Purchase according to the research exception (forskningsundantaget)

This information covers the interpretation of the research exception (forskningsundantaget) and how employees at KI should practically proceed when they want to purchase an external research and development service.

Prerequisites for the research exception 

In Chapter 1, Section 5, in the Public Procurement Act (LOU (2016:1145)) it is specified which research and development services are covered by LOU. The legal text prescribes that LOU applies to the procurement of research and development services only if the following two conditions are met:

  1. The results exclusively accrue to the contracting authority in its own operations, and
  2. The provided service is entirely paid for by the contracting authority. 

Procurement obligation under LOU arises only under the condition that both the above conditions are met. Firstly, the results must exclusively fall to the contracting authority in its own operations, and secondly, the service must be entirely paid for by the contracting authority.

Conversely, if neither or only one condition is fulfilled, LOU does not need to be applied. For example, if the research results accrue only to KI, but the research is partially financed by a private actor, one of the prerequisites for procurement under LOU is not met.

Requirements for a service to be considered as a research or development service

In Chapter 1, Section 5 of the Public Procurement Act (LOU), the research and development services (with CPV codes) covered by the exception are listed. However, it is not sufficient that the service to be procured should be used within a research or development project. The service to be procured must itself be a research and development service.

For example, the actual (specialist) researcher who will conduct the research on patients performs a research service. However, services such as telephony, market research, etc., which do not require the expertise or execution of the researcher, are not considered research services and should therefore be procured in accordance with LOU. Materials and similar products do not constitute a service and are therefore, by definition, outside the scope of the research exception.

Note that if an agreement states that KI is obligated to procure, KI is contractually obligated to do so. This may involve, for example, EU-funded projects with procurement requirements under LOU.

The Procurement Authority has additional information about the research exception.

Practical approach 

Are you planning to purchase an external research and development service that exceeds the direct procurement threshold and that you believe falls under this exception?

Contact the Procurement and Contracting Unit at inkopupphandling@ki.se with answers to the following questions:

  1. What is the purpose of the project? Is the purpose to develop new knowledge or new methods for the field?
  2. Who will be able to use the results of the project?
  3. How will the results be published?
  4. How is the project financed? (Is there direct financing from an outside party?)
  5. Is there any agreement, for example, from a client or funder, that regulates how the project should be carried out/procured?


Content reviewer:
Josef Dadoun