Innovative procurement is an important tool for smart cities to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public services, especially in sectors such as smart living (for example, health conditions), smart mobility, or smart environment (with emphasis on waste and water management). The European Union (EU) public procurement legislative framework encourages the deployment of innovation by several means (including, inter alia, the introduction of competitive procedures promoting innovation, use of award criteria based on factors other than price, and the life-cycle approach) and sets the scene for a more strategic procurement for EU smart cities. Despite the proven benefits of innovative procurement, public authorities, driven mainly by their preference to follow traditional tender procedures under solely budgetary considerations, have hesitated to introduce innovation. The case study of Greece is examined, and it is concluded that despite the adopted policy measures that are conducive for mainstreaming innovation procurement, innovation procurement in Greece is at an early development stage. One of the reasons that hinder the application of innovation-oriented procedures by public purchasers is their insufficient knowledge of the available legal framework. The broad objective of this article is to outline the main innovation-friendly tools, as set out in the applicable European public procurement legislative framework that smart cities should adopt in order to make strategic use of innovative procurement.
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