The ANI - Agência Nacional de Inovação, SA, aims to develop actions to support technological and business innovation in Portugal, contributing to the consolidation of the National Innovation System (NIS) and to strengthening the competitiveness of the national economy in global markets.
ANI is responsible for pursuing the guidelines for a technological and business innovation strategy for Portugal, 2018-2030 (in accordance with RCM 25/2018). In particular, its remit includes stimulating private investment in research and development (R&D), promoting partnerships between science & technology system and business entities, and increasing international programme participation by the national science & technology system’s companies and entities, specifically Higher Education Institutions and Interface Centres. This is all aimed at promoting their skills & competences, and the results of the innovation support policy.
ANI is also responsible for publicising innovation success stories in Portugal in partnership with other entities, specifically IAPMEI, AICEP and FCT. This will help give the impression of Portugal as an innovative country and will justify increased investment due to returns for the economy and improvements to the population’s welfare and quality of life.
The pursuit of the ANI's mission will be articulated with other public policy objectives such as priorities for the next cycle of Structural Funds, the National Investment Programme 2020-2030, the National Reform Programme and the National Programme for Spatial Planning Policy, as well as the priorities and objectives associated with Portugal's participation in R&D support programmes within the European framework.
Contributing to the promotion of innovation in Portugal.
R&D and innovation are fundamental to the long-term development of societies. The approval of the technological and business innovation strategy for Portugal 2018-2030 (RCM 25/2018) shows the government's commitment to using innovation as the engine of the country's economic growth, stimulating higher levels of productivity, more qualified employment and promoting higher levels of quality of life in Portugal. The targets set in this strategy for private R&D investment (1.8% of GDP by 2020 and 3% by 2030, tended to be 2/3 supported by companies) and for the creation of qualified employment (25,000 new jobs in science and technology companies, until 2030) are the challenges for which the ANI has to be prepared, through an adequate and qualified internal organisation and the definition of ambitious and mobilising objectives in terms of action.
The ANI should contribute to the achievement of these commitments, being aware of the nature of the problems and challenges that they face to enhance national capacity for innovation. Portugal's progress over the past decade in the international innovation rakings shows the effort of public and private investment in science, R&D and innovation activities, and today Portugal has excellent scientific and technological infrastructures worldwide, a favourable framework for technology-based entrepreneurship with a strong connection to the scientific and higher education system, as well as companies and startups that compete globally.
According to the 2020 edition of the European Innovation Scoreboard, Portugal is positioned in the group of “strongly innovative” countries in the EU, occupying the 12th place. This is Portugal's best position ever in this ranking, in which it has shown a strong convergence with the EU average since 2016. According to the EIS2020 report, strengths of the Portuguese innovation system include the environment for innovation, the attractiveness of the research system and business innovation, dimensions in which Portugal is above the EU average.
The response to these challenges requires a new generation National Innovation Agency, which contributes to making Portugal an attractive country for innovation, but also to invest and develop a life project where new products, services or solutions that respond to societal problems are developed. This entails action and tools at ANI's disposal that are appropriate for the requirements of - increasingly global- innovation processes that streamline and promote funding, valuing and the international promotion of R&D and innovation:
For a new generation ANI, the governance mechanisms of innovation policy, as well as all the human and financial resources appropriate for the fulfilment of its mission and objectives must be consolidated, in accordance with the provisions of RCM 25/2018. This will be essential if Portugal is to exceed the EU average in terms of innovation capacity, positioning itself in the group of highly innovative countries by the end of the next decade.
In particular, by increasing the rates of implementation of financial incentives for R&D and technology transfer in Portugal 2020.