Public Procurement for Innovation

Good Practices and Strategies

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Public procurement offers an enormous potential market for innovative products and services. Used strategically, it can help governments boost innovation at both the national and local level and ultimately improve productivity and inclusiveness. Based on good practices in OECD and partner countries, this report analyses the state of play of procurement for innovation and provides a flexible framework focusing on 9 areas to promote it.




Portugal does not have a specific strategic framework for procurement for innovation or a stand-alone procurement for innovation action plan. Nevertheless, the general legal system in Portugal supports procurement for innovation. The most important regulation in Portugal’s legal framework related to procurement is the Public Contracts Code (2008). The legal framework specifies the scope for procurement for innovation policy. This code makes e-procurement mandatory and is in this regard a motor of innovation. As a result of implementing e-procurement, SMEs (either alone or as part of an association) have better access to public markets because tender submission is easier. The code also sets the “most economically advantageous tender (MEAT)” criterion, which enables the contracting authority to consider criteria that reflect technical, innovative and sustainable aspects in addition to price. To facilitate access by SMEs, the code provides for measures like division into lots, adoption of regional criteria, and multi-access criteria.


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