In the scope of INTRA, the Portuguese partner – University of Algarve, is monitoring the impact of this situation in several areas, namely:  

1. Permanent connection with the managing authority (CCDR Algarve), regarding any changes in regional policy and in the methodology of the regional funds, namely:

a. Update on changes on payment reports, allowing for a better and faster reimbursement of expenses to companies;  

b. Adjustment of policies and calls towards more effective support of public entities (stakeholders, incubators, and others), directed to the internationalization of SME.

c. Adjustment of policies and calls towards more effective support of SME’s, directed to the internationalization of SME.

2. Permanent connection with business associations and other public and private entities, towards better support of SME’s, regarding their internationalization processes, namely:

a. Co-Organization of digital workshops directed to clarify and support SME’s in areas such as:

i. How to work from home. Platforms to use and good practices;

ii. Clarification of COVID19 mitigation measures for SME’s;

iii. E-commerce – Digitalization of businesses;

iv. Algarve Economy after COVID19 – perspectives;

b. Co-Organization of working seminars among the regional stakeholders (Algarve Invest platform), directed to coordinate the support given to SME’s and any entrepreneur;

c. Co-Organization of working sessions among the regional incubators, in order to share and coordinate the support given to SME’s as well as to national and international entrepreneurs;

3. Connection with Tourism Agency of the Algarve, towards the dissemination and clarification of their credit lines and other mitigation measures to the regional SME’s;

4. Connection with national banks and their regional dependencies, towards the facilitation and support of SME’s on applying to the credit lines made available by the national government;

5. Intermediation and support to regional (and national) SME’s willing to restructure their business units, towards new economic areas in the health sector, responding to economic challenges derived from COVID19. As an example, some startups (as well as matured companies) have been addressing challenges like the shortage of materials, in order to supply medical Swabs, Ventilators, masks, or surgical glasses, in order to reply to a national and international shortage.

Moreover, the managing authority is launching new calls dedicated to responses to COVID19 and to industries willing to restructure. These actions are being supported and monitored by the University of Algarve, under the scope of INTRA

Hugo F. Barros, University of Algarve, CRIA, CEO