Connecting demand and supply: The role of intermediation in public procurement of innovation

Document Type : Translation


1 Tehran University

2 University of Khatam al-Anbia


Intermediation in innovation serves to establish or improve the link between different actors with complementary skill sets or interests in order to support the generation and diffusion of innovation. This article conceptualises and analyses intermediation between supply and demand using the example of public procurement of innovation. It defines specific intermediation needs and functions in different procurement situations and outlines the pre-condition for effective intermediation. The paper combines and
contributes to the growing literature on innovation intermediation and public procurement to innovation.
In order to develop the conceptualisation of intermediation in the process of demanding innovation, it builds on the existing, rather rudimentary conceptualisation of intermediation in the innovation and management literature. It presents an in-depth analysis of two very different procurement processes in two cases in a complex public sector setting, the English NHS, case of a public buying organisation triggering the generation of an innovation, and another in which an organisation sought to respond to an innovation offered in the marketplace. In both cases, the solution bought necessitated strong adaptation processes with considerable
learning costs within the buying organisation.


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