Fabian Demicoli

BUYING INNOVATION Why innovate?


Innovation is the key to success in
today's business environment. It helps organisations to become more efficient
and effective. The world is changing very rapidly, creating new demands and
expectations. Innovation is a response to this overall change. If there are
much more rapid and unpredictable changes, then the importance of innovation within
this environment is really critical.

This is even so in any economic
scenario. The role of innovation within this context is crucial since the only
way that economies can grow at any reasonable and respectable level is through
innovation.

When we speak about innovation we are
not only talking about technology innovation, rather it is much broader as it
is possible to have commercial innovations where a business model is innovated
without making any technological developments. Innovation can be defined as the
development or procurement of a new or significantly improved product (good or
a service), process, marketing method or organisational method.

How can you
procure innovation?

Today, a good percentage of the
organisation's expenditure is devoted to procurement and each has its own set
of procurement procedures. Existing procurement structures can allow for
innovative procurement. All that is necessary is the willingness of the
organisation to be pro innovation and procure new technologies from external
innovators that address the particular needs of the organisation. Local SMEs
have the potential to produce innovative solutions but there is a need to
create and encourage a market for innovative procurement. In this regard the
organisation can be the first buyer or lead customer of such innovative
solutions.

In order to assist organisations the
Malta Council for Science and Technology has set-up the InnoPro working group
to assist such organisations to engage into innovative procurement. The aim is
to offer the necessary support in order to identifying the organisation's
innovation needs and the process involved in procuring it.

In collaboration with the Department of
Contracts, the InnoPro group will facilitate the procurement procedure involved
by finding which existing public procurement procedures should be used to
undertake innovative procurement according to the various needs of the
organisations.

Support
offered by the InnoPro Group

The aim of the InnoPro
Group is to offer the necessary support to identify the organisation's
innovation needs and the process involved to choose the best procurement
procedure which can be applied for the particular project. In addition the
following assistance will also be offered:

Run the procurement process for external technologists
to come up with new technologies as a solution to meet the WIBGI requirements

Guide the applicant on licensing of the IPRs whilst
ensuring that the contracting authority retains some of the rights in using the
technology. This guidance is particularly relevant when 3rd parties are
required to bid for the building and installation of the technology

In case a prototype proves to be successful, the new
product can be offered in response to future tenders along with conventional
technologies

Other
Benefits

The InnoPro group
believes that in addition to the benefits enjoyed by the organisation procuring
the innovative solution, the community at large can also benefit, since:

Technologists can apply their skills and expertise to
real market needs thereby increasing the chances of their technologies being
commercially successful

Commercialisation of the innovative solution can lead
to the creation of new local jobs as well as increase in the level of exports
and income generated from abroad

The general society would benefit from a better economy
since innovation is a strong tool which can make a difference. This will have
an eventual effect on society's quality of life

Success stories would be publicise in order to
encourage others to follow suit

 

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