Innovation partnerships are designed to enable public buyers to select partners on a competitive basis and have them develop an innovative solution tailored to their requirements. It applies where there is a need for the development of a product, service or public works where solutions available on the market are not capable of meeting their needs.

In many cases, the kinds of solutions run through innovation partnerships are complex and require creative and solutions-focused thinking. Traditional prescriptive tendering processes are highly unlikely to successfully address these needs as the market often has more insight into what buyers may need (or could benefit from) than people in the Contracting Authority.

Keystone has developed a process that allows public buyers avail of the Innovation Partnership process for complex problems. Keystone Procurement identifies problems that may benefit from this process and then develops a detailed problem statement.

Keystone Procurement sources the best solutions the market has to offer and works with potential suppliers to improve and whittle down the proposed solutions until a preferred service provider is identified.

The advantage of Innovation Partnerships is that they deliver disruptive change that has the potential to improve the lives of society at large. Pioneering public servants that are architects of 21st century government are increasingly availing of this process.

Keystone Procurement are the specialists in Innovation Partnerships in Ireland.

Choosing the right procedure

The selection of the most appropriate procedure for procuring an innovation solution should be driven by the following factors:

  • Degree of knowledge of the market.
  • The research and development requirements.
  • Whether a specification can be developed.
  • Whether the solution needs to be acquired on a commercial scale (not an academic exercise).
  • Number of potential suppliers and the structure of the market in question.
  • Time and resources available for the procurement.