Public Procurement as an Innovation Policy – proposing a conceptualization for analysis and evaluation

Yanchao Li

Research output: Working paper

191 Downloads (Pure)


Despite the fact that public procurement of innovation (PPI) has become an increasingly popular policy tool, there has been a severe lack of holistic approaches to analyzing or evaluating PPI policies. This paper addresses this gap by proposing a conceptual framework which links the multiple levels and aspects of the design and implementation of PPI policies. It builds upon several strands of literature and offers a systemic understanding of public procurement as well as innovation policies.PPI policy is positioned as a cross-domain policy which is inherently a mix of procurement and innovation related interventions. The paper moves on to present a ‘system mix’ – ‘policy mix’ conceptualization, and propose the use of ‘vertical’ as well as ‘horizontal coherence’ as qualitative criteria to evaluate the appropriateness and implementation of PPI policies. It then illustrates the use of the framework through applying it to the case of PPI policies in China. Three implementation channels of PPI policies, namely ‘centralized, routine mechanisms for PPI’, ‘major technologicalequipment commercialization’, and ‘demonstration programmes for emerging technologies’ have been identified and analyzed. The three policy channels realized different degrees of vertical and horizontal coherence owing to their respective rationales and institutional settings. The use of the conceptual framework can aid the conduct of ex ante as well as ex post evaluation of PPI policies, which can further inform the policy design and implementation processes.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationManchester
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015

Publication series

NameManchester Institute of Innovation Research working paper series


  • public procurement
  • innovation policy
  • conceptualization
  • analysis
  • evaluation


Dive into the research topics of 'Public Procurement as an Innovation Policy – proposing a conceptualization for analysis and evaluation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this