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Analyzing the legal environment for public procurement as a demand-side innovation policy measure

Maria Carolina Foss (Faculty of Law, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Maria Beatriz M. Bonacelli (Department of Science and Technology Policy, State University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil)

Journal of Public Procurement

ISSN: 1535-0118

Article publication date: 30 November 2022

Issue publication date: 24 February 2023




This paper aims to analyze Brazil’s legal and institutional arrangements for the design, implementation and accountability of public procurement for innovation (PPI) and to investigate how this apparatus has been adjusted, modified and even replaced to enable its use in innovation policies.


It is a descriptive analysis of the legal framework for PPI in Brazil supplemented with case reports of ongoing PPI contracts.


Despite the significant advances in the PPI legal framework in Brazil, this instrument’s implementation is still limited. A disconnection between PPI and innovation policy goals and legal-institutional constraints are reasonable answers to this problem.

Social implications

Law is closely related to the design, implementation and control of public policy tools. However, there is still a tine understanding of how the legal framework can corroborate or constrain new mechanisms to state purchase power, such as PPI.


Public procurement is the most crucial tool of demand-side policies for innovation, and it is implemented according to the legal framework in each country. This paper adds to the law and innovation research agenda, providing an overview of the Brazilian PPI legal framework and how it is going so far.



Foss acknowledges support from the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) in connection to the Project “Legal-institutional uncertainties in the radical innovation management” at the University of São Paulo (USP) (Grant 2019/16147-7). This organization is not responsible for the contents of this paper. The remaining mistakes and misconceptions are solely the responsibility of the authors. The authors thank the 17th Globelics Conference participants for the suggestions and comments in a previous draft of this paper. The authors thank blind reviewers’ comments and suggestions.


Foss, M.C. and Bonacelli, M.B.M. (2023), "Analyzing the legal environment for public procurement as a demand-side innovation policy measure", Journal of Public Procurement, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 35-55.



Emerald Publishing Limited

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