Workshop Insights: Empowering Innovation Procurement by Demystifying B2G

The second training session dedicated to SMEs and startups on how to unlock the Business-to-Government (B2G), was held on May 15th by the PROCEDIN project, this time under the theme “Empowering Innovation Procurement: Demystifying B2G”. 

Valentina Schippers-Opejko, from the Municipality of Haarlem, presented the PROCEDIN project website, explaining all the areas and information that can be found there, and focused on the resource bank available, highlighting the quality and knowledge of the documents stakeholders can find in there “(…) creating very interesting data bank not only for public or private buyers, but also for suppliers”. Alongside this point, Valentina presented the stakeholders maps and Urban Agenda’s resources data bank that provides e-learning modules free of charge. 

The second part of the workshop was delivered by Sanne van Kamp, Strategic Procurement Officer and Procurement Lawyer from the Municipality of Haarlem. Her main goal was to provide knowledge and key insights on how to do business with the Government. Sanne started by sharing the gains of doing business with the government, pointing out the financial benefits and stability that comes with it, and alerted that “so at birth, it may be quite difficult or maybe even a bit scary to participate in a tender but it will get progressively easier due to your experience”. 

After this introduction, the next point focused on the guidelines and bureaucracy to follow during a tender not only because “we have to spend public resources wisely, best value for money(…)” but also to have a transparent government and avoid favouritism and corruption. 

A key tip shared by Sanne was on how to find business opportunities. The speaker shared the EU tenders website and explained how to search for available requests. In there, an SME can search for direct contracts with the government or look up already contracted companies, and find out how to provide service directly to them. 

Sanne highlighted the importance of timings, tenders are very time-sensitive and the deadlines must be respected, 5 minutes later could cost the SME the opportunity to apply. The speaker left a final advice on this matter, showcasing important aspects “Please do read the tender’s documents. It’s not there for nothing. Stick to the procedure, again think about deadlines. Ensure you meet all requirements, criteria and conditions”. 

In the last part, from the speaker’s presentation, tips on how to how smart the competitors were shared. Although big tenders are available on the EU tenders website, smaller opportunities can be found more locally, directly held by a governmental organisation. 

Preparation is the key in Sanne’s eyes, knowing the entity, learning all the criteria, what is aimed to be achieved, searching, etc, to be successful in this world. 

Sanne van Kamp finalised her presentation by sharing resources on this matter, where she included the PROCEDIN website as a resource to watch and learn. 

A Q&A session was held in the last part, where the attendees had the chance to ask questions on the topic and debate a bit more about their doubts. 

The second workshop provided powerful insights and tips regarding the process itself when it comes to work with governmental institutions, showcasing all the steps and go-to action points. Watch the full session here: 

The third session will happen on the 29th of May under the theme “Building Partnerships: Consortium Building in Innovation Procurement”. See more details and register here: 

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