Public procurement represents 10 per cent of Georgia’s GDP. Therefore, innovation-enhancing procurement (IEP) can be a powerful policy lever to catalyze innovation and promote sustainability. Using public procurement to drive innovation was one of the recommendations of the Innovation for Sustainable Development Review (I4SDR) of Georgia, published by UNECE in 2021 with funding from the Swedish Government. By specifying a desired sustainability/innovation outcome on the public tenders (e.g. decrease emissions from heating this building by 40%) rather than any particular product/service (e.g. purchase 40 heaters for this building), IEP opens the way for companies to create innovative solutions for reaching that outcome. Benefits of IEP can thus include economies of scale, improvements in product quality and performance, incentives for development of new products, creation of new markets and expansion of existing ones, and alignment with the SDGs.
The Government of Georgia, conscious of the potential of IEP for accelerating progress towards its development objectives, drew on this recommendation and amended in 2022 its law on public procurement, introducing innovation partnerships as one of the elements of IEP.
More comprehensive implementation of IEP requires technical expertise in designing public tenders, contracts and evaluation mechanisms. To that end, and to successfully drive the demand for innovation and enable its adoption and diffusion, the regulatory framework needs to be developed, along with the capacities of procurement authorities to guide and implement these technical procurement procedures.
This Handbook was developed by UNECE to accompany Georgia in this reform effort. The aim of the Handbook is to illustrate different approaches to public procurement, with the objective of boosting innovation. It discusses the role that public procurement plays in policy making and in the economy as a whole, introduces ways to convert regular public procurement into IEP, and provides good practices and tailored recommendations for Georgia.
In addition to the English version, the Handbook has been translated into Georgian. Download the Georgian version here.