Public procurement is a complex process. This complexity increases considerably when the procured product or service is an innovation, which often addresses new needs, requires different skills, takes on higher risks and thus demands organizational change. In this paper we argue that because of those demands procuring innovation necessitates the use of advanced project management techniques and an intelligent multistep project design. We underpin this argument by presenting a case study of the procurement of an innovation within the UK National Health Service which had stalled for many years but then was successfully completed by using those project management techniques. We highlight the different processes needed for the procurement of innovation compared to standard, business-as-usual procurement, and we suggest the management of procurement as multi-step, multi arena projects as a strategy for innovation procurement.
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