Our investigation and analysis of public technology procurement has demonstrated that, as argued in Chapter 1 of this book, it is a concept with salient features. These distinguish it from other types of public procurement. With this particular type of procurement, policy makers are faced with new challenges. The reasons pursuing for public technology procurement, and consequently its processes and rules, are different from those of the usual, off-the-shelf, or ‘regular’, public procurement. Rules and procedures for conducting the latter kind of procurement are by now well tested and internationally established. But public technology procurement, as procurement under uncertainty, runs the risk of failing to meet the initial milestones set for it. In particular, the chances of total failure are often much higher than the average decision maker in the public service would be willing to bear. Generally, utility managers and the public service are risk-averse. They therefore tend to disregard the likelihood of potential above-average (or even spectacular) returns, which can be realised in the form of social and economic benefits from the rapid introduction of technological change and its ‘spillover’ effects.
KeywordsPolicy Maker Risk Aversion Innovation Policy Public Procurement Public Technology
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