Success factors for collaborations between startups and public authorities

Christina Marchand
07.05.2019

Read our report on how to look for alternative opportunities to public procurement calls and develop good collaboration relationships with public authorities, including a few examples from around Switzerland.

This article was written by the Innovation Monitor team from eqlosion and ZHAW, based on interviews and research done in autumn 2018. The article is available in German and French (see links below).

English summary:
For some cleantech startups public institutions are ideal customers, however cooperation between these two actors can be challenging, e.g. due to strong cultural differences. In this article we show ways to work together successfully. In addition several startup CEOs describe their experiences and give advice for startups looking to address public authorites as customers.

In order to initiate cooperation with an authority, the following must be done: Startups must identify and contact the right people. They need to understand that the authorities are often overloaded and that they are obliged to provide safe and continuous services for the population while using public funds responsibly. To make their voice heard, startups must make clear that the proposed innovative solutions will provide a real additional value in the mid- to long-term and provide a guarantee in order for the authorities to safeguard services. Even though the framework for public procurement is very restrictive, there exist the possibilities for pilot projects, exception rules and special selection criteria which can still enable a fruitful cooperation, especially if a relationship of trust is established first.

Link to the french article about collaboration published in bilan

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