Keywords: Public Procurement, Innovation and Technological Development, European Union
The instrument of public procurement in innovation and technological development policy has been back and both discussed and promoted at European level. Such instrument has been intensively used in the 1970s and 1980s in order to promote the development of new sectors but, in line with the new policy approach defined in the Bangemann report in 1990 and implemented in the following years, focus has shifted to technological policy instruments that act on the supply side of technological markets. Technological public procurement (TPP) consists in the guarantee by public authorities of purchases of large volumes of new technological products in order to ensure firms that there will be a market. This paper discusses the theoretical background of this instrument, the European legal framework and the experiences in some European countries. It shows that the reconsideration of TPP is related to the definition of a new European industrial policy at the beginning of the new century. TPP appears strongly complementary to other instruments of technological and industrial policy and can therefore increase the effectiveness of such a policy, not only at national but also at European level.