Research Handbooks in Intellectual Property series
Edited by Joshua D. Sarnoff
Chapter 15: The role of government procurement in regard to development, dissemination and costs of climate change technologies
‘Innovation is … essential to meeting some of the biggest challenges facing our society, like global warming and sustainable development.’ Innovation typically will prosper if the government creates economic stability, competitive markets, and invests in people and knowledge. If more support is needed in specific areas, government can use regulations, public procurement and public services to increase innovation. Addressing climate change is clearly among the public policy interests liable to respond to a government procurement strategy. It has been argued, however, that employment of what is essentially a device to assure that taxpayers may have the best public service value possible may defy the current international trade regimen. This chapter addresses that question. Procurement is a means for an end. Domestic and international policies concerning government procurement tend to emphasize transparency and equality of bidders for the benefit of all parties involved, especially as to efficiency and cost of the procurement. Government procurement also has an important stimulus potential, particularly where the state is a big spender (as in military, space and health). Therefore some consideration as to long-term efficiency (or social justice) may be warranted, compared to the immediate purpose of obtaining the best price or conditions in the transaction itself.
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