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Water Public Innovation Procurement Policies (water Pipp)

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Francois Touchais (Limoges, France), Francois Touchais

International Office for Water1

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 16: Public and private sector management,


Water PiPP is about exploring new public innovation procurement methodologies and testing them in the water sector, in the context where European innovation potential in the water sector is blocked by a number of bottlenecks and barriers. Public procurement represents around 19% of the EU's GDP, an important lead market for innovators in particular in the water and climate change sectors. Innovation procurement of products and services can be used to:

-Deliver societal objectives requiring new solutions that are not available on the market or are too expensive

-Solve problems related to the commercialization of innovative solutions

-Improve quality and efficiency of public services with a better value for money. When talking about the procurement of innovative solutions, three general ideas are commonly pointed out. The Water PiPP project was designed to find solutions to:

-Scattered responsibilities and lack of expertise in procurement

-Regulations leading to risk adverse tendencies

-Lack of incentives for technology providers. Procurement of innovative water‐related services and technologies is often underexploited in the public sector. The aim of Water PiPP is to help change this. Evidence will be provided that innovative ways to access latest services and technologies are feasible and effective. The design of the group of consortium partners (public organizations, procurers, knowledge institutes and facilitators) aims at bringing together the demand and supply sides in order to create a critical mass for solutions. In addition, they are supported by a Liaison Committee (composed of the key actors of the procurement innovation chain).


Methods and tools enabling the uptake of innovation in public procurement procedures must be found to overcome the barriers identified. A preliminary strategy for innovation‐oriented public procurement (IOPP) good practices transfer to the european water sector has already been elaborated. It was built on the partner's network and state of the art of experiences on IOPP in Europe and OCDE countries. Thematic working groups (involving cities, public operators, regions, industries, water authorities) are assessing the strategy within their individual contexts. A consensus workshop and a forum of key players will provide joint recommendations for procurers in the water sector. A set of tools (guidelines, eLearning materials, training courses) will be developed to help procurers to gain the knowledge and know‐how to pursue IOPP. Water PiPP partners will also guide and support local and regional authorities, water utilities, innovation and procurement agencies in the preparation of pilot collaborative innovation tests. Water PiPP will last three years (01/2014 to 12/2016) and was granted 998 845 Â by the EC (Total Cost:1 332 545 Â). The Water PiPP approach was designed to reach the following objectives:

-Gather together experts and practitioners in the area of water procurement to facilitate exchange of knowledge

-Act as an information hub providing the latest and most relevant information about the procurement of innovative products and services in the water sector (but also in other sectors if relevant, such as health)

-Create a community of practitioners who can openly discuss the procurement of innovative products and services in the water sector.

Results and Discussion

-To define the state of the art of innovative procurement practices and potential adaptation to the water sector, including the definition of a methodology

-To test the potential of innovation procurement to speed up innovation and market uptake of RD&I results

-To help public authorities to use innovation when facing the challenge of the sustainable management of water resources

-To explore potential synergies for the aggregation of public and private demand for innovative solutions in the water sector

-To help groups of public authorities and relevant private procurers to progress in creating and collectively implement procurement strategies (capacity building and awareness raising on tools and testing phases of PCP and PPI)

-To create a collaborative platform of stakeholders and procurers for mutual learning and debate mid to long term needs requiring R, D&I of new technological solutions with a potential role for PCP and PPI

-To perform a Collaborative Pilot Innovative Procurement Preparation phase

Significant amount of samples have been analyzed so they would represent a large number of IOPP cases in EU Member States in many sectors (health, environment, TIC, etc.). More that twenty questionnaires have been collected from relevant public authorities (central, regional, local and agencies) about their experiences of PCP, PPI, and traditional procurement with the inclusion of innovative clauses. Focusing on experiences from other advanced economies from non‐European OECD countries (Australia,Canada, Israel, Japan, Singapore, and the US) ; several new water‐related innovative product, service or process, that were developed and commercially introduced on the market thanks to public procurement procedures, have been examined.


The project will test new approaches to stimulate the uptake of innovation in the water sector. In order to achieve that, public procurement will be mobilized for building practical and effective innovative procurement strategies, testing them and disseminating the outcomes for a larger scale adoption. This will contribute to unlock investments and deliver the solutions needed by the public sector to face water challengenges

2011 IWRA - International Water Resources Association - - Admin