Governments are increasingly interested in ways in which they can use their public procurement budgets to advance strategic policy goals and promote innovative services and products, rather than merely provide the best service for the lowest price. In The Netherlands, the total budget for public procurement is roughly 12 billion euro per year. Researchers and policy makers often quantitatively measure innovation input, such as R&D expenditure or patent applications, rather than output, and focus even less on unintended benefits, such as spillover effects. Research on innovation in the public sector has found that people working in government play a very important role, which is why civil servants are the centre of attention in this research project. This research adds value to the existing body of literature by using qualitative methods to explore different types of spillover effects in a public-private partnership between startups and the municipality of Amsterdam, in the framework of an innovative public procurement strategy. The aim of the programme is for startups and civil servants to work together on a social challenge, in which civil servants act as the challenge-owner. This project compares the expectations of challenge-owners with their ideas about their role as challenge-owner, which is different from their day-to-day work. In addition, four themes of positive spillover effects are identified, namely cross-domain partnerships, new methods, experiments and new “energy”. By doing so, this project provides an improved framework to study the impact of public innovation.

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Keywords sociology of culture, sociology of media, sociology of the arts, innovation, spillovers, public procurement, municipality, startups
Thesis Advisor E. Hitters
Persistent URL
Series MA - Sociology of Culture, Media and the Arts
E. Smeulders. (2019, February). “Innovation is not a department” - The spillover effects of co-creation between civil servantsand startups at the City of Amsterdam. MA - Sociology of Culture, Media and the Arts. Retrieved from