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A Modern Approach for Procuring Research and Innovation: The Pre-Commercial Public Procurement

Fabrizio Clermont, Francesco Fionda

Delivering more efficient and higher quality public services, and supporting research and innovation from the demand side are nowadays among the cornerstones of the EU public policy and a priority of the Europe 2020 Strategy for growth and competitiveness: at this regard, a new and powerful instrument at disposal of the contracting authorities appears to be the pre-commercial procurement, by which the public sector can acquire R&D services as well as innovative prototypes suitable for commercialisation, and at the same time stimulate private companies in carrying out industrial research and experimental development on sectors of public relevance. Thanks to the EU cohesion policy funds and to a European programme of territorial cooperation, the Italian Region Aosta Valley has undertaken a pioneering experience with the adoption of the pre-commercial public procurement, in order to stimulate research and innovation. This pilot action has mobilised remarkable private investments in R&D, has made possible the design, development, prototyping and experimentation in real life conditions of new products and services in technological domains addressing relevant societal challenges, and has showed the potential contribution of the pre-commercial public procurement for the delivery of better, more efficient and higher quality public services, as well as for modern, demand-side public policies supporting research, innovation and SMEs.
Keywords: Pre-Commercial Public Procurement; Research and Innovation.

Fabrizio Clermont, with a degree in civil engineering and a degree in political science, is Director of the Directorate Research, Innovation and Quality in the Regional Ministry of Productive Activities, Energy and Employment of Aosta Valley, Italy: he manages regional aid schemes for Research, Development and Innovation, and is in charge of projects co-financed by the EU in the fields of research, quality management systems and continuing education. Francesco Fionda holds a degree in economics and a master of science in quantitative finance and insurance, is project manager in the Regional Ministry for Productive Activities, Energy and Employment of Aosta Valley, Italy: as an investment analyst he manages several regional laws, as well as programmes and projects co-financed by the EU providing firms with financial aid, incentive instruments and consultancy services supporting innovation, productive investments and internationalisation.


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