Considering that government procurement of innovative products is an important tool to stimulate innovation and promote growth, The Korean government has launched a new policy that brings together various government agencies, experts and R&D pioneers to select innovations eligible for government procurement. In order to support its spread in the major market.
Countries with leading economies allocate part of their budgets and policies to incubating, supporting and developing new innovations. In Korea, The government procurement process for innovations is linked to several programs affiliated with different government agencies, The first of these is the "Purchase of Premium Product" of the General Procurement Department, Then the "preferential purchase of technological development" associated with the management of small and medium businesses, and the "Compulsory purchase of the new premium product" programme administered by the Ministry of Industry.
However, these programs have not received the desired reactions from stakeholders in the public and private sectors. It faced 3 main challenges. To begin with, The Korean SME policy has lacked sufficient attention to promote technological innovation. The government procurement process focuses on pricing and prioritizes it over the quality or innovative value of products. Added to this is the difficulty of involving innovation stakeholders in the procurement process. Hence, The need to address these challenges and transfer current practices in the world of innovation is a step forward in the path of sustainability.
To this end, The Korean government has worked on designing an innovative new model for government procurement. It has begun implementing its new policy, which it calls the initial accreditation for the purchase of innovative research.
The Ministry of Economy developed the conceptual framework of the program in coordination with the President's Office and the General Department of Procurement in 2019. To be developed later with the participation of experts from different academic, governmental and municipal backgrounds, Until the official launch in early 2020.
The Ministry of Science designs and implements policies for the program, the processes of approval and the granting of initial accreditation, Securing budgets, experts and publicity. As for the General Procurement Department, It assesses and registers the quality of products before and after certification and grants initial accreditation for actual purchases, The Industrial Technology Association manages expert reviews.
The program is based on cooperation with government research and development projects conducted by the Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technology, which spends about 22 billion U.S. dollars, Equivalent to half of the national R&D budget. The Ministry and its affiliated bodies have cumulative knowledge of innovations eligible for procurement. Along with the authority to coordinate relevant programs and manage policies targeting the specific innovation sector. Thus, The Ministry gathered the efforts of 3,000 members of researchers, analysts, politicians, scientists and other stakeholders and experts covering 24 technical subfields, For pre-certification and initial accreditation, Instead of reviewing innovation procurement applications. These experts are supported and assisted by scientists who are involved annually in 60,000 government R&D projects.
The project combines academic research with development efforts in both the public and private sectors. the economic and social impacts of innovations, As well as its commercial contribution. After reviewing all these factors by experts, and the selection of innovative products, They are qualified to move directly to the government procurement stage without going through traditional bureaucratic processes. Therefore, The Ministry of Economy and the General Department of Procurement cooperated to enable the so-called "highway" for government procurement. which allows for the non-competitive contracting of innovative products, To enable their owners to find early markets, achieve initial sales and expand production for the benefit of companies, laboratories and researchers.
The project targets innovations developed by government R&D programs unlike previous models that lacked a clear and precise explanation about the scope of any innovation. About those involved and targeted.
Work is currently underway with producers in biotechnology, emergency food supply, smart cities, AI-based public services and more.
In view of the positive results achieved by this new approach, It posed a major challenge by requiring redoubled attention and effort. In addition to the enormous budget and organization required to organize the work of the expert committees to keep pace with the increasing demand, Especially considering the interlocking process design. In this context, The Government believes that the main success factor is the speed of implementation, If it can keep pace with the speed of innovation in the market, The process will be organized automatically.
With the help of ministerial expertise, The program has a broader base and a deeper understanding of innovations, It has become possible to identify technological innovations that are characterized by true modernity and creativity, and highlight their expected social and economic impacts. This will help build trust with innovative companies, To increase the pace of research aimed at the public interest, Establish a base for public-private partnerships, It paves the way for replication of the experiment in other bodies provided that experts and resources are available and willing to take risks and change.
The program was able to coordinate between different government agencies and attract more innovators. Thanks to him, Innovative companies had the opportunity to design and modify their products, Government universities and laboratories have also been able to evaluate their work in an innovative cycle of reinvestment.
In depth, Government incubation of innovations contributes to development, and enhancing credibility, and provide high quality services, Responding to changing social needs, Supporting innovative companies in launching and growing, Encourage major markets to innovate.