The European Commission launched the Eco-Innovation Action Plan (EcoAp) (in December 2011(COM 2011 889 final). EcoAp was created to put eco-innovation at the heart of all European policies. Its governance structure was established within the Innovation Union framework, and its coordinating body is the High Level Work Group, where all Member States are represented. Portugal is represented in this work group by APA (the Portuguese Environment Agency), ANI (the Portuguese National Innovation Agency) and DGAE (the General Office for Economic Activities). In the context of this Plan, APA and ANI established a collaboration agreement on Eco-Innovation on February 1, 2011. This agreement was renewed on March 4, 2015 and included joint national participation in ECOPOL, a European project aiming to promote the implementation of better Eco-innovation policies and instruments.

Eco-innovation is any form of innovation that enables or strives to enable significant progress towards the goal of sustainable development, through the reduction of impact on the environment, an enhanced resilience to environmental pressures, or a more efficient and responsible use of natural resources (COM 2011 889 final). It includes all changes that may reduce the use of resources throughout the life cycle of all economic activities.

More information about Eco-Innovation:

Ecopol_logoECOPOL project

ECOPOL (Public Partnership for Better Innovation Policies and Instruments in Support of Eco-Innovation) is a European project, funded by the European Commission, which functioned as an instrument of the Action Plan for Eco-innovation. Its purpose was to identify, analyze and assess Eco-innovation policies and instruments, as well as issuing recommendations for its implementation in each partner country and at European level (EU). The ECOPOL consortium comprised partners from 6 European countries: Germany, Austria, Finland, Greece, Portugal and Sweden. The Portuguese participation in the project was carried out by two partners, ANI (the National Innovation Agency) and APA (the Portuguese Environment Agency). The main areas of focus were Green Public Procurement, as a powerful tool on the demand side, Waste and Recycling, as a sector with a very high carbon footprint and a strong potential for business creation, and Internationalization as a way to boost the growth of Eco-innovative companies.

ECOPOL Results

The project produced a wide range of results, which include a series of recommendations for the implementation of Eco-innovation policies and instruments in Portugal. The main domestic results (in Portuguese) achieved in each subject area can be found here and on APA website (the Portuguese Environment Agency).

Green Public Procurement

  • Instruments on the demand side:
    • Reports – to be made available soon

Waste and Recycling


  • 13th European Forum on Eco-innovation, Lisbon:
  • Eco-innovators community:

Other domestic results

  • European Commission to the Portuguese participation

All results achieved by the international consortium are available at