Horizon2020, the EU Research and Innovation programme worth €80 billion over 7 years, includes an action to support public authorities that wish to buy innovative transport solutions for urban areas.

Funding (on a competitive basis via a call for proposals) is available for preparation work that project consortia and their members have to do before they can launch a public procurement procedure. This should encourage various groups of stakeholders – cities, public authorities and their associations – to build together new European procurement initiatives in innovative sustainable transport in urban areas. Any kind of project in this area, such as alternative fuels for vehicles, infrastructure, and services can be supported.

The main types of activities that could be funded are:

  • Setting up ‘buyers groups’ of public procurers that undertake joint, cross-border or coordinated procurements.
  • Exchanging experience in procurement practices and strategies in the specific areas of common purchasing needs.
  • Developing a set of well-documented practices for replication.
  • Increasing awareness and capacity building.

However, the actual procurements cannot be supported financially.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 0.6 to 1 million each would allow this topic to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. The deadline for submitting proposals is 26 January 2016.

Public procurement accounts for about 19% of GDP in the European Union. It offers a great potential market for innovative products and services – including in transport and mobility in cities. Citizens can benefit from new, higher quality and often cheaper, public services.


Activities like those that can be funded under Horizon 2020 have already been tested in London (PRO-LITE project), Hamburg and Cambridge. On regional and national levels, the UK, Flanders and the Netherlands are cooperating on pre-Commercial Procurement to stimulate innovations to improve Traffic Management Centres promoting safe, fast and reliable road mobility (CHARM project). They have been presented and discussed during a European conference in October: http://eafip.eu/events/major-events/eafip-major-event-paris/

Source: https://twitter.com/bertrandwert/status/659333002552606720

Further information

The EU’s “Public Procurement of Innovation” initiative provides further information about doing public procurement of innovation in Europe. If you are interested in applying, please visit the website below, contact you National Contact Point  or send an email to the European Commission, DG MOVE, Henriette van Eijl ([email protected]). All information will be constantly updated on the Frequently Asked Questions section on https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/2100-mg-4.4-2016.html

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