Comparing Legal Instruments for R&D&I: State Aid and Public Procurement

14 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2018

See all articles by Dacian C. Dragos

Dacian C. Dragos

Babes-Bolyai University

Bianca Racolța

Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 19, 2017


This paper focuses on the promotion of R&D&I through state intervention in the economy, specifically by using public procurement and State aid. Innovation is widely recognised as being the key driver of economic growth alongside research and development. As the largest EU Research and Innovation program (Horizon 2020) is currently in progress, a reflection on the subject is timely and at the same time essential in understanding its practical implications.

One purpose of this paper is to verify the relationship between these two legal instruments in promoting innovation, beginning with a look at their legal framework. On the one hand, the EU encourages Member States to adopt strategic use of public procurement to finance innovation. On the other hand, similar goals may be reached using state aid for R&D&I which, since 1986, when the first framework on this matter was adopted, has been a key component of EU policy. The paper tries to find points of convergence between public procurement and state aid for R&D&I, opportunities and challenges for using each of them. The paper concludes that both legal instruments serve the purpose, although the specifics of legal regimes make their usage desirable in different settings – depending on the level of the policy design (central or local).

Keywords: public procurement, state aid, research and development, innovation

JEL Classification: K23

Suggested Citation

Dragos, Dacian C. and Racolța, Bianca, Comparing Legal Instruments for R&D&I: State Aid and Public Procurement (December 19, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Dacian C. Dragos (Contact Author)

Babes-Bolyai University ( email )

71 T. Mosoiu str.
Cluj NApoca, Cluj 400132
0040264431361 (Phone)
0040264431361 (Fax)


Bianca Racolța

Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Law


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics