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Impact of the public contracts regime on the research funding marketplace

An often overlooked procurement question in the sector is the possible impact of the public contracts regime on the research funding marketplace.

An often overlooked procurement question in the sector is the possible impact of the public contracts regime on the research funding marketplace.

The current procurement regime is being overhauled, with Directive 18/2004 already replaced by Directive 24/2012 and consultation on the new draft contracts regulations has just closed.

Regulation 14 of the draft states:

Research and development services

14. This Part applies to public service contracts for research and development services which are covered by CPV codes 73000000-2 to 73120000-9, 73300000-5, 73420000-2 and 73430000-5 only if –

(a) the benefits accrue exclusively to the contracting authority for its use in the conduct of its own affairs; and
(b) the service provided is wholly remunerated by the contracting authority.

So – this means all contract (not grant) activity commissioned by contracting authorities (such as government departments) in relation to the following:

Research and development services and related consultancy services; Research and experimental development services; Research services; Research laboratory services; Marine research services; Experimental development services; Pre-feasibility study and technological demonstration; Development of security equipment; Development of firearms and ammunition; Development of military vehicles; Development of warships; Development of military aircraft, missiles and spacecraft; Development of military electronic systems and Test and evaluation services. 

The results of which are to be used by the funder solely in the conduct of its own affairs; and which that funder pays for; will fall within the scope of the procurement regulations if the value of the contract is over the threshold and is not subject to any of the other exemptions or within the lighter touch regime.

This will also impact on research equipment procurement if the PI has already been through an OJEU process and named the kit in the tender then they will be able to purchase that kit if they are successful.