Innovation procurement for local authorities sounds complex, but can be explained in five simple points:

  1. Innovation procurement is when public authorities purchase innovative solutions to address mid to long-term needs. It encourages private sector innovation and gets new technology, like Earth observation data to users faster.
  2. There are two main types: Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) to buy R&D for solutions not on the market yet, and Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI) to buy early deployment of new innovations.
  3. PCP shares risks and benefits of developing pioneering solutions not available yet. PPI speeds up diffusion by local authorities acting as early adopters of market-ready innovations.
  4. Whether to use PCP or PPI depends on the solution’s Technology Readiness Level (TRL). PCP is more suitable for lower TRLs, PPI for market-ready solutions needing a launch customer.
  5. Innovation procurement facilitates the use of public funds on forward-looking solutions. These purchasing concepts offer big advantages for local authorities getting, and shaping, cutting edge innovations.

Read all about how PCP enables local authorities to purchase Earth observation solutions in our policy brief on this topic.