تدارکات عمومی برای نوآوری به عنوان سیاست نوآوری ماموریت گرا
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|2314||2012||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Research Policy, Volume 41, Issue 10, December 2012, Pages 1757–1769
This article focuses on Public Procurement for Innovation as a relevant demand-side instrument to be exploited in the mitigation of grand challenges. It intends to provide some clarification on what should (and what should not) be regarded as innovation procurement. It defines what is meant by Public Procurement for Innovation and categorizes it according to three dimensions: (i) the user of the purchased good; (ii) the character of the procurement process; and (iii) the cooperative or non-cooperative nature of the process. In addition, it illustrates the main stages in innovation procurement processes and exemplifies them with six cases to provide evidence that Public Procurement for Innovation can contribute to satisfying unsatisfied human needs and solving societal problems.
Public organizations may place an order for something (normally a product or a system) that does not exist; hence, this “something” has to be developed by the supplier before it can be delivered. In other words, innovations are needed before delivery can take place. Until about 10 years ago this phenomenon was called “public technology procurement” (Edquist et al., 2000a). Since then, this vocabulary of the 1990s and earlier has changed. The concept of “technology” has been replaced by the concept of “innovation”, reflecting a widening of the content of the notion. It is a matter of using public demand (or similar) to trigger innovation. We will use the term “Public Procurement for Innovation” (PPI) to denote this phenomenon. However, the (non-existing) product ordered in the process of PPI is not the beginning of the process or its objective. Instead, the rationale for PPI is: • To satisfy human needs, and/or • To solve societal problems. This is why PPI is so relevant in the context of grand challenges, the idea being to mitigate these challenges through the kind of innovation policy instrument that we call PPI. However, the nature of grand challenges such as global warming, tightening supplies of energy, water and food, ageing societies, public health, pandemics or security (Lund declaration, 2009) does not allow defining policies to target them as a whole, at the same time and with only one policy instrument. As it is simply not possible to work at such levels of aggregation, policies need to address narrower targets and partial problems linked to those grand challenges. This is in fact reflected in the use of PPI for meeting human needs and mitigating societal problems, where more limited goals are set for those programs (e.g. energy saving of a certain kind, improving mobility with regard to passenger transport, increasing security in a specific field). We would argue that most mission-oriented policy mitigation of grand challenges has – and must have – a narrower focus as compared to the grand challenges as such, simply because they are so “grand”. It should be added that PPI certainly includes innovations intended to meet needs (‘missions’) of public agencies themselves, if they are related to general human needs or societal problems (see direct PPI in Section 3 and four of the cases in Section 5). Needless to say, grand challenges can also be mitigated through other means and instruments, for example R&D funding, tax credits, environmentally motivated regulations and standards (e.g. mileage standards for automobiles), creation of markets for innovative ideas, support for education and training or enhancing capacities for knowledge exchange (OECD, 2011). Nonetheless, instruments other than PPI will not be addressed here, except for brief references in cases when they are closely combined with PPI in the “policy-mix” (Flanagan et al., 2011). A new interest, at the European level, has recently emerged with regard to demand-side approaches to innovation policy (Edquist and Hommen, 1999) and, more specifically, the use of public demand as an engine for the development and diffusion of innovations. In early 2004 three governments issued a position paper to the European Council calling for the use of public procurement across Europe to spur innovation (Edler and Georghiou, 2007 and French German UK Governments, 2004). This development continued and was manifested in various reports, including the Aho Group Report (Aho et al., 2006). The Aho Group identified several application areas – or grand challenges – where demand-side policies could be used to a larger extent: e-Health, Pharmaceuticals, Energy, Environment, Transport and Logistics, Security and Digital Content (Edler and Georghiou, 2007, p. 951). There seems to be much less talk about innovation procurement in the US than in Europe (Vonortas et al., 2011). We suspect, however, that other fields of US government policy involving “mission agencies”, such as defense or energy, incorporate elements of PPI. Discussion of the differences between European and US practices regarding PPI seems to conflate the use of procurement to meet societal challenges with the use of procurement to meet mission-agency needs. PPI in the US has often been used for the latter and less frequently for the former (Thai, 2001). It has also been used for mission-agency needs in Europe and elsewhere. The aim of this article is to contribute to clarifying the characteristics of (different kinds of) PPI, how PPI has been used, as well as, briefly, its relationship to other public innovation policy instruments. We have therefore decided to base this article firmly on empirical experiences by using a number of examples of PPI. Section 5 contains six case descriptions of PPI. Before that, the context for PPI is presented in Section 2. A few definitions that are necessary to structure and characterize the cases are introduced in Section 3. The methodology and the dimensions of the cases are found in Section 4, as is a detailed summary of the case descriptions (Table 2). The conclusions and policy implications are addressed in Section 6.