Workshop Insights: Unlocking B2G – Empowering SMEs and Startups in Innovation Procurement

PROCEDIN hosted a training session titled “Unlocking B2G: From Startup to Supplier through Innovation Procurement” that took place online on April 30th. Aimed at empowering SMEs and startups with knowledge and tools on innovation procurement processes, this session was the first in a series of four sessions on unlocking the Business-to-Government (B2G) model.

The training session, which involved all PROCEDIN partners and was led by Danijel Pavlica from F6S, started with the welcoming session and a brief introduction to the event’s theme.

PROCEDIN’s coordinator, University of Twente, represented by Louise Knight, took the lead in presenting the project and its team, highlighting that it intends to connect “procurement organisations of professionals with small firms and entrepreneurs while also bringing into the mix the educators”, and that part of PROCEDIN’s brief “is to act as a hub for the many resources that are out there, make them more accessible, as well as producing some additional resources around key areas.” The importance of the Innovation Procurement role was also mentioned at this point as it fosters collaboration between the public and private sectors for economic growth and competitiveness. 

Danijel Pavlica further delved into the specification and the potential of the B2G model, as it presents an opportunity to fuel the growth and impact of startups, entrepreneurs, seasoned business owners or visionary innovators. By involving selling products and services directly to government entities, this model offers a stable and reliable revenue stream even during economic downturns. The potential that this model has of providing SMEs and startups with long-term partnerships and sustainable growth opportunities was also highlighted, as well as the possibility of large-scale projects with longer timelines and larger budgets and the prestige associated with working with government entities.

The session continued to feature valuable insights with the intervention of Valentina Schippers-Opejko, representing the Municipality of Haarlem, on how Innovation Procurement works in practice. After providing the audience with a valuable resource for smaller enterprises and startups seeking market opportunities, the European Commission’s “Guidance on Innovation Procurement”, Valentina encouraged them to participate in initiatives such as market engagement sessions and training sessions organised by public authorities. Moreover, Valentina Schippers-Opejko elaborated on Haarlem’s pilot initiatives showcasing a real-world application of innovation procurement in restaurants. This specific pilot, which had the objective of reducing food waste, resulted in “a further reduction of about 20% of the food that was thrown away. So this was good for restaurants in terms of cost reduction, making smarter dishes, it was good for the environment and it is a very circular thought, also allowing the small startups to grow and scale-up this innovative solution.”

The workshop also had the participation of Vassilis Tsanidis, from the European Innovation Council, who emphasised the importance of startups exploring business opportunities in both public and private sectors, highlighting that “Public Procurement is the key tool to commercialisation of innovative solutions but it is also important for the modernisation of the services that public and private sectors are offering in Europe.” Moreover, he underlined the Council’s robust support system for SMEs and startups, underscoring the critical role of Innovation Procurement in driving economic growth and technological advancements. “We have a very innovative approach in order to be able to support the companies that are financially supported by us. We would like to see all beneficiaries bring their innovative ideas to the market. This is why we have this extra layer of services that goes on top of the financial support that we are providing and that is called EIC Business Acceleration Services”, he stated.

The training session was concluded with an engaging Q&A session that allowed the speakers to answer audience questions, delving deeper into some of the discussed topics and clarifying innovation procurement strategies.


Overall, the first “Unlocking B2G” training session served as an important platform to gain practical insights, leveraging innovation procurement to fuel business growth and sustainability. You can watch the full session here

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