Innovative Solution Design and Procurement

Innovative Solution Design and Procurement

We’ve gotten a lot of questions about and requests to share from our project process, and in particular the “untraditional” way of designing the solution in a more innovative way. In the DIGID project it was very clear early on that we couldn’t just buy something off-shelf that would fit perfectly, and thus a traditional procurement process was not very suitable for us:

– how can you describe what you want to purchase,
when you don’t know what that is?

Instead of a solution description, you must start – and stay – with the problem definition during the entire procurement and selection process.

This blog post aims to share some highlights from this process, and we’ve also provided a more extensive write-up in PDF form at the end of the post that you are welcome to dive into.

During 2019, the DIGID team collaborated with Innovation Norway and wanted to allow for an innovative procurement method, and thus facilitated a thorough Market Dialogue before launching the official Request for Proposals to find a partner to join forces with in this exciting journey:


When the project officially started, the project team ran several workshops and user centered design learning sessions to qualify and clarify the original problem statement and analysis that led to the project being awarded with funding from Innovation Norway. This was to make sure we had an updated understanding of the problem, before starting the marked dialogue. In this phase we also collected and structured user journey maps, personas and other documentation included in the Executive Summary and session presentation slides held in the Market Dialogue phase.


We met with more than 80 companies, institutions and individuals during February through May of 2019, and received 20+ Concept Notes. The sessions were held both online and in Oslo & New York. We highly appreciate the valuable input received during this process! The knowledge gained lead to a revised and much better next step:


The RFP was posted in June of 2019 was (still) focused on the problem at hand, and not a detailed solution description.

Instead, it explained the problem and contained rather detailed descriptions of contextual issues and different modes of operations needed for a solution to meet functional and non-functional needs for our rights holders and the sector. This allows for innovative solutions to be proposed, where a problem might be solved in a different (but better) way than imagined by the project team.

The Deadline to submit a proposal was in August 2019, and a contract was awarded and signed late 2019.


The development and pilot phases started in January 2020, and was expected to run until October 2020. Due to the global pandemic, the time schedule is revised and this part of the project is currently expected to complete during Q1-2021.


The last part of the project is the summary, learning, sharing and next steps. Currently this is planned for Q2-2021.



We have also combined a more extensive write-up and documentation of the innovative procurement approach in our project. You can read more in this PDF: “DIGID Innovative Procurement – Summary

Image credits: @epicantus (header), DIGID (process charts)