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Innova per l’Italia: technology, research and innovation against the COVID emergency

A new call to monitor and contain the virus.

Date 20 march 2020
Reading time
5 minutes

“Innova per l’Italia” is call to companies, universities, public and private research centers, associations, cooperatives, consortia, foundations and institutes which, through their technologies, can contribute to the prevention, diagnostics and monitoring for the containment and contrast of the spread of Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) on the whole national territory.

The project is a joint initiative of the Minister for Technological Innovation and Digitization Paola Pisano, the Minister of Economic Development, Stefano Patuanelli, and the Minister of University and Research Gaetano Manfredi, together with Invitalia and in support of the structure of the Extraordinary Commissioner for the Coronavirus Emergency, Domenico Arcuri.

The objectives

Our country faces an emergency for which the whole world was not prepared. For this reason, we are faced with the need to provide all possible resources and solutions for the prevention (e.g. PPE such as surgical masks, FFP2 / FFP3 masks), diagnostics and treatment (e.g. artificial respirators for intensive care units ), monitoring.

For this purpose, the “Innova per l’Italia” is a call for all companies, universities, institutions and public and private research centers, associations, cooperatives, associations, foundations and institutions that can contribute through:

1. Innovation or industrial conversion of technologies and processes, to increase the availability of:

  • personal protective equipment, in particular surgical masks, FFP2 / N95 masks with and without filter, FFP3 / N99 masks compliant with Dir. 93/42, Dir. 89/686, and EN149: 2001 + A1: 2009 or equivalent;
  • production of respirators for the treatment of respiratory syndromes, including all the elements that make up the complex system in which the respirators are inserted (valves, displays, …).
  • For this reason, we wish to address companies that: already produce these goods; can convert, for example, their textile production into manufacturing masks suitable for medical purposes, in compliance with the necessary standards; can exploit their capacity to produce materials suitable for the production or functioning of artificial respirators.

2. The finding of innovative kits or technologies that facilitate the diagnosis of Covid-19:

  • throat swab and other parts for collection system;
  • tools for easy and fast diagnosis, in compliance with the required reliability standards.
  • For this reason, we turn to the companies that operate in the production of swabs suitable for the diagnosis of Covid-19 as well as those that could reconvert or start the production. We also address those companies that have already started experimenting technologies for an easier and faster diagnosis, compliant with the standards.

3. Availability of technologies and tools that, in compliance with current legislation, allow or facilitate the monitoring, prevention and control of Covid-19:

  • technologies for monitoring, tracking and managing the emergency;
  • innovative technologies for the prevention and control of the spread of Covid-19.

There are already cutting-edge tools and technologies useful for the prevention and control of the epidemic such as, for example, robots that carry out activities generally done by health workers and drones to disinfect public areas and monitor compliance with health systems.

For this reason we turn to companies, universities, public and private bodies and research centers, associations, cooperatives, consortia, foundations and institutes that already have platforms, or can easily adapt them, algorithms of analysis and artificial intelligence, robots, drones and other technologies for monitoring, preventing and controlling Covid-19, which can be used to support patients or by the Civil Protection and other interested bodies, in compliance with the principles of privacy, security and ethics.

How to apply

All companies, associations, universities, research bodies and institutes have the opportunity to join by filling out a form on the page of the initiative by Friday, April 17, 2020 at 9:00 a.m..

We do encourage you to apply but please, read carefully the purposes and requirements so that you may give an active contribution to this project. All the proposals will be assessed by the team of the Extraordinary Commissioner. The evaluation team will decide whether to contact the proposing subjects, in consideration of the type of the proposal; in particular, those relating to personal protective equipment and respirators would have priority. This process will move in accordance with scientific evidence and certification and in compliance with the standards and guidelines of the World Health Organization.

For some types of proposals, the companies that will be contacted may need to certify their activities and productions, through a suitable network of subjects (for example Universities and Research Centers). In particular, for points 1 and 2, in relation to the prevailing impact on industrial production, the Universities, Bodies and Research Centers, due to their significant social, scientific, technological and territorial support function, will be able to certify requirements of the products developed by the companies. The universities and research centers, willing to participate, will be included in a list which will subsequently be shared to support the applying companies. The network of participating subjects may subsequently be extended in relation to specific needs.The Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI) contributes to the coordination of the activities.

Requirements for participation

All the proposals should meet the following criteria:

  • The proposers should be companies (startups, SMEs, large companies), public and private bodies and research centers, associations (which can interact with associates able to respond to the specific needs), cooperatives, consortia, foundations and institutes, but not individuals or professionals.
  • The proposals should be ready or achievable in times compatible with the emergency, even without any commitment or obligation.
  • The proposers can make available, by self-certification, a significant production capacity and volumes on the national territory or at regional level, in a short time.
  • Each proposer should select the area for which is applying, selecting the categories in the form.
  • The proposal should be accompanied by appropriate information that allows for a quick evaluation.
  • The times, methods and possible quantities for the fulfillment of the proposal should be clearly indicated.
  • The proposal should be valid for the whole national territory or for one or more regions.
  • The description of the intervention should not be written in a promotional tone.
  • Preferably, a specific “channel”, which includes the top management of the company or entity, should be provided for the coronavirus emergency initiative