When to use it

When an unmet need requires innovation, as there is no available solution on or close to the market yet

Adequate process to procure R&D services, up to the prototyping stage

Procurer wants to induce step change in the market

Intellectual property rights management:

  • CAs leave intellectual property ownership rights with the participating economic operators
  • CAs keep license-free rights to use the research and development results and the right to require the economic operators to give licenses to third parties.
Key features

Multi phased procurement where the competition must be kept at the execution phase

May include the acquisition of the limited prototypes or test products developed

Cannot include the acquisition of larger volumes of resulting end-solutions on a commercial scale

It falls under an exemption of the Directives, but remains subject to:

  • The EU Treaty principles
  • The EU competition rules, including specific provisions to exclude State aid
  • Any applicable national public procurement provisions that apply to PCP specifically

Does not constitute state aid as the R&D services are

  • procured at a market price
  • the selection procedures is open, transparent and non-discriminatory
  • envisaged contractual conditions and terms, including with regard to IPR, are available in advance to all interested bidders
  • The procurement doesn’t give a preferential treatment to any of the participants providers in the supply of commercial volumes of the final products to any CA

Encourage demand side to meet supply side

Is a multi-phased procurement and the competition remains during the execution stage

It is an important tool to stimulate innovation as it enables the public sector to steer the development of new solutions directly towards its needs. PCP is published openly using simple existing procedures: open, restricted or negotiated procedure with publication.

European Commission – Framework for state aid for research and development and innovation

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions

 IPP •• News (innovation-procurement.org)

Examples of PCP


Prevent PCP

How to: Guide for JCBPP & IP

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