The results of the InnProBio survey – run between October and December 2015 – have thrown some light at the main barriers and hurdles faced by public entities when procuring bio-based products and services, and the main obstacles found by providers when trading with public entities.
Procurers have pointed out that one of the main difficulties they encounter is the limited access to financial support, alongside the fact that innovative products tend to be associated with higher costs. The lack of expertise or experience dealing with innovative products is another problem that sometimes results in technical difficulties and misinformation. Procurers are only familiar with some groups of bio-based products, such as office supplies, but not so much with catering, packaging, furniture or construction materials. The results of the questionnaire show public procurement officers are potentially interested in bio-based products, but are lacking information and awareness about options.
Representatives of companies participating in the survey have suggested that the price of the products is usually their first disadvantage when competing with fossil-based alternatives. Another reason mentioned was the fact that environmentally friendly features are not always taken into consideration on tendering decisions. In order to increase awareness, companies suggest training for procurers or awards for bio-based products’ users. Clear quantitative tools that show the eco-benefits of bio-based products were also suggested.
The analysis of the surveys received will help the InnProBio team to continue shaping the project, as well as to bridge the gap between providers and procurers. All details and conclusions from the survey can be found here.