Today´s models for public procurement do not contribute to sustainable development, innovation and growth in the way that they could. One reason for this is the lack of SME participation and partnerships between public and private sector.
Although much has been done to promote participation of SMEs in procurement, it is still a small percentage who do participate. At the same time, public authorities struggle with the conflicting ambitions of stimulating competition, achieving the best value for money, good quality and also difficulties in securing sustainable logistics.
A higher participation of SMEs in public procurement can lead to many benefits for the companies, including economic growth and increased job opportunities. At the same time the public sector, achieves access to a wider range of products and services and thereby take advantage of the innovation that is needed to secure public services and future welfare.Some of the questions we want to answer is: Is it possible to develop models for procurement processes that really stimulate and strengthen innovation and new solutions? How do different implementations of the European procurement legislation affect SME participation? Something we see as an area to focus on especially, is how to develop tools that enable authorities to measure the quality rather than price of the procured product. We need to develop instruments that enable procurement of outcome.
Region Västra Götaland has noticed that collaboration is a solution to improve the quality of public meals and is now working in a partnership with the County Administrative Board, The National Centre for Food, the Federation of Swedish Farmers etc. The aim of the partnership is to improve the quality of public meals, e.g. in schools and hospitals, by supporting producers with training and advice for cooperation in food procurement and also by developing delivery logistics.
Establish partnerships: Establish partnerships for transnational exchange of experiences in the North Sea area between the public sector, businesses (manufacturing, transportation/logistics, and various processing stages) in the participating regions/municipalizes.
Pilot projects: With aim to use public procurement to jointly develop products and services that meet the future challenges for the public sector and secure economic growth.Implement developed and existing models to include other SME sectors.