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Interim BPS Primer on Innovation Procurement
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Innovation Procurement Initiative?

The Innovation Procurement Initiative was created in 2014 to address procurement related gaps and barriers to innovation development and adoption in Ontario’s broader public sector (BPS).

The Initiative leverages $20M over four years from the existing OntarioBuys Program which will help evolve public procurement beyond the current conventional framework to create value for the BPS.

The Innovation Procurement Initiative has four different components to support the goal:

Is innovation procurement another term for value-based procurement?

Innovation procurement is not the same as value-based procurement. While they may overlap, the primary goals are different.

Innovation procurement is the purchase of solutions that do not exist in the market, or need to be adapted or improved to meet specified needs and create value for users and/or the procuring organization.

Innovation procurement is a strategic tool intended to stimulate the market to produce innovative solutions to needs.

It usually leverages value-based evaluation to determine the best fit innovative solution to meet the specified needs.

Value-based procurement is procurement which involves making investment decisions based on the overall value to the organization or system, rather than focusing narrowly on costs of a specific product or service.

Why is there a need for innovation procurement?

Innovation procurement has many benefits.

For procuring organizations: innovation procurement allows an organization to potentially identify a new solution that better meets user needs and ultimately leads to increased end-user satisfaction and quality service delivery.

For suppliers: innovation procurement can provide early visibility about user needs and help suppliers to better anticipate demand for new products.

For society: innovation procurement can lead to economic benefits like the development of more effective services and new markets, and tackle environmental and social challenges through new and innovative practices.

Why did the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) issue this Interim BPS Primer on Innovation Procurement?

The Interim BPS Primer on Innovation Procurement was developed in the context of the MGCS’s Innovation Procurement Initiative to meet the immediate need of Ontario’s BPS for guidance on planning, designing and implementing innovation procurement. 

This primer was developed to provide guidance to the BPS organizations on early market engagement and innovation procurement models.

MGCS intends to update the primer in the future to include experiences from Ontario-based demonstration projects that are currently underway. If you have an example to
share, please email bpssupplychain@ontario.ca.

Are the models described in the Primer compliant with the BPS Procurement Directive?

When used in accordance with the BPS Procurement Directive mandatory requirements, and in the spirit of transparent and accountable procurement, designated BPS organizations may use these models and still comply with the Directive.

Will innovation procurement models be made mandatory in the BPS Procurement Directive?

Innovation procurement models are not meant to be mandatory requirements.

Innovation procurement is intended for the more complex needs of an organization. Not all procurement processes needs to follow an innovation procurement process.