There are various methods and instruments which are particularly suitable for the procurement of innovations and which comply with procurement law. This is primarily due to the fact that they allow the consideration of innovative solutions within the procurement process in some form.

One such method, which serves to prepare the actual award procedure as well as to gain knowledge, is the functional performance description.

In the run-up to a call for tenders, the subject matter of the contract can be presented in more detail with the help of a simple or functional performance description. In the case of the simple performance description, a desired product or service is described in a performance catalog. Therefore, it leaves no room for innovation. The functional performance description is different: here, no detailed performance catalog is specified, but defines the product or service to be provided according to the goal to be achieved. The desired product or service is described by outlining its purpose, function and the requirements placed on it.

It is mainly used when the underlying market is previously unknown and/or there is no knowledge of innovative possible solutions.

The development of possible innovative solutions is then the responsibility of the bidders. This creates a concept competition between the bidders, who contribute both their technical and business expertise as well as their creativity to develop innovative solutions.

The following video explains this method by means of an example.

The video for the functional performance description can be found here.