8 December 2021

New research project will establish legal tools to facilitate private-public collaboration


With a Carlsberg Foundation Young Researcher Fellowship Grant of almost DKK 5 million and the project PurpLE Associate Professor Marta Andhov will provide needed clarity on the tension between public procurement law and private law.

Associate Professor Marta Andhov receives The Carlsberg Foundation Young Researcher Fellowship in response to her research proposal “Purchase Power - Sustainable Public Procurement through private Law Enforcement – PurpLE.” The proposal posits that to successfully achieve procurement goals, it is necessary to investigate private law areas, e.g., contracts, as they are the implementation tool for the performance of public procurement goals.

Public procurement refers to the process where governments buy goods, works and services from private suppliers. Public procurement law regulates this process, while contracts are the implementation tool for the performance of public procurement goals. The PurpLE -project will provide needed clarity about the tension between public procurement law and private law. PurpLE will fill a research gap and establish legal tools that support an effective legal framework to facilitate private-public collaboration.

Associate Dean of Research Professor Henrik Palmer Olsen sees this new grant as a well-deserved sign of acknowledgement:

-Marta is a very talented scholar in her field, and her contributions to the faculty, both through research and beyond, are much appreciated.

He explains that this grant further strengthens the faculty’s international position:

-One of the reasons our faculty is internationally recognised is precisely because of its tremendously capable researchers and their ability to attract funding to enhance their research.

Marta Andhov is currently an associate professor in public procurement law at the Center for Private Governance (CEPRI) at the Faculty of Law and Steering Committee member in the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network (ITN) Sustainability and Procurement in International, European, and National Systems (SAPIENS) project. The Carlsberg Foundation Young Researcher Fellowship is given to outstanding newly appointed tenured associate professors to establish an independent research group or research environment, including acquiring research infrastructure and forming national/international networks:

-I am deeply honoured that the Carlsberg Foundation has yet again selected me to receive its funding, said Associate Professor Andhov, and she continues:

-The Young Researcher Fellowship will allow me to build a research team around the PurpLE project and strengthen even more the Faculty of Law research profile in public procurement.

The same view is shared by Professor Vibe Garf Ulfbeck, the CEPRI centre director:

-We are very glad for Marta’s success. PurpLE research is at the core of the CEPRI’s interest in private governance and the public-private law divide. We are looking forward to further strengthening the centre’s collaborative research efforts.”

Why is the project important from a scientific point of view?

Current public procurement research is mainly focused on public law. That is the law of a state. Still, private law often impacts the governance of the contract performance and often also disputes resolutions - particularly during the lifetime of large infrastructure projects, e.g., building and managing highways/hospitals/schools/stadiums. Consequently, PurpLE is important from a scientific point of view because it will be the first project to analyse EU sustainable public procurement law against private law concepts that affect procurement goals.

PurpLE will employ two postdocs and one PhD fellow and begins in September 2022 at the CEPRI, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen.


Associate Professor Marta Andhov, Email: marta.andhov@jur.ku.dk

Communications officer Lene Juhl Friedrichsen, Email: lene.juhl.friedrichsen@jur.ku.dk, Phone: +45 24 80 44 84