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Joining Forces for Innovation in Public Sector Purchasing

30th September 2008
Mr Paul Davis, lecturer and programme chair of DCU’s MBS in Strategic Procurement, is actively working with a cross-industry group that aims to foster innovation in purchasing in public sector organisations.

The Competitiveness Unit of the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment has joined forces with Forfas, the Department of Finance and several trade and industry organisations to encourage and embed innovation in public sector purchasing. The "Procurement of Innovation Group" has been set up to further stimulate innovation, both in the public sector itself and in the enterprise sector.

Current policy focuses on boosting innovation through supply side interventions such as R&D tax credits. By putting innovation at the core of our public procurement practices, and consequently at the demand-side of the innovation equation, there is significant potential to create better value for money in public services, through better quality, faster delivery and reduced whole life costs.

A frequent cause of failure among innovative firms is an inability to get a foothold in the market. Selling to the public sector is seen as a potential opportunity for firms, especially SMEs to demonstrate their capabilities, establish their credibility in international markets and prove the viability of new products or services.

Participants of this Group include representatives from the Dept. of Finance Public Procurement Unit, the C&AG, the HSE, Dublin City Council, ISME, IBEC, Small Firms Association, Enterprise Ireland, Chambers of Commerce of Ireland, the Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management and DCU Business School.

DCU Business School is a leading educator in public and private sector procurement. The School’s MBS in Strategic Procurement is the first programme of its kind in Ireland. The two-year part-time programme aims to expose participants to leading-edge thinking in the area of procurement, with a view to adapting it and applying it effectively to the business and organisational contexts in which they operate.

Full details of DCU’s MBS in Strategic Procurement are available at