Corvers Chair in Innovation Procurement

CorversMSM and Corvers Commercial and Legal Affairs launched the Corvers Chair in Innovation Procurement in October 2016. The Chair is funded by Corvers Commercial and Legal Affairs and the holder is Professor Nicola Dimitri. He is academically supported by Honorary research fellows Dr. Anne Rainville and Dr. Ramona Apostol.

The Corvers-MSM Chair builds up on the strong attention received in recent years by both Public Procurement and Innovation, as two fundamental drivers for growth and development, a point particularly stressed by the recent 2014 EU Public Procurement Directives. Indeed, since for example in the EU innovation procurement through public expenditure counts for about 18% of the GDP, with tight public finances procurements delivery of best value for money has become crucial for the public sector. Moreover, because of its size, innovation procurement is in a best position for promoting innovative solutions to enhance societal growth and welfare. Innovation procurement also plays a role in industrial policy – vital for creating and maintaining a competitively growing economy, and an area of concern in the EC and industrially lagging countries in Africa and Latin America in recent years.

The Chair will coordinate research and doctoral studies in the field. In addition, the Chair organizes training and capacity building, both in open enrollment and tailor-made format, in Innovation Procurement. A series of public lectures will disseminate the findings of the Chair. In these the Chair will also work with Vtrek. Vtrek is a network organization embedded within a strong system of economic and legal partners. It conducts interdisciplinary analyses informed through partnerships with Corvers Legal and Commercial Affairs, and the Corvers Chair in Innovation Procurement at Maastricht School of Management

Recent clients of the Corvers Chair include the Dutch Ministry of Defense and Het Waterschapshuis.

About Corvers Commercial and Legal Affairs
Corvers Commercial and Legal Affairs is a leading legal consultancy firm in the Benelux area, specialized in European public procurement law, innovation, IPR and contracting. Corvers acts as an advisor and external expert for both governmental bodies and commercial businesses. Its value relies on the complete range of legal services offered (from legal research and analysis to legal consultancy); its unique combination between academic research; expert role towards policy makers and legal consultancy to contracting authorities; strong and wide network; and involvement in a wide range of cutting-edge projects relating to e.g. new policies, new markets, new products or services, new distribution channels and new technologies. Covers is consortium partner for the European Commission’s EAFIP initiative ( on innovation procurement.

logo EAFIP


Nicola Dimitri
Nicola Dimitri is also Professor of Economics at the University of Siena (Italy), Visiting Professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IMT) Lucca (Italy) and Life Member of Clare Hall College (Cambridge-UK). He was formerly Deputy Rector of the University of Siena and Chair of the Economics Department. He has been Fulbright Student, Chevening Scholar, NATO-CNR and Fernand Braudel Fellow (EUI). He built up twelve years of both academic and professional experience in Innovation Procurement, where he was initially involved because of his background in Microeconomics and Game Theory. A main experience in this area was as economic advisor of Consip, the Italian Procurement Central Purchasing entity. He also has academic and professional experience in the economics of innovation, after having served as economic advisor in an Innovation Park for Life Sciences in Siena, focused on incubating start-ups. As a result, he then produced several academic publications on R&D productivity in the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Anne Rainville
Dr. Rainville is a Honorary Research Fellow at MSM. She is also a Management Consultant at Vtrek – a network organization offering expert services to help public agencies create value in their purchasing. Prior to coming to Vtrek, she was a Research Fellow and PhD Student under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Knut Blind at the Chair of Innovation Economics, Technical University Berlin. She received her doctorate in 2016 from the Technical University Berlin with a grade of magna cum laude. Fully-funded by Climate-KIC, her research focused on roles for standardization, collaboration, and intermediation in opening innovation procurement. As a Climate-KIC PhD Label student, she gained comprehensive experience and training in the area of climate research and entrepreneurship. As a Honorary Research Fellow she is working within the Corvers-MSM Chair in Innovation Procurement.

Dr. Ramona Apostol
Dr. Ramona Apostol is a Honorary Research Fellow at MSM. She holds a PhD in law from the University of Leiden. Previously, she obtained het Master degree in ‘International and European Law’ from the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and a bachelor degree in Romanian law from the University of Bucharest (Romania). She has followed (both in the Netherlands and in the US) specialization courses in the area of European and International Procurement Law. As a Honorary Research Fellow at MSM she is working within the Corvers-MSM Chair in Innovation Procurement.

