Understanding the Innovation Impacts of Public Procurement

Understanding the Innovation Impacts of Public Procurement
Document type
Working Paper
Author(s)
Uyarra, Elvira Flanagan, Kieron
Publisher
Manchester Business School
Date of publication
29 March 2010
Subject(s)
Trends: economic, social and technology trends affecting business
Collection
Business and management
Material type
Reports

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Public procurement accounts for a significant proportion of overall demand for goods and services and is increasingly seen as an attractive and feasible instrument for furthering the goals of innovation policy. However, public procurement is already expected to address a wide range of social goals. Much of the current debate about harnessing procurement to promote innovation draws upon a limited set of examples which are not representative of the bulk of public purchasing and tend to downplay diversity in procurement practices and in the types of goods and services procured. We conclude that public purchasing should first and foremost remain concerned with proximate public policy goals and that, rather than trying to co-opt public procurement into the innovation policy toolbox, policy-makers should focus on promoting innovation-friendly practices across all types of procurement at all levels of governance.

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