The National Innovation Agency - ANI (Agência Nacional de Inovação) from Portugal has launched and manages a tender that aims to facilitate and stimulate research and development and innovation(R&D&I) projects and initiatives that respond to the immediate and medium-term needs of the National Health Service. This initiative comes under the scope of Portugal 2020, an implementation framework for European Union funds in the country.

Although it was not specifically designed to encourage public buyers to launch innovation acquisition contracts, it allows for the development of the innovative offering to be guided in this direction. This instrument can therefore be considered as a first stimulus of the offering side to find solutions aimed at common needs, raised by the outbreak of the new coronavirus. 

Within the scope of the Technological and Business Innovation Strategy for 2018-2030, ANI is committed to contribute towards driving public procurement of innovation in sectors of strategic interest such as health, space, biotechnology, agriculture, agroindustry or the maritime sector. With this in mind, in 2018 the agency formalized a protocol for cooperation with the IMPIC - Instituto dos Mercados Públicos, do Imobiliário e da Construção (the Institute of Public Markets, Real Estate and Construction).

Serving as the foundation for the two entities’ joint efforts will be the activities developed towards the implementation of Interreg Europe iBuy and Procure2Innovate (Horizon 2020), two international projects currently underway at the national level on behalf of ANI, with close monitoring performed by the IMPIC.