New tools for ITS implementation – Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI) provides new possibilities of cooperation


The public sector plays a key role in the implementation of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). On January 15, 2014 all relevant guidelines for the reform of the EU public procurement law were approved by the European Parliament. On the one hand these reforms will offer new possibilities for public authorities for acquisition of innovative products and services in the future and on the other hand the basis for a new kind of cooperation between the public sector and other actors in the national innovation system will be created. In future, the topic PPI in combination with the implementation of ITS will play an even larger role than it does now. AustriaTech, who has been dealing with this issue for the last few years and was initiated in 2013 as a sectoral Competence Centre for the topic “Intelligent Mobility” (as a co-operation partner of the IÖB Service Centre), is involved in many international projects in this field.

PPI for Cooperative ITS – P4ITS Meeting in Verona

As a partner of the P4ITS project, a network of around 19 partners from ten different countries, AustriaTech is in permanent exchange with other nations – with a special focus on the challenges, but also on the opportunities of PPI as an instrument of implementation of ITS. The network delivers the definition of PPI as well as information material and best-practice examples with a special focus on ITS for interested organisations. On 11 and 12 June, 2014 the second network-meeting of the P4ITS partners took place in Verona, Italy. The meeting primarily focused on the relevant procedures and methods of PPI as well as the challenges of PPI in the context of ITS and in particular of Cooperative Systems. The next network-meeting will take place in Bordeaux, France, in October 2014.

International exchange as catalyst for implementation

The enormous participation in international events on the subject of Public Procurement of Innovation shows that the issue is increasingly more important internationally. Despite the fact, that PPI is meanwhile established as “Instrument” within the framework of the incentive programs Horizon 2020, different national incentive programs (e.g. in Finland, the Netherlands,…) and will become a more strongly part of the instruments of the European structural funds in the future too, the European ITS Stakeholder are increasingly recognizing the importance of these new opportunities to realize innovations.

The high-level event “Bridge the Innovation Gap by Innovation Procurement” was organized by the European Commission (DG CONNECT) in cooperation with the Committee of the Regions and took place in Brussels on 26 and 27 June 2014. This event was also attended by AustriaTech, not only an exchange of involved stakeholder is given, but mutual learning becomes possible. In addition the relevance of PPI, with a special focus on “smart cities” and “Cooperative Systems”, has been discussed more intensively in the ITS Community. All relevant organisations are starting to get familiar with the subject at the moment. AustriaTech had the possibility to present and discuss the issue “PPI – new ways for ITS Deployment” both at the “iMobility Forum” in Brussels in April 2014 and at the “ITS Europe Congress” which took place in Helsinki in June 2014. The following discussion demonstrated on the one hand the clear need for exchange of lessons learned and best-practices and on the other hand the enormous potential of implementation of ITS in this field.