The international initiative iBuy is coming to an end. The project, dedicated to fostering the role of public authorities as demanders of innovation through public procurement, accomplished a copious amount of tasks during its lifetime. The team behind was asked to share their experiences collected during three and a half years of implementation of iBuy.

„The iBuy project has played a crucial role when it comes to tackling challenges in innovation creation and the use of innovative methods in public procurement. IPP/PPI is now a more widely recognized method in the region and the attitude toward public procurement has changed. Previously seen as a mandatory piece of the administrative process in innovation development in the public sector, the public procurement process is now seen as an enabler” – partners from The Baltic Institute of Finland reflected on the project’s impact.

Benefits are evident

„The participation in the international initiative iBuy allowed us to stress the relevance of PPI/PCP with local stakeholders. Thanks to iBuy, the management of public contracts was improved and the Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) was created through which suppliers are pre-selected based on specific criteria. In this way, both the suppliers and the public sector benefit” – stated iBuy partners from the Foundation for Innovation and Technology in the Balearic Islands – Government of the Balearic Islands.

Greek partners also stressed that due to the project, the plan for charging electric vehicles was created, which provided multiple benefits to the residents by giving them the possibility to switch to electric vehicles.

Stakeholders became much more involved

Project partners noted, that stakeholders of iBuy became much more involved and empowered during the projects’ term: „Following the implementation of iBuy, we engaged the stakeholders toward the development and future implementation of PPI/PCP concepts. An increased interest in PPI/PCP and the desire for a broader implementation of these concepts have been revealed during iBuy, as PPI/PCP is gaining momentum in Romania and steps are taken towards a full uptake” – Agency of Regional Development of Bucharest Ilfov monitored changes in their region.

Similar processes were witnessed in Latvia and Lithuania as well. Representatives from the Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Latvia stated that at the policy level, the iBuy project allowed to highlight IPP as one of the important tools for fostering innovations in Latvia. Project activities helped to raise awareness and create an understanding of how IPP can help foster innovation at both national and local levels and ultimately improve productivity and inclusion.

What’s next?

During the last few years, the public authorities’ interest in initiatives to promote IPP/PPI has increased significantly in all participating countries. As innovative public procurement is not yet a widespread practice in Lithuania, the upturn of a number of various events, new regulations and prepared materials, dedicated to providing more information about IPP/PPI is definitely playing an important role in changing the current situation.

„As lead partners, we are very happy with the results the iBuy initiative has been able to accomplish and are looking forward to working on the topic in the future. Lithuanian Innovation Centre together with partners from Latvia and Finland will proceed to promote IPP/PPI during the implementation of a new Interreg Baltic Sea Region project. We are very much looking forward to leading this topic further and achieving even more perceivable results in the area of public procurement innovation” – affirmed Justė Rakštytė-Hoimian, project manager from Lithuanian Innovation Centre.