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Using Public Procurement for Innovation (PPI) is to a large extent a matter of identifying human needs and societal problems that are not solved at the present time. These problems are often related to “grand challenges” where costs are very large. Addressing a “whole” grand challenge by a single instrument is normally impossible. Therefore, making the mitigation of those grand challenges manageable requires them to be reflected in more delimited policies. The cases included here are just a few examples of how these grand challenges can be translated into demand-driven policies, and how PPI policies can partially help to mitigate them. In this article we have defined PPI, shown the main stages in which PPI occurs, introduced a classification of different types of PPI and illustrated them with six cases. We now present the conclusions and policy implications emanating from the case studies in combination with the conceptual framework. 6.1. Different kinds of PPI PPI is a demand-side policy instrument influencing innovation. It has been defined as the process by which public organizations place an order for the fulfillment of certain functions by a new product (good, service, system) that does not yet exist, and whose development and diffusion will influence the direction and rate of technological change and other innovation processes. PPI is divided into four categories: direct, catalytic, adaptive and developmental. The simple and classical example is direct PPI. Starting from a challenge (problem/need), the procurer specifies the functional requirements of a non-existing product, the procurement process is performed, the product delivered and finally used and diffused by the procurer. In this type of PPI the procurer uses its own demand to trigger innovation through PPI. These examples are often related to infrastructure development (e.g. Case 1, Case 2, Case 5) or to support the missions of the public agencies themselves (Case 6).23 Catalytic PPI occurs when the procuring agency is not the final user of the resulting product. This is a very important difference as compared to direct PPI. The public agency identifies the challenge and then operates as a catalyst “on behalf of” the potential users. This can be seen as a way of supporting “infant” products or industries (e.g. Cases 3 and 4). In all these cases, public agencies appear as the buyer, but the real market penetration is achieved by subsequent private demand (Edler and Georghiou, 2007). From a policy point of view, catalytic PPI can pave the way for market penetration from two different (but complementary) directions. First, it can be oriented to mitigate those needs that cannot be satisfied/solved by private firms. Private actors involved in the previous two examples (Cases 3 and 4) would not have been capable of developing such initiatives without public subsidies covering the procurement costs. Second, catalytic PPI can transform into effective demand those needs that cannot (easily) be articulated through market exchange signals (supply/demand/price). We believe that strenuous efforts should be made to further develop experiences and procedures for using catalytic PPI extensively as a policy instrument in the context of grand challenges. In particular, we believe in the potential of this instrument for public bodies such as the European Commission, which is not often the main end-user of new products that may emanate from catalytic PPI. The Commission could still have a great influence on its development and exploitation in other organizations, opening up for the creation of new markets. Such catalytic policies can have a great impact, but they also require additional organizational skills and efforts, since they demand the coordination of public agencies and innovator-suppliers with end-users. 6.2. Problems/needs/effective demand vs. functional and technical specifications The end-result of a PPI process is the mitigation of a challenge through a new product or system, i.e. an innovation. Nonetheless, the technical characteristics of this product should not be specified by the procurer. Cases show that excessively detailed specifications set by the procuring agency limit the ability and creativity of potential suppliers to provide innovative solutions to the challenge (e.g. Case 1 and Case 5). The procuring organization should only specify the functional requirements or specifications that can satisfy the human needs or solve the societal problems constituting the grand challenge. These requirements should describe the desired performance characteristics of the product the procurer is ready to buy, but should not include any specific, or basic, design of the product. For the procurer it is irrelevant how the product mitigates the challenge. That must be left