Procurement Strategy and Policy

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is an intergovernmental organization with over 20 Member States, which site straddles the French-Swiss border. It has defined and implemented the CERN Procurement Rules for the procurement of supplies and services1.

Mission Statement and Commitment

The mission of the Procurement and Industrial Services (PI) group is to procure all supplies and services for CERN, meeting the specified and contractual technical, delivery and performance requirements at the lowest possible overall cost, while achieving balanced industrial return for the CERN Member States2 and respecting the CERN Procurement Rules.

In particular, the PI group:

  • Advises and supports CERN’s research and technical departments as well as the recognized experiments at CERN and assists them in identifying procurement strategies and defining the best solutions within budgetary and time constraints;
  • Follows up all commercial and contractual issues during the lifetime of all contracts and orders;
  • Monitors and reports procurement activities and statistics to the CERN management and Member States2;
  • Proactively identifies potential suppliers and contractors in all CERN Member States2.


To accomplish its mission and to ensure control and optimal use of CERN’s resources, the PI group defines and implements the necessary procurement policy, strategy, process, risk management and internal controls as well as its own internal organization.

General Procurement Principles

CERN procures supplies and services and awards orders and contracts in compliance with the principles of transparency and impartiality.

CERN’s tendering procedures are selective and do not take the form of open invitations to tender or price enquiries. They shall, in principle, be limited to firms established in the Member States2.

Invitation to tender and price enquiry documents shall be drafted in an objective way so as to guarantee fair competition.

Subject to the provisions aimed at achieving balanced industrial return for all the Member States2, contracts and orders shall be awarded to the firm whose bid meets the technical, financial and delivery requirements and:

  • Is either the lowest; or
  • Represents the best value for money.

Quality Improvements

The PI group implements continuous improvements in the field of procurement based on:

  • The definition, follow-up and update of the procurement policy, strategy and process resulting from experience gained;
  • Professional training of the personnel within the PI group;
  • Information about best practice procurement principles and legal developments;
  • Implementation and monitoring of key performance indicators.

1 CERN Financial Rules, CERN/2822, 17 Nov.2008 / CERN/3071/Corr., 20 June 2013 / CERN/3207/RA, 17 September 2015/ CERN/3313/RA, June 2017
2 Including associate Member States

Anders Unnervik
Anders Unnervik
Head of Procurement and Industrial Services

13th May 2011