What is Procure about?

Procure is an URBACT III Action Planning Network of 11 partners, led by Preston City Council.

It seeks to build knowledge and capacity around progressing public procurement through transnational exchange and learning between cities. The project is developed in the framework of the URBACT III Programme and funded by European Regional Development Funds from the 3 October 2015 to the 3 May 2017.

More specifically, the Procure Network is about shifting how we think and practice public procurement so that it brings wider local economic, social and environmental benefits. The importance of this objective was supported by two realisations:

  • Public procurement accounts for more than 14 percent of GDP across Europe;
  • Historically it has been shrouded by regulations and challenges associated with bureaucracy and risk which have put cost at the centre of the decision-making.

The new EU procurement directives from 2014 provided an opportunity for countries and cities to think differently about procurement, encouraging:

  • Greater flexibility
  • Increased engagement with SMEs
  • Wider social and environmental goals

Procure in 3 Objectives

The Procure network has sought to respond to these challenges and opportunities across 11 cities. Our objectives have been:

  • To provide a deeper understanding of procurement and what can and cannot be achieved;
  • To change procurement cultures;
  • To maximise the benefit procurement brings to cities in economic, social and environmental terms.

Who are the Procure Partners?

  • Business Innovation Centre (CEEI) of Albacete (Spain)
  • City of Almelo (Netherlands)
  • City of Candelaria (Tenerife, Spain)
  • City of Koprivnica (Croatia)
  • City of Koszalin (Poland)
  • City of Lublin (Poland)
  • City of Nagykallo (Hungary)
  • Metropolitan City of Bologna (Italy)
  • Prague District 9 (Czech Republic)
  • Satu Mare County Intercommunity Development Association (Romania)

The network at a glance

To realise these objectives our partners have been involved in, 3 strands of activity

  • Harnessing knowledge, capacity and Economic power
  • Using procurement in an integrated way across traditional silos
  • Encouraging innovation in public procurement

Partners met at the transnational level to exchange and learn together how to innovate in procurement through 6 transnational thematic meetings:

  • EU Directives and their transposition into national law
  • Spend analysis and the elaboration of procurement strategies
  • Social innovation in public procurement
  • Environmental innovation in public procurement
  • Raising awareness of opportunities with local and small businesses
  • Monitoring impact and contract delivery

Cities worked locally with stakeholders involved in procurement and/or business networks and set up 11 URBACT Local Groups to exchange and translate learning from the transnational level to the local level.

Through the work of the Local Groups, 11 Integrated Action Plans were developed, taking into account each city's context, challenges and existing activities and providing solutions to change the culture of procurement for better economies, places and communities.

Procure Partners in action

Procure Partners' Integrated Action Plans detail how they are looking to make a difference in their local context:

  • Preston: to build common local economy strategy across anchor institutions and develop knowledge and capacity of local suppliers
  • Albacete: to improve the access of local companies to the calls of public procurement of the city through capacity building
  • Almelo: to foster collaboration and innovation through procurement
  • Koszalin: to increase the level of public funds retained on the local level
  • Lublin: to increase the participation of local enterprises in public procurement by building their capacity to do so
  • Candelaria: to improve the process of public procurement for strategic purposes as part of the urban development strategy
  • Metropolitan City of Bologna: to promote an innovative and sustainable public procurement strategy
  • Koprivnica: to increase capacity of the public administration in progressing public procurement
  • Nagykallo: to improve the local economy by improving the role of SMEs in public procurement processes
  • District 9 Prague: to address the challenges and embed the opportunities of Procure within the action plan
  • Satu Mare: to enable an innovative public procurement systems

Our network believes how we spend money can make a difference for our places and communities.

Additional information is available in the downloads section on this page, from the Procure Final Report, our Partners' Journey and their full IAPs but also case studies.

Related Video

Watch our network's short video to learn more and share it around to encourage other cities to take action.