Expert article
Edit 29 September 2020
by Birgit Georgi

Experience and learned lessons from procuring innovative solutions – IGNITION’s Living Lab

Campus University of Salford, where the Living Lab will be constructed
Campus University of Salford, where the Living Lab will be constructed
A core element of the IGNITION innovation project is the Living Lab at the campus of the University of Salford. Here, different nature-based solutions (NBS) that support climate resilience will be built and tested. As a showcase, the Lab will provide tangible integrated solutions that inspire users, as well as investors, to choose nature-based solutions instead of conventional ‘grey’ engineering solutions. The different nature-based elements of the site will be highly innovative, as experimental forms of NBS will be integrated into a self-sustaining system. However, this requirement for innovation creates procurement challenges and highlights weaknesses with traditional public procurement procedures. The question is, how can one develop the technical description for the ‘call for tender’, if one does not want to prescribe a specific solution but leave space for experimentation and innovative ideas? The IGNITION team has therefore decided to take a step-by-step approach, using experience and learnings to gradually procure the full-scale Lab.

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