In the healthcare industry, innovation is key to achieving better results for patients.

Value-based healthcare is a framework for achieving better outcomes that matter to patients, optimizing the cost of care delivery to the health system. In turn, value-based procurement enables evaluation of a broader range of value through an emphasis on outcomes.

One means of delivering this value is through innovation procurement, often used to purchase solutions that do not yet exist. This requires new methodologies and approaches to procurement, and the development of new skills to manage the complexity.

To assist healthcare service providers in developing competitive procurement processes for innovative solutions, HSCN has developed an Innovation Procurement Toolkit (IPT) that includes tools, templates, and guidance documents to assist in the development and management of innovation procurement initiatives.

The IPT is based on extensive research and incorporates leading practices in innovation procurement from multiple international jurisdictions. Specific to Canada, the IPT builds on the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services’ BPS Primer on Innovation Procurement (Interim) (the Primer), which provides overall guidance on innovation procurement strategies and models.

The IPT is intended as a general reference, with commentary on issues and options within the various innovation procurement models and features. The IPT (and the accompanying templates) does not replace your organization’s own procurement policies and processes. Organizations should seek legal advice on the application or modification of any template to meet their individual circumstances (the IPT has been designed to be compliant with the BPS Procurement Directive).

The IPT is a dynamic set of documents and will be updated over time.

Toolkit Resources:

The IPT has been structured to facilitate the flow of an innovation procurement process from needs assessment, including development of the problem statement, through early market engagement, procurement of the solution and contract award. Guidance documents include:

  • IPT Navigation Guide: A helpful overview of the tools, templates and guides relevant for each stage of the procurement process.
  • IPT Decision Tree: A sample decision making process that can be helpful to guide the development of a procurement plan.
  • Early Market Engagement Strategies Guide: This guide provides commentary and insight on how to execute the seven early market engagement strategies identified in the Primer. It details strategies to engage the market and gather intelligence in order to inform the procurement process. Guidance is also provided on development of effective problem statements, an essential early step in the process.
  • Innovation Procurement Models Guide: A Guide that provides insight into the six innovation procurement models detailed in the Primer, providing guidance on when and how to use each of these models. It also discusses considerations, risks and risk mitigation measures in selecting and executing an innovation procurement.

Toolkit Templates:

The IPT includes templates that can be used to execute the various stages of an innovation procurement process. These templates are provided in Word format so they can be adapted to suit specific organizational requirements.

It’s important to select the appropriate form of agreement to document the arrangement arising from the innovation procurement process. While some innovation procurement processes may lead directly to the purchase of a solution (utilizing a traditional purchase contract), others may involve research and development activities leading up to a possible purchase (once developed and prototyped).

  • R&D Services Agreement: This agreement template is recommended when the intended outcome is research and development of a solution, with no planned production or deployment.
  • Innovation Agreement: This agreement is recommended when the intended outcome includes production or deployment of a solution.

All of the Toolkit documents can be found in the Document Library, including the Glossary of Terms and these three additional templates:

Have more questions? If you have any questions regarding the Innovation Procurement Toolkit or the documents included in the toolkit, please contact us.

Looking for further training? HSCN offers training sessions, please visit our Events Calendar to see upcoming training sessions or email

Please note that Healthcare Supply Chain Network is unable to provide advice about the application of templates in specific procurements.