Procurement is a key driver for innovation in construction, but can also be an obstacle to development. A problem is that traditional procurement with focus on lowest price is still the most common, although new objectives for economic, ecological and social sustainability often require more flexible and innovation friendly models.
The Formas-funded project ProcSIBE (Procurement for Sustainable Innovation in the Built Environment) is establishing a strong multidisciplinary research and development platform for procurement in the field of construction, both public and private.
The purpose of the initiative is both to develop new scientific knowledge and also partly to support the development of Swedish procurement in construction. An important purpose is to create a national arena where researchers collaborate with industry and other organisations to jointly develop new approaches and new knowledge.
The foundation for the platform is the cooperation organization Swedish Building University, which includes the four major technical universities. In addition, researchers in law sociology and political science are also participating. Multidisciplinary cooperation provides the opportunity to challenge common beliefs about the relationship between policies, practices and effects of procurement. Research cooperation also creates a foundation for international cooperation and exchanges.
The platform is supported by a reference group with key stakeholders from industry and society. In order to reach a broader circle, the reference group also includes representatives from procurement support agencies.
Cooperation will be established with existing local networks within the participating universities. Collaboration will be conducted within studies, seminars and more.
The platform will also be broadened by researchers initiating further research and innovation projects by seeking funding from other funding agencies. Already on-going projects will be linked to the venture.