UiB receives public procurement award

The University of Bergen has been awarded the Public Procurement Award for Innovation.

UiB was awarded the public procurement award for innovation
AWARD WINNER: UiB was awarded the public procurement award for innovation. In the picture we see the director of Innovation Norway, Anita Krohn Traaseth, the prize winner and Principal Officer for Financial Services at the University of Bergen, Kjetil Skog, and Head of Department at Difi, Dag Strømsnes.
Stig Weston

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The prize was awarded by the Norwegian Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) at the annual Public Procurement conference in Oslo.

Principal Officer for Financial Services, Kjetil Skog, accepted the award on behalf of the University of Bergen (UiB).

“It is great to get external recognition that an administrative department has significance. It is important to have the best researchers, but to get there, we must have good people in the administration, so that we can adapt,” says Skog.


Development of goods

The jury said that UiB systematically work to promote innovation in its procurements, and has completed several acquisitions where the development of goods and services that are not available as standard in the market are stimulated.

“UiB has a greater degree of dialogue with the market than many other companies. We have a culture for daring to explore and look for opportunities, rather than being afraid of making mistakes,” Skog explains.
An example of an innovative provision being made at UiB, is the purchase of a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), which is used in maritime research.

“ROV is a known technology in the oil industry, but we needed to use it in much deeper seas than what is common in the oil industry. In cases like this it is important to find new solutions, in cooperation with the market, to satisfy our needs. In this way we find solutions that can be valuable also for others,” says Skog.


An increasingly professional approach

In recent years there has been an increase in professionalisation of the public procurement in society.

“At UiB approximately 70 per cent of our budget of four billion Norwegian kroner (NOK) goes to cover the payroll. The remainder of the budget is mainly used for procurement. It is important that we use this money in the best possible way,” says Skog.

He emphasises the importance of good purchasing agreements and the need of working closely with the market to buy the best equipment for use in research and teaching.

“This prize also highlights the importance of expertise in this area. Both politicians and other decision-makers are attending the conference. They believe that this has an effect, and that it is an important contribution for encouraging the public authorities to spend their money in a better way,” says Skog.