Joana Mendonça,
Joana Mendonça, photographed for Técnico Lisboa by Débora Rodrigues

President of National Innovation Agency gives up

Joana Mendonça cites absence of support by key ministries

Another resignation by a senior State official with management functions in the application of EU community and ‘bazooka’ (PRR) funding.

This is how ECO online puts the resignation yesterday by the president of the national innovation agency (ANI).

Joana Mendonça leaves half way through her three-year mandate, and ‘ordinarily’ such a resignation may not have received much media attention. But this comes in an atmosphere where the government has repeatedly been shown up for being incompetent, sleeping on the job, not delivering, tin-eared… adjectives have been infinite –  thus this latest resignation adds yet another layer on the sorry cake.

Ms Mendonça has told Expresso that it was “an honour” to work with the “spectacular team” at the agency, but she has not received “any guidance” from either the ministry of science, technology and higher education, or economy on issues “as relevant as the PRR (plan for recovery and resilience), the new framework of community funds Portugal 2030 or the system of tax incentives for research and business development (SIFIDE)”.

She describes “great unease” created in Brussels regarding Portugal’s indefinite participation in another European programme, says Expresso.

Ms Mendonça’s letter of resignation appears to have been made public without her knowledge, but it makes embarrassing reading for the government, and may well generate further political controversy, after weeks and months of nothing but.

Ms Mendonça has asked to be relieved by March 31.

As Expresso explains, she was the first woman president of ANI – an entity that links companies, academia and technology centres.

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