innovation Policy Tools: A Case Study of the EU’s Supranational Innovation Policy," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(3), pages 450-468.
    12. Paula Cayolla Trindade & Paula Antunes & Paulo Partidário, 2017. "SPP Toolbox: Supporting Sustainable Public Procurement in the Context of Socio-Technical Transitions," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(1), pages 1-26, December.
    13. Wesseling , Joeri H., 2015. "Explaining differences in electric vehicle policies across countries: innovation vs. environmental policy rationale," Papers in Innovation Studies 2015/42, Lund University, CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research.
    14. Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, Jon Mikel & Aparicio, Juan & Ortiz, Lidia & Carayannis, Elias G. & Grigoroudis, Evangelos, 2021. "The productivity of national innovation systems in Europe: Catching up or falling behind?," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 102(C).
    15. van Winden, Willem & Carvalho, Luís, 2019. "Intermediation in public procurement of innovation: How Amsterdam’s startup-in-residence programme connects startups to urban challenges," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(9), pages 1-1.
    16. Dai, Xiaoyong & Li, Yanchao & Chen, Kaihua, 2021. "Direct demand-pull and indirect certification effects of public procurement for innovation," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 101(C).
    17. Edquist , Charles, 2015. "Innovation-related Public Procurement as a Demand-oriented Innovation Policy Instrument," Papers in Innovation Studies 2015/28, Lund University, CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research.
    18. Catalá-Pérez, Daniel & Rask, Mikko & de-Miguel-Molina, María, 2020. "The Demola model as a public policy tool boosting collaboration in innovation: A comparative study between Finland and Spain," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    19. Diercks, Gijs & Larsen, Henrik & Steward, Fred, 2019. "Transformative innovation policy: Addressing variety in an emerging policy paradigm," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 880-894.
    20. Edler, Jakob & Köhler, Jonathan Hugh & Wydra, Sven & Salas-Gironés, Edgar & Schiller, Katharina & Braun, Annette, 2021. "Dimensions of systems and transformations: Towards an integrated framework for system transformations," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S03/2021, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    innovation policy; public procurement; product procurement; functional procurement; functional requirements; competition policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O39 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Other

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2020_001. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/circlse.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Torben Schubert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/circlse.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.