to the potential suppliers. The “translation” of needs/problems/challenges into functional requirements requires highly developed competences on the part of the procuring organization. The functional specifications must constitute solutions to the challenges, but at the same time they must be achievable given the state of the art at the time. In the procurement of the Swedish high speed train (Case 1), we described how the lack of experience and flexibility of the procurer led it to demand a locomotive-drawn train. Excessively detailed technical specifications from the procurer (SJ) prevented ASEA/ABB from developing a non-locomotive drawn train system (which FIAT did at about the same time). The more flexible design of the FIAT solution (Pendolino) won the world market. Hence SJ's technical specification had a devastating influence on the later competitiveness of the Swedish solution. Two products resulting from two different procurement processes trying to fulfill similar functional requirements turned out very different, and one outcompeted the other. Similarly, the requirements for the NødNett public safety radio network (Case 5) were too detailed. Despite the fact that the purchasing bodies had “only” included specifications as to how the system should operate, the more than 4000 demands identified did not leave much scope for originality for potential suppliers. Hence, the main conclusion is that the targets in requirement specifications should not be the products, but the challenges. In addition, the “translation” of functional requirements into technical specifications requires sophisticated competence, this time on the side of the suppliers. Both “translations” will together determine the future technological and product trajectories of the innovations. 6.3. Interactive learning and regulation: cooperation vs. competition Both empirical knowledge and innovation theory strongly indicate that interactive learning between organizations is extremely important for innovations to emerge. Those organizations operate on the demand/pull side as well as the supply/push side. Despite the relevance of demand-side organizations (and individual consumers), they have for long been neglected in innovation studies and innovation policy. Interaction leading to learning is to a large extent the same as communication and cooperation outside the market (demand/supply/price). The procurer may work hand in hand with one company from the start (e.g. Case 1, Case 2 and Case 5). If both are competent, it might maximize interactive learning. If this is not the case, it may lead to a failed process of procurement, and at times to inefficiencies and corruption. Moreover, it might also be the case that the parties involved cooperate intimately in some stages of the procurement process (e.g. Cases 3 and 4), but not in others (see stages of PPI processes in Section 3). The descriptions of the six cases in Section 5, summarized in column 1C in Table 2, include a discussion of the degree and character of cooperation among relevant actors. One conclusion from the cases is that cooperation between procurers and potential suppliers is more common and more productive in the early stages of the PPI process. There is some degree of cooperation in all cases, but only a few were cooperative in all stages of the PPI process. This reflects the fact that cooperation is a matter of degrees, not a dichotomy. One way to enhance/achieve interactive learning (between organizations) through PPI may be the organization of “focus groups” – or “task forces” – within certain need/problem/challenge/procurement areas in the early stages of the PPI process. The “industry days” organized in the US (Case 6) clearly show how consultation and dialogue between buyer and supplier can directly influence the requirement setting stages. The focus groups should involve potential users, politicians, policymakers, researchers, firm representatives, etc. Researchers should belong to relevant fields of science and technology, but also come from economics, psychology, political science, etc., while firm representatives should come from different divisions of firms: R&D, marketing, strategic leadership, etc. Diversity is the key in such focus groups and research projects. They would be the basis for “new combinations” of knowledge – to refer to the way Schumpeter characterized innovations. We deem this open dialogue scheme as an interesting example of how interaction and mutual learning among purchasing agencies and relevant stakeholders can be at the core of the PPI process. This directly leads us to emphasize cooperation as a key determinant of the development of effective PPI policies. In procurement processes the issue of cooperation (interactive learning) is closely related to competition between potential suppliers. Obviously, a very tight cooperation between a procurer and a potential supplier excludes competition between suppliers. