How do you sell the Nordic health care sector?

SWEDEN: Do You want to understand  how to sell to the Nordic health care sector? Get to know the Innovative Public Procurements program that is run by Nordic Innnovation.

The Ministers of Industry in the Nordic countries have decided to launch a Nordic program on innovation within public procurement with focus on health care. The program has been developed by a working group consisting of representatives from Ministries, National Innovation Agencies, Nordic Council of Ministers and Nordic Innovation.

Photo: Innovation Norway/Heidi Widerø

Photo: Innovation Norway/Heidi Widerø

There are a number of obstaclesthat cause the level of innovation to be relatively low when it comes  to development of welfare and health solutions. There is first of all a  lack of knowledge on how to use public procurement as an instrument in  the broader framework of public service renewal. In addition, skills and  mindset among procurers are fundamental because the mindset of the  procurer is much about saving money and securing quality and not so much  about looking at the potential for public procurement as a strategic  tool to develop or enhance new technology or new solutions. This is  natural; when a hospital engages in procurement of innovation, the  hospital invests resources and takes a large risk, while society as a  whole benefits from the innovation. Few public bodies will engage in  procurement of innovation unless given a mission to do so from their  owner or utilizing public incentives.

Most procurers will focus on short-term savings. Initiating processes  that has the potential to reduce costs some years into the future is  not always likely to have management or political backing. The way  budgets are divided into posts and organizations are divided into  departments, procurers are often not able to capture all benefits of a  new solution (for example reduced manhours required).

Finally; good access to information is a prerequisite for a  well-functioning market. The tools applied in innovation friendly  procurement are meant to open up the information flow between procurer  and suppliers in order to design the tender process in such a way that  the procurer receives relevant market information and tenders for the  best way to solve the problem at hand. The projects proposed are aimed  at improved dissemination of information. The obstacles are generic for  public procurement of innovationand are so to speak generic for all the Nordic countries.

Nordic Added Value:

  • Development of the field of public procurement of innovation within the health care sector
  • Development of networks and contribution to dissemination of information, best practice and results
  • Encouragment of health organizations to integrate innovation in their thinking when they procure
  • Contribution to new skills and changed mindset among procures in order to use procurement as a strategic tool for development
  • Encouragment of cross-border cooperation both among health procurers and among suppliers
  • Raise of awareness at management level of the potential in public procurement
  • Creation of market opportunities and development of ideas and companies, with a particular emphasis on SMEs
  • Development/dissemination of tools and methods for procurement of innovation
Photo: Innovation Norway/Heidi Widerø

Photo: Innovation Norway/Heidi Widerø


The purpose of the project is to strengthen the exchange of  knowledge, co-creation and cooperation in focused networks for procurers  and suppliers in the Nordic region. The objective of the project is  twofold:

  • To contribute to the development of public services, with  particular emphasis on the health care sector, by encouraging public  procurement and innovation
  • To contribute to the progress of  the Nordic supplier industry  through closer contact with public buyers for new innovative, effective  and competitive solutions

For more information, please visit the official project sites.


Source: Nordic Innovation




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