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The Utilities Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2016

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Innovation Partnership

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47.—(1) A utility may establish an innovation partnership with one partner or with several partners conducting separate research and development activities.

(2) The innovation partnership must aim at the development of innovative works, products or services and the subsequent purchase of the resulting works, supplies or services provided that they correspond to the performance levels and maximum costs agreed between the utility and the partners.

(3) The estimated value of works, supplies or services must not be disproportionate in relation to the investment required for their development.

(4) The innovation partnership must 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.

(5) The innovation partnership must set intermediate targets to be attained by the partners and provide for payment of the remuneration in appropriate instalments.

(6) Based on those targets, the utility may decide after each phase to—

(a)terminate the innovation partnership; or

(b)in the case of an innovation partnership with several partners, reduce the number of partners by terminating individual contracts,

provided that the utility has indicated in the procurement documents those possibilities and the conditions for their use.

(7) In the procurement of an innovation partnership, a utility must permit any economic operator to submit a request to participate in response to a call for competition in accordance with regulation 42(5)(b) or (c) (choice of procedures) within the time period set by the utility in accordance with this regulation.

(8) A request by an economic operator referred to in paragraph (7) must be accompanied by the information for qualitative selection that is requested by the utility.

(9) In the procurement documents, the utility must—

(a)identify the subject matter of the procurement by providing the description of the utility’s need for innovative works, products or services that cannot be met by purchasing works, products or services already available on the market;

(b)indicate which elements of this description define the minimum requirements to be met by all tenders;

(c)specify the award criteria; and

(d)define the arrangements applicable to intellectual property rights.

(10) The information provided by the utility in accordance with paragraph (9) must 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.

(11) The minimum time period for the receipt of requests to participate—

(a)other than in exceptional circumstances, shall be 30 days from the date on which the contract notice is sent for publication; and

(b)shall, in any event, not be less than 15 days from that date.

(12) A utility may limit the number of suitable candidates to be invited to participate in the procedure in accordance with regulation 76(2) (criteria for qualitative selection).

(13) In selecting candidates, a utility must, in particular, apply criteria concerning the candidates’ capacity in the field of research and development and of developing and implementing innovative solutions.

(14) Only those economic operators invited to do so by the utility following its assessment of the requested information may participate in the procedure and submit research and innovation projects aimed at meeting the needs identified by the utility that cannot be met by existing solutions.

(15) A utility must negotiate with tenderers the initial and all subsequent tenders submitted by them, except for the final tender, to improve their content.

(16) A utility must not negotiate the minimum requirements or the award criteria referred to in paragraph (9).

(17) During the negotiations, a utility—

(a)must ensure equal treatment of all tenderers;

(b)must not provide information in a discriminatory manner which may give some tenderers an advantage over others;

(c)must, in writing, inform all tenderers whose tenders have not been eliminated of any changes to the technical specifications or other procurement documents; and

(d)must provide sufficient time following any such changes for all tenderers referred to in paragraph (c) to modify and re-submit amended tenders as appropriate.

(18) In accordance with regulation 37 (confidentiality), a utility must not reveal to the other participants confidential information communicated by a candidate or tenderer participating in the negotiations without the candidate or tenderer’s agreement.

(19) Any agreement referred to in paragraph (18) must not take the form of a general waiver but must be given with reference to the intended communication of specific information.

(20) A utility may conduct negotiations during innovation partnership procedures in successive stages in order to reduce the number of tenders to be negotiated only by applying the award criteria specified in the contract notice, the invitation to confirm interest or another procurement document.

(21) The utility must indicate in the contract notice or in another procurement document whether it will use the option described in paragraph (20).

(22) The contracts must be awarded on the sole basis of the best price-quality ratio in accordance with regulation 80 (contract award criteria).

(23) The utility must 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.

(24) In the case of an innovation partnership with several partners, the utility must not, in accordance with regulation 37 (confidentiality), 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.

(25) Any agreement referred to in paragraph (24) must not take the form of a general waiver but must be given with reference to the intended communication of specific information.

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