The Finnish Forest Centre is digitalizing its operations in cooperation with companies: The innovation partnership procedure serves the common interest of customer and provider
In autumn 2018, the Finnish Forest Centre launched a project aimed at improving the usability of the forest and field inspection data and keeping it updated. The new digital methods enable larger and more accurate data collection, better analysis and, for example, proactive monitoring of the health of forests.
Innovation partnership procedure was chosen to support the procurement process of digitalization of the forest and field inspection services. The procurement is currently in the delivery phase and involves two innovation partners: MosaicMill Oy and the cooperating Arbonaut Oy and CareliaForest Consulting Oy. The Finnish Forest Centre is satisfied with the progress of the procurement process. "The implementation of the innovation partnership has been an interesting learning experience. Co-operation and co-developing are at the heart of the procedure. The purchaser should not stick with rigid plans at the very beginning but give the tenderers the space to develop a service that meets the needs of the procurer," says Lauri Haataja, Project Manager at the Finnish Forest Centre.
The selected innovation partners were also convinced of the innovation partnership procedure, which includes co-developing. Proceeding through negotiations was seen as positive means and it also made it easier to submit the final tender. "There could have been even more negotiations and, for example, an open workshop before submitting the request to participate," reflects Jussi Peuhkurinen from Arbonaut Oy.
In the procurement of the Finnish Forest Centre, new methods for producing field inspection data were developed. Therefore, from the perspective of gaining practical experience, the development phase of the innovation partnership was seen very important. "The purchaser’s genuine will to develop the operational model encouraged us to invest to the product development. Also, there was enough time for the development," says Raimo Asikainen from CareliaForest Consulting Oy.
Janne Sarkeala from MosaicMill Oy agrees about the benefits of the procedure: "In my opinion, the innovation partnership procedure allowed us to achieve results with low risk and at justified cost in this procurement using new technology. Both the purchaser and the service providers benefitted from the results."
Tips of the Finnish Forest Centre and the innovation partners for purchasers when using the innovation partnership:
- Familiarize yourself with the innovation partnership procedure carefully in advance
- Include the service providers in the planning since the beginning
- Leave enough room for development and innovation
- Ensure equal treatment of tenderers during both tendering and production phase