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of these in processes of innovation? We believe that cooperation should also be a guiding principle in procurement policies, rather than solely ideas of perfect competition. However, promotion of cooperation alone would not be beneficial for either the procuring agency or the potential supplier. How this balance between cooperation and competition should be struck is an important – and complicated – issue for further analysis. So is the analysis of the stages of PPI in which cooperation is more or less effective. The EU regulation of public procurement has been an important obstacle to PPI. The procurement rules and their enforcement by the EU and member states have been ideologically charged to some extent. Generally speaking, two ideologies have been counterposed to one another: a ‘free market’ orientation which “emphasizes the need to exclusively apply commercial criteria when awarding the contract”, and an ‘interventionist’ orientation which “regards public procurement as an instrument to realize social and economic objectives wider than mere efficiency in the use of public money” (Martin, 1996, p. 41). It is evident that the EU procurement rules have inhibited collaboration and interaction for innovation in PPI processes for a long time. Policies to maximize competition have been governing the design of the rules to a much larger extent than policies to enhance innovation (e.g. through interactive learning). Stringent competition regulations across the EU have developed into a major obstacle to the use of this instrument (Edquist et al., 2000a). Therefore, ways should be found to get around these rules, and further actions to have them changed should also be taken. As a response to earlier critiques (e.g. Edquist et al., 2000a), new EU directives concerning procurement regulations some years ago have opened up opportunities for public authorities to purchase innovative solutions. For example, some dialogue was made possible between purchaser and supplier, which is a prerequisite if one side is to understand the other (Edler and Georghiou, 2007, p. 960). Yet another new set of new EU directives was proposed in December 2011. Among others, some of the proposed changes include increasing the flexibility and simplification of the procedures, the possibility to use life-cycle costing as an assessment criteria, the clarification on when cooperation between public bodies is subject to public procurement rules, or the possibility to conduct market consultations prior to the launch of the formal procurement procedure (COM, 2011, 896). The issue of what should be the most appropriate rules to enhance innovation by means of procurement remains to be analysed. Such an analysis should be based more upon innovation theory than on competition theory, the reason being that cooperation is an important ingredient of PPI processes (as the cases have shown) and in innovation processes in general. Obviously, communication, interactive learning and cooperation should not be prohibited by regulations. On this basis, attempts should be made to further revise EU rules with regard to PPI. This is an important implication of this study for the regulation of PPI.24 One way to secure this would be to create separate regulations for regular procurement and for PPI – something which is highly motivated.25 6.4. Transforming regular procurement into PPI We have argued that regular procurement has nothing to do with innovation; that is, it is not an innovation policy instrument. In 2009, 19.4% of European GDP was public procurement, i.e. the enormous sum of 2.3 trillion Euros. Procurement represents a key source of demand for firms in sectors such as construction, health care, defense material, energy and transport. However, the vast majority of the 2.3 trillion Euros is a matter of regular procurement, i.e. standard products bought off-the-shelf. An interesting issue is whether a part of this regular procurement can be transformed into PPI? In which areas? And how?26 The administrators in charge of procurement are often “normal” purchasing managers who are inclined to procure off-the-shelf products. The procurement of existing products should be partly replaced by the procurement of results in terms of societal problem solving and needs’ satisfaction. In the short run this might be incompatible with the objectives of various agencies and budget constraints, but in the longer run it might lead to large cost savings. Hence, PPI could make costs go down, as we have seen in the examples of the market-oriented energy-efficiency programs implemented in Sweden. In order to achieve this, it would be important to make the individuals and organizations that are involved in regular procurement more inclined to use their resources for innovative purposes. Further training of purchasing managers in issues related to PPI might be instrumental in this context. 6.5. Policy-mix As we have seen, PPI is a powerful demand-side innovation policy instrument to meet grand challenges. Nonetheless, grand challenges can also be mitigated through means and instruments other than PPI – alone or in combination with PPI. PPI should be used in combination with other innovation policy instruments, including supply-side ones. There should be a “policy-mix” (Flanagan et al., 2011). Other instruments have not been systematically addressed here and only briefly mentioned in those cases when they have been closely combined with PPI. One of these supplementary instruments is public funding of R&D. Other examples of supplementary instruments to PPI policies include tax incentives, demand-based foresight, development/modification of regulations and norms, standard setting or innovation vouchers to mention a few (Edler, 2009 and Flanagan et al., 2011). Which of these are used will depend to a great extent on the specific character of the grand challenge that is addressed. PPI should be part of a policy mix to mitigate grand challenges – but the different instruments should not be mixed up.