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TITLE II RULES APPLICABLE TO CONTRACTS

CHAPTER I Procedures

Article 49Innovation partnership

1.In innovation partnerships, any economic operator may submit a request to participate in response to a call for competition in accordance with points (b) and (c) of Article 44(4) by providing the information for qualitative selection that is requested by the contracting entity.

In the procurement documents, the contracting entity shall identify the need for an innovative product, service or works that cannot be met by purchasing products, services or works already available on the market. It shall indicate which elements of this description define the minimum requirements to be met by all tenders. The indications shall be sufficiently precise to enable economic operators to identify the nature and scope of the required solution and decide whether to request to participate in the procedure.

The contracting entity may decide to set up the innovation partnership with one partner or with several partners conducting separate research and development activities.

The minimum time limit for receipt of requests to participate shall, as a general rule, be fixed at no less than 30 days from the date on which the contract notice is sent and shall in any event not be less than 15 days. Only those economic operators invited by the contracting entity following the assessment of the information provided may participate in the procedure. Contracting entities may limit the number of suitable candidates to be invited to participate in the procedure in accordance with Article 78(2).The contracts shall be awarded on the sole basis of the award criterion of the tender presenting the best price-quality ratio in accordance with Article 82(2).

2.The innovation partnership shall aim at the development of an innovative product, service or works and the subsequent purchase of the resulting supplies, services or works, provided that they correspond to the performance levels and maximum costs agreed between the contracting entities and the participants.

The innovation partnership shall be structured in successive phases following the sequence of steps in the research and innovation process, which may include the manufacturing of the products, the provision of the services or the completion of the works. The innovation partnership shall set intermediate targets to be attained by the partners and provide for payment of the remuneration in appropriate instalments.

Based on those targets, the contracting entity may decide after each phase to terminate the innovation partnership or, in the case of an innovation partnership with several partners, to reduce the number of partners by terminating individual contracts, provided that the contracting entity has indicated in the procurement documents those possibilities and the conditions for their use.

3.Unless otherwise provided for in this Article, contracting entities shall negotiate with tenderers the initial and all subsequent tenders submitted by them, except for the final tender, to improve the content thereof.

The minimum requirements and the award criteria shall not be subject to negotiations.

4.During the negotiations, contracting entities shall ensure the equal treatment of all tenderers. To that end, they shall not provide information in a discriminatory manner which may give some tenderers an advantage over others. They shall inform all tenderers, whose tenders have not been eliminated, pursuant to paragraph 5, in writing of any changes to the technical specifications or other procurement documents other than those setting out the minimum requirements. Following those changes, contracting entities shall provide sufficient time for tenderers to modify and re-submit amended tenders, as appropriate.

In accordance with Article 39, contracting entities shall not reveal to the other participants confidential information communicated by a candidate or tenderer participating in the negotiations without its agreement. Such agreement shall not take the form of a general waiver but shall be given with reference to the intended communication of specific information.

5.Negotiations during innovation partnership procedures may take place in successive stages in order to reduce the number of tenders to be negotiated by applying the award criteria specified in the contract notice, in the invitation to confirm interest or in the procurement documents. In the contract notice, the invitation to confirm interest or in the procurement documents, the contracting entity shall indicate whether it will use that option.

6.In selecting candidates, contracting entities shall in particular apply criteria concerning the candidates’ capacity in the field of research and development and of developing and implementing innovative solutions.

Only those economic operators invited by the contracting entity following its assessment of the requested information may submit research and innovation projects aimed at meeting the needs identified by the contracting entity that cannot be met by existing solutions.

In the procurement documents, the contracting entity shall define the arrangements applicable to intellectual property rights. In the case of an innovation partnership with several partners, the contracting entity shall not, in accordance with Article 39, reveal to the other partners solutions proposed or other confidential information communicated by a partner in the framework of the partnership without that partner’s agreement. Such agreement shall not take the form of a general waiver but shall be given with reference to the intended communication of specific information.

7.The contracting entity shall ensure that the structure of the partnership and, in particular the duration and value of the different phases reflect the degree of innovation of the proposed solution and the sequence of the research and innovation activities required for the development of an innovative solution not yet available on the market. The estimated value of supplies, services or works purchased shall not be disproportionate in relation to the investment for their development.