Under the Innovation Partnership Procedure, a selection is made of those who respond to the advertisement and the contracting authority uses a negotiated approach to invite suppliers to submit ideas to develop innovative works, supplies or services aimed at meeting a need for which there is no suitable existing ‘product’ on the market. The contracting authority is allowed to award partnerships to more than one supplier.
The basic features of the innovation partnership procedure include:
- The contracting authority will seek offers for one more partners to assist in the development of an innovative product, service or works not yet on the market, and the subsequent purchase of the innovative solutions without the need for a separate procurement procedure for the purchase, provided the final purchase corresponds to pre-agreed levels of performance and maximum costs;
- The procurement can be run with one or several partners carrying out separate R&D activities;
- The procurement can be carried out in successive stages provided this is indicated upfront;
- The initial and each subsequent tender is to be negotiated but the final tender must not be negotiated; and
- The minimum requirements and the award criteria must not be negotiated. Minimum timescales are set, a PIN cannot be used as a call for competition so a contracting authority using this procedure will need to commence its tender process by publishing a contract notice in the usual way.