Lombardy Region has issued two calls for tenders in order to encourage the innovation demand and develop a robotic exoskeleton and a bronchial aspiration system

The path set up by Lombardy Region is continuing through the Pre-Commercial Procurement – PCP innovative tool. First of all, the public entity has identified the innovation needs – the so-called “technological needs” – arising from physicians and patients by precisely collecting the existing needs, and has approved them during the Regional Council’s meeting which took place on December,28 2017. Consequently, the Institution has issued the call for tenders related to two specific topics: the creation of a robotic exoskeleton and of a safe bronchial aspiration system. These technologies, indeed, are still not available on the market, and Lombardy Region aims at financing their design and the realization.

Therefore, the related PCP tender procedures will be launched (on the basis of action 1.I.b.3.1 “strengthening and upgrading government demand for innovation through the support for Pre-commercial Public Procurement and Innovation Procurement” of the ERDF ROP 2014-2020).

The public administration will finance the research, the development and the experimentation phases required to implement the technologies aimed at satisfying the needs described in the pre-commercial procurement. The peculiarity of this tool consists in its formulation, specifically, Lombardy Region will not require the winning bidders to provide goods or services already available on the market but rather research and development services related to new innovative solutions (in this case belonging to the healthcare industry) on the basis of the suggestions that experts have previously provided to the public entity.


The process has begun with a precise analysis of the healthcare needs and with the validation of the requirement necessary for launching a pre-commercial procurement call for tender. The demand analysis started with a public invitation addressed to Lombardy public and private ASST, IRCCS and private nursing houses, and has highlighted the elements based on which the calls for tenders have been issued. Specifically, the entities and the medical staff have described those patients’ needs that are not satisfied by the state-of-the-art procedures and the technologies. Therefore, Lombardy Region, after having found out the unavailability on the market of the above-mentioned technologies, has decided to issue the calls for tenders aiming at developing innovative solutions able to solve these technologically complex problems and opening new markets.


Arca right now has published two out of three calls for tenders. The first call for tender is related to the need identified by the Department of Neurorehabilitation of Casa di Cura del Policlinico di Milano and aims at solving the disease of patients affected by upper-limb motor impairment who need a rehabilitation therapy. These people represent 77% of the total number of patients affected by above-mentioned disease and this is the reason why the need of a robotic exoskeleton system able to manage the motor rehabilitative therapy has arisen.

Specifically, the device, which is nowadays missing, should enable the rehabilitative team to plan a great variety of customized movements that could be performed by the patients on the basis of their own performances. Furthermore, the device should adapt the therapy based on the analysis of the electrophysiopathological signals obtained through the Electroencephalography (EEG) and the Electromyography (EMG). Lastly, the system should enable the application of neuromodulation techniques.

The multi-stage bidding procedure with multiple bidders award provides that the R&D services will last 28 months. The value of the tender amounts to euro 2.609.745,91 VAT excluded. The opening bid for the procedure’s first stage (STEP 1), relative to the design of the Innovative Solution subject matter of the tendering, amounts, for each bidder, to euro 106.557,38 VAT excluded. The deadline for submitting bids is 8 August, 2018 at 2 pm.

Further information are available at the following link:

The other call for tender – that has a deadline for submitting bids set for August, 7 2018 at 2 pm - instead, is related to the development of new technological solutions enabling a “safe bronchial aspiration” and regards those patients which after a tracheostomy has to live with a tracheostomy tube. This need has been highlighted by IRCCS “E.Medea - Associazione La Nostra Famiglia”. The tender value amounts to euro 1.133.068,852 VAT excluded. The opening bid for the procedure’s fist stage (STEP 1), relative to the design of the Innovative Solution subject matter of the tendering, amounts, for each bidder, to euro 61.475,41 VAT excluded.

The need has been identified by people who deal with patients characterized by the just-above-mentioned disease and regards the creation of a device for bronchial aspirations. The solution should be used – differently from what happens nowadays – also by non-professional personnel such as family members and care givers, and should significantly prevent clinical complications related to the procedure while minimizing the number of devices adopted during the procedure as well as the execution time.

Further information are available at the following link:

Please consider that ASST - Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale di Pavia will soon launch a further pre-commercial procurement procedure related to research and development services aimed at realizing a system for evaluating of the fragility of the coronary atherosclerotic plaque.


As an innovative tool, the pre-commercial procurement has been promoted by the regional law 29/2016 “Lombardia è ricerca e innovazione”. It provides for a multiple bidders award and multiple stages procedure, assuming that the need for which the call for tender has been issued cannot be satisfied by solutions already available on the market. The public entity shares with the winning bidders risks and benefits of the research and development activities at market conditions. However, the advantage for the public entity consists in having the possibility of comparing and testing different technological alternatives before proceeding with a new public procurement call for tender.


The call for tenders enables a competition among the best international players of the industry. The Regional Council gave green light to the project with the resolution n. 6582 of May,122017. After accomplishing the different steps required by the law for this kind of procedure, on October,12 2017, while Lombardy Region was also verifying the existing patents, the market consultation, for illustrating the gathered medical needs, was open. Lastly, on December,28 2017 the Regional Council has approved the validation of all the needs, giving therefore the green light for issuing the call for tenders.

go to top