Since February 2009 Ramona has been working as legal procurement researcher at Corvers Procurement Services BV. In this role, she has been involved in a wide range of procurement projects related to the implementation of sustainability criteria in the procurement policy and practice of central and local government agencies as well as in the procurement of innovation and R&D. She has regularly been involved in writing proposals and subsequently implementing EU funded research projects related to sustainability and innovation aspects in public procurement. With regard to these topics, she regularly publishes and gives presentations.

Prof. Wim Naudé

Wim Naudé is Professor in Development Economics and Entrepreneurship at MSM. He is also Extraordinary Professor in Business and Entrepreneurship at Maastricht University, Research Fellow at IZA: Institute of Labor Economics in Bonn, Germany, and Professorial Fellow at UNU-MERIT. Between July 2012 and July 2018, he was the Dean of MSM. Before moving to Maastricht, Wim was Senior Research Fellow at the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER) in Helsinki, Finland; a Research Director at North-West University in South Africa, and Lecturer and Research Officer at the University of Oxford, UK. His scholarly agenda focuses on technological innovation, entrepreneurship and development. For the academic year 2018-2019 he is on a research sabbatical.

Francesco Porpiglia
Francesco Porpiglia, is a PhD Fellow at MSM working on his doctoral thesis at RWTH Aachen University.  The topic of his thesis is on innovation procurement and he is based with the MSM Corvers Chair in Innovation Procurement. Currently he also works at Vtrek as Economic Procurement Advisor. Previously Francesco Porpiglia worked in the Procurement Departments of the European Space Agency (Operations and Ground Segment Procurement Division in ESRIN), and of the United Nation World Food Programme (Goods and Services Procurement Branch – OSCG).

Francesco completed his International Master in Public Procurement Management at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy. He holds a Master degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor in Economics from the same university..


Nicola Dimitri, Francesco Saverio Mennini, Lara Gitto, Francois Lichere, Gustavo Piga, (2017). “Joint procurement and the EU perspective”, In: Law and Economics of Public Procurement Reforms, Chapter 2 Joint public procurement

Nicola Dimitri and Tünde Tátrai, (2017). “Colloquium”, In: Law and Economics of Public Procurement Reforms, Chapter 2 Joint public procurement

Dimitri, N. (2017). The Blockchain Technology. Some Theory and Applications. MSM Working Paper No. 2017/03

Rainville, A and Apostol, R. (2017). Capturing Value in Innovation Procurement: A Business Case Methodology. MSM Working Paper No. 2017/02

Dimitri, N. and Rainville, A. (2017). The Law and Economics of EU Innovation Procurement. MSM Occasional Paper 2017/01

Dimitri, N. (2017). The Economics of the EU Innovation Procurement. MSM Working Paper No. 2017/01

Anne Rainville, (2017). “From whence the knowledge came: the heterogeneity of innovation procurement across Europe”, In: Journal of Public Procurement, 16( 4):463-504

Dimitri, N. and Apostol, R. (2016). Pricing Cloud Computing Services. MSM Working Paper No. 2016/13

Dimitri, N. (2014). Managing Porfolio of Licenses. Working Paper No. 2014/40

Dimitri, N. (2013). Best Value for Money in Procurement, The Journal of Public Procurement, 13 (2): 149-175.

See also Dimitri, N. (2012). Best Value for Money in Procurement. MSM Working Paper 2012/2, Maastricht School of Management.

Dimitri, N. (2011). An Assessment of the Pharmaceutical Industry R&D Productivity, Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 12: 683-685.

Dimitri, N. (2012). R&D Investments for Neglected Diseases could be Sensitive to the Economic Goals of Pharmaceutical Companies, Drug Discovery Today, 17: 818-823.

Dimitri, N. Piga, G. and Spagnolo, G. eds. (2006). Handbook of Procurement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rainville, A. (2016). Standards in green public procurement – A framework to enhance innovation. Journal of Cleaner Production.

Rainville, A. (2016). From whence the knowledge came: Heterogeneity of innovation procurement across Europe. Journal of Public Procurement, 16(4), 463-504.

Rainville, A., Hawkins, R., & Bergerson, J. (2015). Building consensus in life cycle assessment: the potential for a Canadian product category rules standard to enhance credibility in greenhouse gas emissions estimates for Alberta’s oil sands. Journal of Cleaner Production 103(15), 525-533.