Funding opportunities

Funding instruments in detail

In 2009, the European Commission launched its first calls inviting project proposals for three different funding instruments in the area of public procurement of innovation. Such calls are intended to encourage public institutions to direct their buying process towards innovative products and services.

European Commission funding instruments:

  • Coordination and Support Actions (CSA) are network projects in which international groups of buyers from the public sector explore which innovations might fit their requirements. These projects are flanked by market research and consultations in order to identify the state of the art for innovative products or solutions.
    EU funding amounts to 100 % of the eligible costs.
  • If the envisaged solution or product is not yet available on the market, the CSA can be followed by a Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) project. In a PCP project, the international buyers group issues a call for tender for a three-stage research project (feasibility study, prototype development and prototype testing) in the framework of which enterprises can deliver needs-based and demand-oriented R&D services.
    EU funding amounts to 90 % of the cost of the development work.
  • The third funding instrument is the subsequent Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI) project.
    EU funding amounts to 35 % of the purchase cost for the innovative product or solution.

Please click here for an overview of open and planned calls.

Why innovation-oriented public procurement?

The potential demand generated through innovation-oriented public procurement is very high. Annual public procurement expenditure in Europe amounts to about 17-19 % of GDP (2014). At an estimated € 350 billion, the corresponding ratio for Germany is slightly lower at around 10-15 %.

If it were possible to harness just one percent of the total procurement volume for new products and services, this would stimulate innovation in Germany to the tune of € 3 billion. That’s more than the national and regional governments make available to enterprises each year for research and development (about € 2.1 billion).