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Competence Centre to boost sustainable and innovative public procurement

Ministry of Economic Affairs and EmploymentMinistry of the Environment 13.3.2018 8.44 | Published in English on 15.3.2018 at 8.53
Press release
Competence Centre to boost sustainable and innovative public procurement

KEINO, a networked Competence Centre founded to increase sustainable and innovative public procurement, has been launched. KEINO aims to improve the effectiveness and quality of public procurement and public services.

As a major procurer, the public sector can have a significant impact on the markets. The annual volume of public procurement in Finland is approximately 35 billion euros. Public procurement is one tool to enhance sustainable development and circular economy as well as to fight against the climate change. In addition, it can play an important role in supporting ideation and the adoption of innovations, creating demand for new products and services, and promoting employment.

– Procurement is an effective way to promote and test new solutions in the public sector, Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä points out.

– KEINO Competence Centre supports developing competitive advantage and as such, is expected to have a positive impact on the renewal of the markets in general. KEINO encourages both the public and the private sector actors to use public procurement as a tool to validate innovative solutions and to gain references for growth and export purposes, Minister Lintilä continues.

KEINO offers a wide variety of services free of charge to its customers and stakeholders from municipalities to cities and counties without forgetting the governmental procurement units. The Competence Centre will establish buyer groups to facilitate peer learning and knowledge transfer as well as mutual goal settings and even buying strategies in the fields of health care and social services, construction and energy, transport and logistics and bio- and circular economy.

 – The Finnish Government aims to slow down the climate change, to end the use of fossil fuels, to promote the circular economy and to increase resource efficiency. These goals can be advanced through public procurement and KEINO is contributing to this work, says Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing Kimmo Tiilikainen.

According to Minister Tiilikainen, the procurement practices currently in use must be renewed.

 – We already have excellent examples of sustainable procurement in the Finnish public sector. These examples include for example electric and gas buses in various cities and our world-famous log and timber schools, says Minister Tiilikainen.

The Competence Centre for sustainable and innovative procurement welcomes customers from development-oriented smaller counties to forerunner cities. Some of its core services are, but not limited to, implementation of innovative procurement strategies, piloting Green Deal, sustaining a national-level change agent network and creating pathways to international procurements and funding.

– There are no limitations why socially meaningful criteria could not be used when defining the public procurement target. For example, using criteria which calls for involving the socially disadvantages groups can help to fight the long-term unemployment, says Minister of Employment Jari Lindström.

Besides defining what is being procured, further requirements can be sets on the offering companies. For example, a company participating in the bidding could be asked to take into account the governmental employment goals and should they win, to employ long-term job-seekers as part of the manufacturing process.

- In the Jobs through Procurement by the National Institute for Health and Welfare, the employment proviso was applied in 55 procurements leading to some 270 disadvantaged people in the labour markets to get employed or an internship or to get included in an employment trial, explains Minister Lindström.

A round table discussion takes place on 13 March 2018, hosted by the three Ministers Lintilä, Tiilikainen and Lindstöm, and focusing on the advantages of sustainable and innovative procurement and the methods for achieving these advantages. Key public procurers have been invited to attend this event.

KEINO Competence Centre is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and coordinated by Motiva Ltd. The other founding members are the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd., the funding organisation for innovations Business Finland, the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, the government’s central purchasing body Hansel Ltd., the purchasing body of regional and local governments KL-Kuntahankinnat Oy, and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.

The KEINO website will be available at www.hankintakeino.fi starting from 3 April 2018.

For more information, please contact:
Mr Jukka Ihanus, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +348 50 463 9929
Mr Jami N. Arvola, Special Adviser to the Minister of Employment, tel. +358 50 4471 255
Ms Taru Savolainen, Special Adviser to the Minister of the Environment, tel. +358 40 535 8622
Dr Minna Mattila, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 359 8679
Ms Isa-Maria Bergman, KEINO Competence Centre Coordinator, Motiva Oy, tel. +358 40 487 4242