Horizon Europe's Innovation Procurements at the center of an event organized by EKT and RIF

Participants learned about the ways in which innovation procurements could transform research and development in public sector.

More than 300 participants from the health sector, directors and staff of medical centres, clinics and hospitals, patient associations, government representatives, professors and academics, researchers and business people, met online on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 for the  'Horizon Europe: Public Procurement of Innovation in Health' event.

The event was organised by the National Documentation Centre (EKT) and the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF) of Cyprus, National Contact Points for the European framework Horizon Europe in the Cluster "Health", in collaboration with the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation (GSRI) and the European Commission (DG CONNECT ).

The event focused on the Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) & Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI), actions that support the development of products and technological solutions of public interest and the transfer of innovative solutions to the market, as well as the financial opportunities offered through these actions within Horizon Europe.

Using actual Greek and European examples, participants learned not only about how innovation procurements are implemented in practice, but also the ways in which these two forms of funding (PCP & PPI) act as mechanisms to facilitate innovation and implementation of research and development (R&D) services in the public sector.

The event initiated with the welcoming speech of Dr. Nikos Karampekiou, Head of the Innovation and Networking Unit at EKT, who stressed the importance of public procurement as a percentage of GDP and as a mechanism for enhancing technological change and innovation in a country. He also noted that the emergence of the public sector as a buyer of innovative services and products in the new era is part of the central strategy of developed countries to increase public investment for economic recovery.

Theodoros Loukaidis, Director General of the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF) of Cyprus, stressed the importance of public innovation contracts for the Cypriot ecosystem of research and innovation and the challenges it presents for further development and modernisation of public health services.

Dr. Costas Stamatopoulos, HE-HEALTH National Representative from the National Centre for Research and Technological Development (CERTH), talked about the challenges facing health in recent years, including the pandemic, with innovation being the answer to improving the quality of life of European citizens.

Dr. Lieve Bos from the Directorate-General for Communication Networks, Content and Technology of the European Commission (DG CONNECT) presented the actions Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) & Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI), the conditions to be met for funding, the differences between them and stressed that the two actions complement each other so that they can cover all the technological solutions and services for the public sector. She explained that public procurement can really create new jobs, significantly increase research and development spending in a country, help small and medium-sized enterprises to grow and prosper, and contribute significantly to improving the quality of life of patients and citizens in general.

Konstantinos Tzanetopoulos, General Director of Public Procurements , Ministry of Economy and Development  and Dr. Matthaios Didangelos, cardiologist at the 1st University Cardiology Clinic of AUTH, presented Greek examples of public innovation contracts. K. Tzanetopoulos referred to good practices in the tender procedure of public procurement, the exchange of know-how with other European centres of excellence (competence centres) for the public innovation contracts and the opportunities offered in Greece in these actions, while  Dr. M. Didangelos presented INCAREHEART, a Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) project that aims to offer patients with chronic heart failure innovative health services  based on information technology and in which the country participates.

A detailed presentation of the INCAREHEART project was made by Ioannis Amarantidis, Special Advisor for the Horizon Europe programme and co-ordinator of the INCAREHEART project in the Jämtland Härjedalen Region of Sweden. Having extensive experience in PCP and PCI actions, he presented the similarities and differences of the two actions, the benefits for research and development, the procedures followed and gave advice to those interested in responding to the  calls of the actions.

EKT's Dr. Cristina Pascual  gave an overview of the activities of the organisation in support of the research, academic and business community, while emphasising that EKT, as a National Contact Point for Health in  Horizon Europe, and through its central role in flagship projects and programmes such as the Enterprise Europe Network-Hellas, EIT Health and the Knowledge and Partnership Bridges initiative, will continue to provide combined value-added services for Health R&D actors. Dr. Ioannis Theodorou presented RIF, the national body responsible for supporting and promoting research, technological development and innovation in Cyprus. He referred to the range of support services they provide for institutions, organisations and researchers, as well as Cyprus' impressive participation in the previous framework programme Horizon 2020.

The event took place online and, throughout, the audience was able to ask the speakers questions, which were answered at the end of each section. Participants took part  in interactive polls about their intention to submit proposals for funding through PCP and PPI actions, the country from which they were attending the event, the body / organisation they represent and their satisfaction with the webinar.

The event programme and the speakers' presentations are available here, while video of the whole event is on the EKT channel on youtube or you can find it here.

Watch the video of the event


Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) 

Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) is the appropriate approach to purchasing R&D services as it allows the sharing of risk (cost) and benefits (results).  As a result, public authorities pay less for R&D services while at the same time enable the industry to apply successful results to other projects.

In the Health Cluster Work Programme there is a relevant topic relating to pre-commercial supplies which  can be found here.

Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI)

Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPIs) facilitate the widespread dissemination of innovative solutions in the market. They provide a great enough demand to motivate industry to invest in large-scale commercialisation to bring innovative solutions to market with the quality and price required for mass market growth. This enables the public sector to modernise public services with better value for money solutions, while also providing development opportunities for companies.
In the Health Cluster Work Programme there is a relevant topic regarding public procurement of innovative solutions which can be found here.

EKT as National Contact Point of Horizon Europe

With combined value-added services, EKT has always supported the Greek research and business community and the actors of the innovation system. As a National Contact Point for Horizon Europe 'Health','Digital Technologies, Industry and Space' and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) programme, it supports organisations, businesses, academia and research organisations all the way from identification of funding opportunities to the final formulation and submission of proposals, the implementation of projects and the exploitation of research results. In addition, it contributes to the recording and analysis of Greece's participation in European research and innovation programmes. As a National Contact Point, it supports the implementation of ongoing projects under Horizon 2020.

As co-ordinator of the Greek node of the Enterprise Europe Network, the largest business support network in the world, it provides services complementary to those of the National Contact Points, for international networking and search for business and technology collaborations, technology transfer and innovation, access to European funding and partner finding for participation in research proposals.

RIF as National Contact Point for Horizon Europe

The Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF) is the national body responsible for supporting and promoting research, technological development and innovation in Cyprus. It was established in 1996 on the initiative of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, with the original name Research Promotion Foundation. Since then, the Foundation has become fully active at national, European and international level with a focus on the development of national research programmes and the representation of Cyprus in European and international programmes and organisations. Following a decision of the Council of Ministers in 2007, the Foundation expanded the scope of its activities to incorporate the support and development of innovation in Cyprus.

RIF is also responsible for co-ordinating the participation of Cyprus in European research and innovation activities such as the EU Framework Programmes, the COST Programme, the EURAXESS Network, the Enterprise Europe Network, etc. Since 1999, RIF has hosted a central system of the Cyprus National Contact Points for EU Framework Programmes, including Horizon Europe. In addition, RIF offers high quality services for the national research and business community such as information and guidance during the preparation of project proposals (information events, training seminars, workshops, preliminary and full proposal tests, mock interviews, etc.), as well as during the management of funded projects.


www.ekt.gr, with information from EKT, RIF, European Commission