Implementing Smart Specialisation in Energy through Innovation Procurement

The Smart Specialisation Platform on Energy (S3PEnergy) has the objective of supporting the effective uptake of the Cohesion Policy funds for energy as well as to help regions in the implementation of their Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3).

Public procurement is an important lever for economic growth and competitiveness, especially in a sector such as energy, where the public sector is a key source of demand.

Innovation procurement is an administrative action aimed at promoting innovation by enhancing the development of new innovative markets from the demand side, through public procurement. It contributes to:

  • modernising the public sector through the incorporation of innovative goods or services
  • promoting business-based innovation
  • boosting the internationalisation of innovation using the local public market as a launch or reference customer.

By developing a forward-looking innovation procurement strategy, public procurers can drive the R&D and deployment of innovative energy solutions from the demand side. Nevertheless, innovation procurement seems to remain underused in Europe compared to other parts of the world.

The main aim of the workshop is to help public authorities, procurers, policymakers, researchers and other stakeholders harness the power of innovation procurement to facilitate more quickly a clean energy transition, in line with the Energy Union strategy, and at the same time create opportunities for their local companies.

A pro-innovation procurement approach - using both public procurement of innovative solutions (PPI) and pre-commercial procurement (PCP) tools - could be more widely developed in the field of energy in order to influence the market towards innovative and more sustainable energy-related products and services.

Representatives from different regions and organisations will present interesting examples of innovation procurement initiatives carried out in Europe with ESIF, in the context of smart specialisation. Presentations will be followed by a Q&A/open discussion where the results and effectiveness, lessons learned, etc. of these experiences will be analysed with the audience.

Our target audience is mainly public procurers in the energy sector (national, regional and local authorities, agencies, public utility entities, etc.), with a focus on ESIF funds managers (S3 practitioners in regions and Member States that have prioritised energy in their S3 and could use their ESIF to steer innovation in energy), but the workshop will be open to any other interested persons (policymakers, researchers, etc.).

Registration  09WS585

 A smarter Europe
 European Commission - DG JRC
 Building SQUARE - Brussels Convention Centre, Room 313+315.
Address: Mont des Arts, 1000 Brussels


  • Ákos Szépvölgyi, Managing Director, Central Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency of Hungary: "Boosting innovation in energy through PPI – Experiences of PPI2Innovate project"
  • An Schrijvers & Piet Desiere, Senior Advisor Innovation Procurement, Department of Economy, Science & Innovation, Government of Flanders: "How the Programme for Innovation Procurement contributes to an acceleration of the energy transition in Flanders"
  • Rafael Hirt, Officer Sustainable Economy and Procurement, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability
  • Ivan Šimić, Managing Director, Regional Energy Agency North Croatia: "Prominent MED project: experiences in the use of PPI in small Mediterranean municipalities".
  • Isabelle Seigneur, S3PEnergy, JRC, EC

Moderated by Fernando Mérida, JRC, EC.


Building SQUARE, Brussels Convention Centre, Room 313+315

Monts des Arts