This five-year Formas-funded project will establish a strong trans-disciplinary platform for research and innovation related to procurement in construction, facilities management and urban development. Procurement is a fundamental driving force for innovation in the built environment but may also be an obstacle to change. Today, it is a problem that traditional price-focused procurement strategies are too often used when new goals for economic, ecological and social sustainability call for more flexible and innovation-oriented approaches.
The aims of this project are twofold: to generate new scientific knowledge and to support the development of Swedish procurement practice in the area of built environment.
A main objective is to build a national arena – or platform – where important actors in academia, society and industry meet to jointly develop research approaches and new knowledge.
The platform is based in the national collaborative association Swedish Universities of the Built Environment, involving the four large technical universities in Sweden, supplemented by researchers in Sociology of Law, Public Administration and Political Sciences. Transdisciplinary collaboration will enable us to challenge general perceptions regarding the relationship between procurement policies, practice and effects. The research collaboration also provides a basis for bringing in international partners and experiences.
The platform is supported by a reference group representing key stakeholders. To reach a wider range of actors, the group involves organizations active in providing procurement education and support.
Local arenas and further leverage
Local networks will be set up in Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö/Lund, Luleå/Kiruna and Karlstad. The local actors will participate in research planning and in research activities.
The platform will be further amplified by including research and innovation projects with other funding sources, carried out by the co-applicants as well as by other researchers. Already on-going projects will be associated and the research group will apply for funding for complementary projects from other sources.
Key research activities
The project will establish an overall picture of (especially non-traditional) procurement practices used by clients in different sectors, regions and countries. How do practices vary between contexts and which trends can be identified? Which are the experiences and effects?
To support change, we also need to understand how procurement practices develop and why they vary between contexts:
- How does learning take place in this field, within procuring organizations as well as on a system level?
- How do social and cultural norms, procurement regulations, court decisions, policies, individual preferences and resource constraints affect practices?
- What is the role of inter-organizational networks, official support functions and academia in developing procurement practices and how can the learning system be improved?
Local networks will be set up in various places in Sweden:
- The cooperation will evolve around the area of Grundviken a mixed housing area constructed with sustainable building ambitions developing in central Karlstad. Cooperation will include Rådrummet
at Karlstad municipality and Värmland County Council
The platform will establish a broad international collaboration. Some key collaboration partners are:
Aalborg University. Assoc. Prof. Max Rolfstam, Department of Business Administration and Management
Durham University, Professor Harriet Bulkeley, Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience
Curtin University, Perth, Australia, Professor Keith Hampson, CEO Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre (SBEnrc)
University of Reading, UK. Prof. Will Hughes, guest professor Luleå University of Technology
University of Twente, Prof. Geert Dewulf, and Delft University of Technology, Dr Leentje Volkers, Programme Manager Public Commissioning
Karlstad University,Mikael Granberg
(Public Administration/ Political Science)
Luleå University of Technology, Thomas Olofsson
(Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering), Per-Erik Eriksson
(Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences)
National Reference Group
The national reference group includes representatives for important national level organisations and stakeholders.
The members are:
• SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden
• Swedish Competition Authority
• Swedish Construction Clients' Forum
• Swedish Association of Public Housing Companies
• Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions
• Swedish Association of Plumbing and HVAC Contractors
• Swedish Federation of Consulting Engineers and Architects
• Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning
• Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute VTI
• Swedish Transport Administration
• The Swedish Construction Federation
• Vinge Law firm