Identifying the main obstacles slowing down the delivery of medical innovation is key to make Europe more competitive and cost-efficient in healthcare. As a first step, a survey was elaborated by the NOBEL Project and submitted to the EURIPHI Project (European Wide Innovative Procurement of Health Innovation) community of healthcare procurers, to collect their visions on innovation procurement of medical technologies in Europe and their feedback on current procurement systems and new instruments and visions proposed by the NOBEL Project. 

Pre-Commercial Procurement & Public procurement for Innovation systems

Currently in the EU, the two main innovation procurement approches are PCP (Pre-Commercial Procurement) and PPI (Public Procurement for Innovation). PCP challenges industry from the demand side to develop innovative solutions for public sector needs and it provides a first customer reference that enables companies to create competitive advantage on the market: public procurers buy R&D from several competing suppliers in parallel to compare alternative solution approaches and identify the best value for money solutions that the market can deliver to address their needs. PPI facilitates wide diffusion of innovative solutions on the market by providing a large enough demand to incentivise industry to invest in wide commercialisation to bring innovative solutions to the market with the quality and price needed for mass market deployment.

The purpose of the survey led by the NOBEL project was to get a feedback on these instruments by the healthcare procurers as well as to suggest tracks for the improvement of the current procurement system.

Main learnings from the survey: needs for a value-based assessment of innovation & a closer cooperation with SMEs

The result of the survey to healthcare procurers from the EURIPHI project highlighted the following trends:

  • there is a general trust in the current PCP/PPI instruments; however the main actors are recognizing some criticisms in them and think they can be improved
  • SMEs are the main reservoir of know-how to design new and valuable health technologies, even though they are often unprepared to exploit their knowledge into real solutions and scale them up. Indeed, the impact of a technology is not always well anticipated, as SMEs often lack information on the clinical applicability of their inventions, notably on their impact on the cost of care and hospital workflows
  • the new concepts introduced by the NOBEL Project, the Loop of Innovation and the Innovation Trials, aimed at evaluating at the same time clinical/quality of life outcomes and organizational impact in real settings, are recognized as useful and could be integrated in the current PCP/PPI systems.
  • the value of technology, i.e. the impact on the cost of care but also the outcome on broader perspectives like social aspects, needs to be at the center of the evaluation
  • the idea that Innovation Trials of new health technologies should be funded by public authorities both at European and national/regional level, is still generally agreed; the opportunity of co-funding of these trials by the beneficiaries is also possible
  • the willingness to co-operate between NOBEL & EURIPHI, both focused on health technologies, is shared and highly appreciated. It more broadly highlights a need for multi-stakeholder cooperation to ensure efficient innovation design and procurement, especially a tangible cooperation between innovation & healthcare procurers.

In conclusion, all the players in this field need to get well-aware of the need to come together and to apply an innovative, value-based approach system to weight the benefit of their activities

The loop of innovation, a concept by NOBEL Partner Fondazione Don Gnocchi (FDG)

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And share the results of the NOBEL survey on public procurement to your colleagues!

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To discover the concepts from NOBEL to ease innovation procurement: the Innovation Loop and Innovation Trials

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of Dr Furio Gramatica, from NOBEL Partner FDG, on the EURIPHI Project Website


The EURIPHI Horizon 2020 project (GA Nr 825922; aims to develop tools, builds a network, and fosters cooperation to introduce innovation and innovative solution of value to address common unmet needs and shortcomings in current health and social care delivery. EURIPHI applies a value-based innovation procurement approach applied to tools such as PPI (Public Procurement of Innovation) and PCP (Pre-Commercial Procurement). A primary objective is to ensure the uptake of this novel approach – Most Economically Advantageous Tendering Value-Based Procurement – for innovative solutions and to advance European cross-border cooperation. Innovative solutions are being identified in the fields of integrated care as well as rapid diagnostic tools for infectious disease to guide preparation of future EU call.

The EURIPHI partner organizations involved or interested in value-based procurement and PPI/PCPs are teaming up around the novel approach of Most Economically Advantageous Tendering Value Based Procurement of Innovation Solutions (MEAT VBPPI) to achieve the following goals:

  • Establish a sustainable Community of Practice using innovative procurement methods, such as MEAT value-based procurement of innovation and integrated solutions in health and care systems and develop legal guidance for efficient cross-border, value driven procurement with localized decision making;
  • Adapt the existing tools, perform market consultations and deploy cross-border Value Based PPI/PCP testing as learning cases in the field of rapid diagnostics for infectious diseases and, new models of patient centred integrated care;
  • Developing an EURIPHI Network, a network of representatives of (regional) health authorities, policymakers, and payers who, in collaboration with other key stakeholders, will further prioritize investments and foster the deployment of Value Based PPI/PCP.

These key objectives are designed to build a foundation for future EU cross-border PPI/PCP.