Bidding for pre-commercial procurement calls! This is what you need to know

Over EUR 2.5 trillion is spent on the purchase of goods and services by European public authorities, governments; regional, national and local bodies annually. This represents a massive 14% of the total Gross Domestic Product of Europe. Further, research shows that over 15% – 20% of the global Gross Domestic Product is accounted for by public procurement actions.

One such action is Pre – Commercial Procurement which denotes an approach to public procurement of research and development (R&D) services. It is an important tool to stimulate innovation as it enables the public sector to steer the development of new solutions directly towards its needs.

Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) challenges industry from the demand side to develop innovative solutions for public sector needs and it provides a first customer reference that enables companies to create competitive advantage on the market. PCP enables public procurers to compare alternative potential solution approaches and filter out the best possible solutions that the market can deliver to address the public need.

As public procurement of R&D remains underused in Europe compared to other parts of the world, the EU increases via Horizon 2020 the support to groups of public procurers who work together on joint Pre-Commercial Procurements. We shall share here below what you need to know when preparing to participate in such a call.

  • The lead procurer must be explicitly designated. This is because the role of a lead procurer is the key role in PCPs, they implement the procurement process in the name and on behalf of the members of the buyers group.
  • Even when the initial indicators for the monitoring and validation of generation, demand and storage are well defined, you need to sufficiently elucidate how the procurers (members of the buyers group) will participate in this monitoring process or in other activities that are not related to installation (e.g. in phase I of the PCP).
  • You need to sufficiently substantiate the removal of barriers to introduce the targeted innovative solutions into the market. The same should be done for the standardization approaches during the PCP procurement.
  • Even when the progress beyond the state of the art in terms of the degree of innovation needed to satisfy the procurement need is relatively solid and the R&D that the supply will need to deliver is demanding and will promote ambitious solutions. You need not only focus on the components, you should also demonstrate sufficient evidence that there will be significant progress with respect to innovative configurations.
  • Where the proposed approach for the deployment of the solutions by the procurers and members of the buyers group refers to surveys and workshops but it must provide a convincing approach on how it will be embedded in the procurement strategies of the members of the buyers group.
  • You should provide for sufficient measures to reach each of the different target groups (e.g. installers, designers, financial institutions – where applicable) convincingly. Further, where reference has been made to have open dialogues with local authorities, researchers and innovative enterprises these should be well substantiated. And lastly, you ought to provide for sufficient evidence of plans to deploy the innovative solutions after the PCP in other public or private buildings.
  • Lastly, you should have when putting together a consortium of partners to participate in this call, ensure that the expertise of partners is complementary and covers all aspects needed. However, ensure that the expertise is not unnecessarily duplicated. Further, ensure that the participation and role of all of the different partners in each specific task is adequately indicated and therefore the appropriateness of their role and resources can be fully justified.

After the above expose, you may need to catch a breather J please do, you deserve it. We believe that once you make good with what we have share above, chances are high that you will be successful in your proposal. Let us know whether you got an answer to your question – #wheremymoneyat.

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