The Swedish government has today (19th April) issued fresh commissions to the Swedish Transport Administration, Swedish Energy Agency and VINNOVA to work in innovation procurement. The idea behind this decision is to allow these agencies to use procurement as a tool to contribute to strong future Swedish innovativeness. See the government’s press release Innovation procurement for future social solutions and business ideas (in Swedish).
These new mandates will provide an excellent complement to the government's previous efforts in innovation procurement, in which VINNOVA had principal responsibility for joint competence initiatives. For more information about VINNOVA's work, see our Innovation Procurement page.
“Public procurement currently runs to as much as SEK 500 billion per year. If we can use these funds to promote Sweden's innovativeness and competitiveness whilst using taxpayers' money efficiently to solve tomorrow's societal challenges, then it's a very positive move,” says Sweden's Minister for Enterprise, Annie Lööf, in a press release.
The Swedish Energy Agency and VINNOVA will jointly initiate work with relevant actors on innovation procurement which can bring about new and better environmental solutions within pressing areas, of which transport is one. The effort is part of the government's environmental technology strategy and is worth SEK 30 million up to 2014.
For VINNOVA’s part, this means another opportunity to add valuable practical experience to its expertise in the field; this can also benefit other public organisations which the Agency supports through innovation procurement processes.
This effort is also one stage in the work of step-by-step improvement of the innovation climate in Sweden and is consistent with the ongoing work to draw up a national innovation strategy.
VINNOVA’s DG Charlotte Brogren writes about innovation procurement in Näringsbloggen, the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications’ blog (in Swedish).