Solutions that are innovative/new to the market and the procurement thereof in Finland

The KEINO Competence Centre for Sustainable and Innovative Public Procurement surveyed in 2018 the solutions that are innovative/new to the market and the procurement thereof in Finland. The content below is based on the survey.

Of the procured solutions, roughly 4% were completely new to the market (see figure 9). In these cases, the respondents had estimated that a similar solution was not previously used. What’s more, in 8% of the cases the objective of the procurement was a product, service or solution that was significantly better compared to the previously used ones. This way, 12% (n=33) of the procurements covered by the survey questions were at least somewhat new to the market. More than half the of the solutions that were completely new or significantly improved to the market were procured services. There were also a few building contract procurements amongst the completely new solutions, but no material procurements.

When it comes to significantly improved solutions, building contract and material procurements featured more prominently, comprising roughly half of the cases.

The degree of novelty of the procured solutions to the market
FIGURE 9. The degree of novelty of the procured solutions to the market, percentage of all respondents (n=278).

Dialogue and benchmarking

Technical and/or market dialogue was used in the procurement preparation stage in 70% of the procurements in which the solution was, from a market perspective, completely new or a material improvement on the old (n = 33). The corresponding figure was 62% in case of procurements where the acquisition was new to the procurer or included material improvements compared to the previously used one. The result suggests that early dialogue during the preparation process promotes the procurement of new solutions. Dialogue-including procurement processes that led to the purchase of a solution that is new to the market or improved made up 8% of the whole material (figure 10).

The ‘best price-quality ratio’ is the most commonly used benchmark in the acquisition of solutions that are new to the market. In a significantly lower number of cases, the comparison of tenders was solely based on price or quality benchmarks (the “Price as the only benchmark” or "Fixed price, quality comparison” options).

Reference requirements pertaining to previous deliveries were included in roughly half of the procurements targeted at completely new or significantly improved solutions to the market. Compared to the procurement of solutions new to the procurer, the use of reference requirements for the procurement of solutions new to the market is less common (76% vs. 56%). The result suggests that the reference requirements are linked to the novelty level of the procurement.

Use of dialogue in preparation stage
FIGURE 10. Inclusion of dialogue in preparation stage and novelty to market (n=275).

Detailed specifications, such as technical configurations, service provisions or project plans, were used in three out of four procurements targeted at solutions that were new to the market. The percentage is even slightly higher than in solutions that are new to the procurer.

Cooperation pertaining to the development of a new solution or experiment – for instance, in the form of a research or pilot project – prior to the procurement process is more common the higher the estimated novelty value of the procured solution on the market (Figure 11).

Development/experiment cooperation before procurement
FIGURE 11. Did you engage in cooperation linked to the development of a new solution or experiments prior to the procurement (yes/no) and the novelty of the procured solution to the market (n=112).