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29 September 2017

Use of bio-based products and innovation procurement by Dutch province for road works

Located in the south-west of the Netherlands, the Province of Zeeland’s government recently undertook an innovation procurement to commission a public works contract to widen a major road in the Netherlands (N62 Tractaatweg) - from one to two lanes, and to build four new viaducts. To take into account the challenges of purchasing bio-based solutions (such as geotextiles, biodegradable underground tree anchoring systems, etc), as these are not widely available on the mainstream market, Zeeland carried out a process of competitive dialogue.

This type of approach enabled them and potential contractors’ greatest flexibility in meeting their needs. During the dialogue process, the companies who responded to the initial expression of interest were asked to deliver two specific bio-based products, plus one or more products from a pre-identified list of market-ready bio-based options for on-site piloting.

The company who was awarded the contract chose one of each of the proposed solutions for the products’ application and piloting. The bio-based products were applied to the road construction itself for construction of the road’s under-layer. Piloting of was undertaken for the installation of cabinets for traffic light installations made from bio-based composites.

A case study of the Province of Zeeland’s experience has been published as part of the EU-funded InnProBio project. The case study is available here.

18 September 2017

Enhancing cooperation between public contracting entities and vendors of bio-based products in Germany

A new national research and communication project dealing with bio-based products in public procurement is being carried out by the University of Würzburg, Germany. The project’s aim is to bring together and intensify information exchange between public contracting entities and vendors of bio-based products. As a result more bio-based products should be purchased by public contracting entities so that the vendors will be put into a better market position. The intensified procuring of bio-based products by public contracting entities will give positive signals to private companies and consumers to do the same.

In order to bring together public contracting entities and vendors of bio-based products, scientifically sound knowledge of procurement- as well sales-related processes and issues is needed. Empirical studies are to be conducted periodically in order to analyze developments in time and the effects of measures taken during the project.

In the first empirical study more than 1000 public entities answered a questionnaire to determine their knowledge of procuring bio-based products. Based on the results a web-based communication platform that brings together public contracting entities and vendors of bio-based products was developed and implemented.

Public procurers can access the German communication platform here.

Suppliers of bio-based products can use this link.