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Get to know the European market by consulting it through BABLE
Preliminary Market Consultation Tool
This tool has been developed under the SPARCS project and in collaboration with Espoo (Finland), Leipzig (Germany), Maia (Portugal), Kladno (Czech Republic), Kifissia (Greece), and Reykjavik (Iceland).
BABLE’s Market Consultation Tool allows you to easily inform yourself on the state of the Smart City Innovation you are looking to procure and automatically inform suppliers in that field of your plan. The hundreds of Smart City companies in the BABLE community ensure that your procurement will be informed by a cross-border market audience that shares your goal of accelerating the implementation of innovation in cities.

Market consultations have a twofold purpose: to inform your tender preparation process and to inform suppliers of your procurement plans. By engaging with the market, cities can assess the capabilities of economic operators to deliver the solution they are looking for and evaluate how feasible their needs are. Furthermore, by inviting interested parties to be involved early on, you improve their capabilities to respond with high-quality applications.

The 2014 Procurement Directive from the European Commission highly encourages Member States to look beyond their own borders in procurement procedures and take advantage of the entire European market. The BABLE Platform community of smart city professionals from across Europe enables cities to reach suppliers in markets they traditionally may not interact with. This mechanism is particularly useful for pre-commercial procurement (PCP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI).

What the Directive calls Preliminary Market Consultations has a variety of names used by cities across Europe. Whether the Market Consultation is preliminary, open, prior, or pre-market, cities are referring to similar concepts. Likewise, if instead of consultation the process is called a dialogue or engagement is immaterial- the goals are the same.

Benefits of Market Consultation through BABLE
Inform yourself on what has been done in other cities
Cities share their learnings after the consultation so others can learn as well
Reach out to a growing European-wide network of innovative suppliers
Get best value from the market by getting direct feedback from suppliers all across Europe who are developing the best and most adaptable solutions
Language barriers dissappear
Broaden your reach further with automatic translation to 7 European languages
Sort the network of suppliers by the solutions they offer
Choose from over 30 of the most relevant Smart City Solutions
Complementary service
100% free for cities to use, profile must be connected to a BABLE city page
Expert advice throughout the process
Get in touch with BABLE at any point to make the most out of the consultation
Get started with the Market Consultation Invitation

Do you already know what type of innovation you would like to procure? Select the corresponding Solution area and we will directly present you with an automatically generated list of tech providers from all over Europe that specialise in that area.

After that we offer you the possibility to reach out to all of them (and others) by creating a Market Consultation invitation on BABLE.

See Overview Of Providers
Create Invitation
Receive Feedback From Providers

Not sure which Solution area to pick?

Solution areas on BABLE have been defined after analysing many use cases and Smart City solutions on the market. You can read more about each one of them here.

You need to log in to proceed with the tool.
Any doubts about the role of Market Consultation within procurement? Want to make your procurement process more effective?
Read more below in the BABLE Guide, or make use of the Use Case Finder, another tool that will help you get inspired by other city's real world use cases.
BABLE Guide to Market Consultation
Learn more about Market Consultation, its benefits and limitations
What is a Preliminary Market Consultation?

Preliminary Market Consultations are a way to engage with the market in the early stages of procurement with the goal of improving the procurement process. They can involve extensive dialogue with suppliers or be as simple as a prior information notice about your procurement intentions.

How can I do one myself?

There are many methods to engage the market in a preliminary consultation. The correct approach should be based on an evaluation of a number of factors including the complexity of the solution looking to be procured, your own team’s knowledge level thereof, the market complexity and maturity, the goals of the procurement procedure such as policy or innovation objectives, and the expected value of the contract. Generally, more complex or innovative procurement procedures would lend themselves to more extensive consultations.

Challenges and benefits of cross-border consultation


  • Geographical differences, such as language
  • Likely a new procedure
  • More complex response
  • Greater time investment


  • Take advantage of the whole European Market (encouraged by Procurement Directive)
  • Receive more inputs, from more diverse sources
  • Exposure to more perspectives is especially valuable when implementing innovation
  • Create more competition and thus better-quality bids
Converting outcomes of consultation to effective procurement

Carefully review all inputs received during the consultation and incorporate the results in the tender-writing process. Is the budget appropriate? Are the specifications feasible and do they make sense? Will there be enough interest from the market to justify going to tender?

Get inspired by real use cases
Are you not sure yet of which kind of innovation your city needs, or would just like to explore what is possible? Search through our use cases to get inspired by BABLE's extensive database of smart city projects that is relevant to you.
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