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Story 21 February 2024

Open Call - SPIN4EIC Assistance to public buyers


Open Call for public buyers to apply for tailored support on innovation procurement when they need it!

The SPIN4EIC Assistance to Public Buyers aims to provide assistance to public buyers fostering innovation in Europe throughout the whole tender preparation process, contributing to the enhancement of their capacity to purchase innovative solutions and fostering innovation in Europe. Within this programme, a total of eight Calls for applications will be launched (two per type of assistance as indicated below), and one open flexible Call offering public buyers the possibility to apply for any or more than one of the four types of assistance throughout the SPIN4EIC programme duration.

Within the Calls for applications, public buyers can apply for support funded by the EIC regarding four types of assistance, namely:

1.    Identification and assessment of needs

2.    Building a business case development

3.    Conducting an open market consultation

4.    Drafting tender documents

In this Open Call, public buyers can apply for support funded by the EIC regarding the types of assistance described in the table below. For each type of assistance, the public buyers will benefit from a maximum of 5 person-days expert assistance.

Type of Assistance Description
Identifying and assessing the public need

Selected public buyers will receive assistance to identify and assess at organisational level, at least one public challenge that could be addressed through the purchase and/or the development of an innovative solution.

The assistance may include support using techniques such as the voice of the client, working groups with users, the WIBGIF (wouldn’t it be great if…), value methodologies focused on functional analysis and LEAN methodologies, with the purpose to define functional-based requirements and use cases.

Building the business case

Selected public buyers will receive assistance to build a business case on at least one already identified public need in a way that will lead to the development and/or purchase of an innovative solution to address this specific need/s.

The assistance may include advice in performing a cost/benefit analysis and value calculations, as well as exploring different scenarios to compare the ‘as-is’ situation with the desired situation and the cost of doing nothing.

Market Consultation

Selected public buyers will receive assistance to perform an open and Europe wide (if possible), market consultation in relation to at least one already identified public challenge that each of them is facing.

The assistance may include preparing a market consultation document, request for information questionnaire, and developing materials for events and webinars. Assistance will also be provided to prepare a Prior Information Notice to be published on the TED portal, answering questions from providers, and addressing legal and business aspects to ensure compliance with the principles of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) for a sound market engagement.

Drafting the tender documents

Selected public buyers will receive assistance to draft tender specifications in a way that facilitates access to innovative SMEs and start-ups.

The assistance will include the design of the procurement strategy comprising business and legal aspects such as the IPR provisions and the contractual set-up on a case-by-case basis (e.g. use of framework agreements, open, negotiated procedures or the best applicable procedure of the toolbox). Support will be provided to draft the request for tender, the model contracts and contract notices, as well as to assist public buyers in addressing questions from providers in relation to the tender documents.

Additional assistance

Public buyers with low-value contracts relevant to Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI) will be offered assistance in Phase 0, with support provided to identify potential suppliers and target them with a Request for Proposal based on local regulations.

Moreover, guidance to perform a state-of-the-art analysis may be offered on a case-by-case basis. It may include a market analysis, prior art analysis, and/or Intellectual Property Rights search to assess the Technology Readiness Levels of potential solutions and inform the procurement strategy.


The support on innovation procurement will follow the EAFIP methodology ( and will be tailored to the needs of the public buyer on a case-by-case basis. One-to-many assistance (e.g. training sessions) is also possible.

This Call will be open throughout the duration of the SPIN4EIC initiative (from February 2024 to early 2026).


What’s in it for you?

Public buyers fostering innovation in Europe can apply now to the first Call for applications to receive assistance in the preparation of their innovation procurement projects (e.g. Pre-Commercial Procurement, Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions, Innovation Partnership). If you are at the first stages of an innovation procurement project and need support with the preparatory steps, this is your opportunity to receive assistance by our legal and business experts, funded by the EIC.

Through this Open Call, support on innovation procurement preparation activities will be provided to the selected public buyers on a case-by-case basis. Besides the four types of assistance indicated above, public buyers could receive additional support to carry out a market analysis and an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) search of patents. This will ensure the assessment of the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) of potential solutions to provide more elements to develop the business case and grounds, to decide on the procurement strategy and the choice of procedure from the options available in the legal toolbox.

The assistance will be tailored to each case using the EAFIP methodology and Toolkit and best practices on innovation procurement. It will include videocalls, one-to-one meetings, and email support.

Please note that this Call does not provide assistance in the preparation of proposals for Horizon Europe calls. Furthermore, projects that receive EU funding for the costs related to the preparation and/or management of an innovation procurement (e.g. Horizon Europe programmes) are not eligible for assistance for activities that are eligible costs under the EU funding they already receive.

Contracting authorities selected as beneficiaries must indicate in all communications to the market related to the procurement project that they benefit from assistance offered under the SPIN4EIC programme, which is supported by the European Innovation Council (EIC)/EISMEA.


Who can apply?

All public buyers fostering innovation in Europe can apply for assistance.

The public procurers will be selected through a transparent selection procedure against the following criteria:

  • For type of assistance 1: (a) expression of concrete interest in purchasing R&D and/or innovative solutions; (b) in kind capacity allocated.
  • For type of assistance 2: (a) expression of interest in a cost/benefit analysis; (b) pre-defined concrete procurement need; (c) in kind capacity allocated; (d) available concrete budget.
  • For type of assistance 3: (a) expression of interest in conducting a market consultation; (b) preliminary business case (with low weight); (c) concrete defined need; (d) in kind capacity allocated; (e) available concrete budget.
  • For type assistance 4: (a) expression of interest in support in drafting tender documents; (b) clear procurement need; (c) market consultation has been conducted (with low weight); (d) existing business case (with low weight); (e) in kind capacity allocated; (f) available concrete budget.

Nevertheless, it needs to be noted that the applications will be evaluated on a case by case basis and will not be immediately excluded if some criteria are not met.

The selection of the public buyers to receive assistance will be conducted in coordination with the European Commission Services/EISMEA on the basis of the interest shown via the online questionnaire. All expressions of interest received via the questionnaire are assessed according to the above criteria, based on the information provided in the questionnaire, and any additional information the European Commission/EISMEA may have decided to request.

The evaluation of the applications for the Open Call will take place on a monthly basis.


How to apply?

If you are interested to receive assistance, please apply by filling in the application form.

DISCLAIMER: This information is provided in the interest of knowledge sharing and should not be interpreted as the official view of the European Commission, or any other organisation.

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