María Concepción Peñate Valentín, María del Carmen Sánchez Carreira

Public Procurement of Innovation. A Regional Analysis of the Spanish Experience

Public sector could play a crucial role as consumer to foster innovation through public procurement of innovation (PPI). PPI is a R&D, innovation and development policy tool, which shows high potential and relevance in OECD economies. In comparison with other tools, its main advantages are guaranteeing a considerable launch market for innovations developed by the private sector, as well as reducing risks linked with new and expensive technologies. For the public sector, this tool improves the efficiency and quality of public services, and contributes to reduce costs in the medium and long term.

The main aim of this paper is to analyze the experience on PPI in Spain from a regional perspective, focused on types, funding, main sectors, areas of development, and results in products and services. Ninety cases are analyzed from an own-made database, in which a similar behavior among regions is noticed. Nonetheless, several differences are found regarding the relevance of sectors and European funding. Concerning the sectors, industry and services are the predominant activities in the most developed and innovative regions, highlighting knowledge-intensive activities. European funding constitutes a crucial element to implement PPI in less developed and innovative regions.

The results suggest that different levels of innovation and development determine the effectiveness of PPI and the development of innovations.

Keywords: public procurement of innovation; innovation policy; regional diversity; Spain

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