RegioStars 2013 Winner: Smart Growth Category – Connecting universities to regional growth – B-Roll
End production: 16/01/2013
The Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto, UPTEC, is an outstanding example of how to bring academic knowledge and business closer together, through its strategy of sharing research findings and fostering local entrepreneurship. It is helping to turn the northern region of Portugal into a centre for innovation. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, the project is spreading modern, structural change across the north of Portugal, demonstrating how active universities in previously poorer regions of Europe can lead the move to smart growth.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Clara Gonçalves, UPTEC executive manager (PT): UPTEC’s mission is to create technology-based and creative-based companies, assisting with the entire development process and enabling them to enter markets and become established. Another goal is to attract the innovation centres of large national and international companies that are willing to set them up in the vicinity of the University of Porto’s colleges and interface institutes in order to develop technology needed in the market together.
||Dr Luisa Andrade, Researcher on photovoltaic energy (PT): These kind of strategies change the life of any researcher because they allow us to leave the closed world of the university and go somewhere where, alongside other industries, many of which are international, we are able to find out more about what is happening in Europe and so carry out more applied research into our country’s needs, thus making a significant contribution to Portugal’s technological development.
||José Fonseca, CEO of BLIP (PT): We came into contact with UPTEC in 2010. At that time, Blip was very tiny but was growing extremely fast and had trouble finding the right accommodation. We were located in a very tiny office that did not have many facilities and we did not have the money with which to set ourselves up comfortably in one that was better equipped. That’s when UPTEC helped us. UPTEC gave us an all-inclusive space at a very low cost. We had Internet access, phones, in fact everything was included, which was a great help to us because we were able to focus on our business and not the facilities.
||Vera Santos, Dance teacher (PT): I live here in Porto, I’m a dancer and I also teach dancing. I first trained here in Porto and then went abroad to complete my training. I came into contact with UPTEC through PINC, working together with companies that are members of PINC and trying to guide them by sharing with them the tools of my trade in order to promote creativity and creative ways to solve problems, whether they are planning problems, production problems or communication problems.
This brought me into contact with a world with which I was not familiar, that of the creative industries and, above all, it gave me a different perspective on my work. One relating to collaboration, which until then had been with various artists and creative bodies but which now allowed me to interact with civil society. This was very interesting.
I believe in these perspectives but I do have reservations in terms of results. We should also be prepared for my participation to have the opposite effect on those concerned, for different consequences of my artistic or creative involvement with these companies. Which is why I think this change of behaviour, this change of perspective, could almost be described as bipolar.
I think people are inspiring. And, in this sense, it was really exhilarating meeting these young entrepreneurs. UPTEC is a group of people. Maybe it is because of my work, but I am unable to think of it as an institution. I’ve met people, I’ve worked with actual physical people. I think finding people within institutions is inspiring. So in that sense it very exciting.
That’s why it’s an area that is open to exploration. To me it is not somewhere where the results are obvious.
||2. UPTEC, illustrations
||University of Porto (1 shot)
||UPTEC, ext (4 shots)
||UPTEC, offices (11 shots)
||Photovoltaïc research (2 shots)
||Vera Santos dancing (1 shot)
||Science and Sea technologies building in Porto (2 shots)
||WIT offices (12 shots)
||BLIP, web engineer offices (9 shots)
||UPTEC building (2 shots)
||Dr Andrade in her lab (9 shots)
||Views of Porto (2 shots)
||Vera Santos dancing (11 shots)