The City of Helsingborg is now starting preparations for its first procurement inspired by Demand Acceleration. At the same time, new ground is broken when the methodology is applied for the first time in the climate issue.
So far, the Demand Acceleration methodology in its entirety has only been tested by the municipality of Karlstad. In the procurement that was completed, a new VR service was developed that contributes to increasing the healthcare staff's understanding of people with cognitive impairment.
Now the use of the methodology is broadened both geographically and in terms of content. For some time, Helsingborg has followed the development of the Demand Acceleration methodology, and during the spring, among other things, participated in developing a Train the Trainer training in the methodology. Around midsummer, they issued an RFI (Request For Information) to find solutions that can radically reduce the climate impact of the city's public consumption. Purchases with an annual turnover of SEK 3.4 billion and correspond to approximately 115,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents.
Helsingborg has a level of ambition to be climate neutral by 2030, but just like in many other cities, a concrete road map is partly missing. A reduced climate impact from purchases therefore becomes an important piece of the puzzle on the way to the goal.
- Why should this challenge be accepted by Helsingborg in particular. Well, we have already been named one of Europe's most innovative cities. What we need now is concrete work with innovative companies, academia and other actors. If we are to get to the point, Helsingborg really needs to become a test bed, says Tommy Boije, intrapreneur in the city of Helsingborg.
Demand Acceleration unites public procurement with innovation. This means that in practice one procures innovation work and not finished products and services. Therein also lies part of the answer to why Helsingborg chose to attack the climate challenge with the support of the methodology.
- We can't solve it ourselves, if we think so, we've got hubris. We need to have as many tentacles as possible out there, in as many smart environments as possible throughout Europe, says Tommy Boije.
Anders Westerlund, business developer in the city of Helsingborg, also thinks that the Demand Acceleration methodology contributes with a new approach to the climate challenge.
- What I find interesting is that the method starts several steps earlier than traditional procurement. Actually, the focus is on the part that is often missed, the requirement statement itself, and is largely based on the user's perspective. Regardless of which procurement you work with, the statement of requirements is absolutely decisive. Here we give ourselves time to explore our needs together with the market, says Anders Westerlund.
A challenge in the procurement is still that there is a lack of a picture of what a final solution might actually look like, Tommy Boije thinks:
- I usually joke that there will be a number of birdhouses shouting out how much we have bought for each day. Or it could be a management course. What do I know. It is a lot about communicating the difference between a project where we know what we are going to deliver in the end, and running an innovation initiative. But we have been practicing it for a while in Helsingborg.
In order for a potential solution to ultimately be procured, it must contribute to more than halve the emissions of public consumption. A budget has been set for the procurement process itself, but there is still no budget for a potential solution.
There is also no clear picture of what type of company can possibly participate.
- I can see in front of me that it can suit many startups - but it can just as well be a multinational company. And I hope that we also get that breadth of suppliers, says Anders Westerlund.
Demand Acceleration has been developed within DigitalWell Arena, which also supports Helsingborg in the ongoing procurement. The collaboration is part of a project to apply the methodology within green transition, which also includes the World Wide Fund for Nature and Ignite Sweden.
Here you will find more information about Helsingborg's RFI, where the deadline for responses is 31 August 2023.