Innovative procurement of smart city solutions
To push innovative procurement of smart city solutions, project cities need to overcome some difficulties. On a social and behavioural level, incentivising stakeholders, convincing politicians and decision makers to go for innovative procurement as well as gaining the political support for collective joint procurement can be challenging. Furthermore, the lack of professional knowledge and the circumstance that only a limited number of offers are received to deliver an innovative solution may present problems. This applies also for the compliance with regulations (e.g. data protection). Also the governance will face various barriers. For them, it will be challenging to collaborate with companies in the early stages and to define the purpose of the tender. To make things more complicated, they will face a lack of time and standardised format, and silo thinking. Moreover, being able to choose innovative rather than cheap solutions is not taken for granted.
Policy wise, to create more smart centres for procurement and to educate people are highly recommended. Besides, it is advisable to make use of open calls and/or competitive dialogue as well as to put in more sustainable issues. Smaller cities can also collaborate during the procurement to receive better funding. Moreover, there is the possibility to outsource the main tendering process.
Plan for Implementation
To take the endeavour to another level, good examples that can be shown to stakeholders should be collected. It is also important to set priorities in order to decide on the purpose of the tender and to start tendering within the next calendar year. Scaling-up from pilot to city level as well as scaling-up the collective procurement to other regions/municipalities in the country are also among the next steps. Moreover, the second open call needs to be finalised. It is also required to work at a high political level. Therefore, a transparent and good organised state ministry for procurement needs to be created. Lately, separate procurements for different components of a larger product should be used.