KBS – Korean Broadcasting Service visits Renfrew Group


Public sector Procurement of Innovation as an innovation policy tool is to support and stimulate the demand for and adoption of innovation for the sake of generating economic benefit for suppliers and supply chains, on top of the social benefit generated by the public sector organisation. The NHSBT RGi Donor Chair system case study has been used as a best case example by organisations both in EU and more widely.


KBS (the Korean BBC) approached us following a recommendation from professor Jakob Edler, with the question ‘Public procurement of innovation elevates and advances public services, but also enables the innovation of companies and increases global competitiveness.

Companies such as Apple and Qualcomm in the U.S. have their origins in public procurement and have expanded significantly since they were given opportunities to enter the market through public procurement. They wanted to know ‘Are there similar examples of notable global corporations in the UK that benefitted from public procurement in the beginning?’

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Public sector procurement can be directed in such a way that it stimulates innovation. Studies carried out by Professor Jakob Edler of Manchester Business School, and Fraunhofer Institute set this out in detail, with the NHSBT / RGi Donor Chair system being portrayed as a best-case example.

Jakob Edler ∗, Jillian Yeow Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, AMBS, University of Manchester, United Kingdom

The policy to increase the share of public funding being spent on SMEs is also intended to foster more innovation. Renfrew Group International have been working with the UK public sector, specifically the NHS for more than 10 years on collaborative innovation, design, and manufacturing programs. A number of these initiatives have gained recognition and awards, including Collaborative Design with the NHS, 10 of the Best Designs (All Parliamentary Design Interest Group), Designs of the Year, (Design Museum), and Building Better Healthcare,  (clinicians choice).  The Donor Chair system has been widely adopted in the UK and has produced many benefits to the staff and donors alike.

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