18 December 2008 | Jake Kanter
Public sector buyers can benefit from new guidance on boosting innovation in the procurement process.
The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) today published its Procuring for innovation report, which offers purchasers advice on preparing innovation procurement plans (IPP), which will help departments to improve the purchase of products or services.
It follows the publication by the DIUS in March of Innovation Nation, which found that purchasing innovative services has been a low priority for government bodies (Web news, 14 March). All departments have now committed to include the IPPs in their commercial strategies over the next two years.
The IPP guidance said departments should set out key targets on innovation for the next 10 years, which could include aims to reduce carbon emissions and increase efficiency. It added that the plan should outline to suppliers and stakeholders where innovation opportunities exist, and detail how they can contribute to the projects.
Suppliers should receive a "call for ideas" so they can promote new products or services. In addition, the IPP should detail the relevant procurement programmes that will be used to extract innovation and provide key performance indicators for vendors.