Portugal quadruples funds to companies fighting COVID-19 pandemic

The Ministry of Territorial Cohesion of Portugal announced on Monday that it quadrupled the amount to 108 million euros (around 120.2 million U.S. dollars) offered to companies that modified their production to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

This measure was taken, according to the ministry, to encourage the production of materials considered essential to control the novel coronavirus, such as visors, masks and alcohol gel.

“The non-repayable support of Portugal 2020 regional operational programs was extended to 108 million euros, aimed at companies that converted their production to respond to the challenges of the pandemic,” the ministry said in a statement.

Investments were made through the Norte 2020, Centro 2020, Lisbon 2020, Alentejo 2020 and CRESC Algarve programs, which are part of an incentive system for productive innovation and finance around 440 projects.

According to official data, so far contracts have been signed with 195 production initiatives, which allocated 40 million euros (around 44.5 million dollars) from European funds, including the Portugal 2020 program (PT 2020), a partnership between Portugal and the European Commission.

In addition, a program to support scientific research in the fight against the pandemic was launched, which is projected to invest 13 million euros (nearly 14.5 million), of which 3 million euros (around 3.3 million U.S. dollars) have already been allocated to 18 research projects.

Portugal has reported a total of 32,700 cases and 1,424 deaths from COVID-19, with 14 new deaths and 200 more cases recorded over the last 24 hours, the health authorities said.