The state as a smart contracting authority, cooperation with local government and innovative products - these are the core assumptions of the Zero-emission public transport programme, announced on 25 January at the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Up to 1,000 modern buses may hit the streets in an innovation partnership.
State – innovation trendsetter
The aim of the programme, implemented by the National Research and Development Centre (NCBR), is to implement innovative solutions related to electromobility in an innovation partnership. This is a new, previously unapplied mode in the Act on public procurement, in which the state acts as a smart contracting authority that creates a new market for innovative products based on the needs reported by Polish cities. And the needs are considerable – 21 cities the Upper Silesian Industrial Region bringing together 29 municipalities have submitted a declaration of initial participation in the programme.
Innovation partnership - how it works
The NCBR, an executive agency of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, and local authorities (programme partners), will together define specific needs and possibilities of cities, such as the expected level of performance or the maximum cost of new vehicles. They will then jointly perform as contracting authorities in a public proceeding that will select R&D project contractors. Research consortia will implement projects in stages, and after each stage the NCBR will limit the number of contractors, leading only one or two of the best projects to the end of the research process (i.e. the prototype stage).
PLN 1 billion for shopping
Consortia, which may include both science institutions and private sector manufacturers, can count for up to PLN 100 million for project implementation. They can also count for the market at a later stage. This will be provided by local governments - programme partners. Additional financial support may be provided by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management with which the NCBR is currently in discussions. It is estimated that transactions carried out under Zero-emission public transport will reach even PLN 1 billion, with 50 local governments receiving up to 1,000 vehicles.
The NCBR also plans to launch a programme dedicated to the creation of charging infrastructure for zero-emission vehicles. One of its components will be the development of analyses in terms of infrastructure construction and operation cost optimisation for individual cities.
Announced on 25 January by DPM Gowin, the programme is part of activities action under the government's Responsible Development Strategy in terms of zero - and low-emission vehicles, carried out by cooperating Ministries of Development, Energy, Environment as well as Science and Higher Education. Another initiative in this area is scheduled for February and concerns signing a letter of intent on cooperation of government institutions with cities and towns that rely on the development of electromobility, one of zero emission transport solutions.
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