The SILVER project searches for new technologies to assist elderly people in their everyday lives by utilizing Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP). Pre-Commercial Procurement is a competition-like procurement method, which so far has been an under-utilized tool for promoting innovation in Europe. It enables public sector bodies to engage with innovative businesses and other interested organisations in development projects in order to find innovative solutions for specific needs.
 
On the 1st of March, SILVER consortium opened an international PCP call for tender to acquire research and development (R&D) work on robotics-based technologies that support independent living for the elderly. The call was open to bidders committed to perform the majority of the R&D work in the territory defined by the EU Member States and the countries associated to FP7. 
 
By the time the call for tender was closed on the 12 of June 2013, the SILVER consortium received in total 33 tenders.
 
International panel of assessors 
 
A selected panel of experts reviews all the tenders by the end of June. Five experts from partnering countries specializing in elderly care, robotics and/or general business knowledge assess each tender. Based on the experts’ assessments, a preliminary ranking of the tenders is made. This ranking will be inspected and reviewed by a decision-making panel, which will make the final decision on which tenderers will be awarded contracts. The assessment criteria can be viewed at the SILVER Invitation to Tender.
 
Within 90 days after the final date for receipt of tenders, an award decision will be sent to tenderers, also containing the reasons for the decisions taken. Up to eight companies will participate in Phase 1. The total budget for the first phase is up to 350.000 EUR (total budget of the competition 2,150,000 EUR).
 
Sari Luostarinen, the National Coordinator of SILVER in Finland has high expectations regarding the upcoming three phases of the PCP: “This is a real opportunity to boost the development of the market, to find innovative solutions for the Public Sector services and also gain valuable experience in how to conduct a PCP process.
 
Three phase procurement process
 
When the assessment phase is finalized, the Pre-Commercial Procurement process will be executed in three phases, ending in April 2016. The first phase is a feasibility study of the selected technologies and proposals. The most promising ideas will be developed into well-defined prototypes in phase two. The third phase aims to verify and compare the first end products in real-life situations. In the SILVER project up to three pre-products are to be tested in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands and United Kingdom.
 
Stay tuned for the next steps of the SILVER project and subscribe the SILVER newsletter at www.silverpcp.eu
 
 
Further information
 
Sari Luostarinen
Project Manager
Tel. + 358 40 560 3326
sari.luostarinen(at)forumvirium.fi
 
 
 
 
 
SILVER (Supporting Independent LiVing for the Elderly through Robotics) is a research and development project to establish and to execute a Pre-Commercial Procurement process suitable for the conditions for cross-border project implementation across several EU countries. It is funded by the European Union under the ICT cooperation part of the Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7). The project started in January 2012 and will run for 51 months. SILVER has partners in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden and United Kingdom.