A catalyst for structural change in Northern Portugal
The Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto (UPTEC) is a key part of the university's strategy to build on its significant capacity for knowledge creation and the development of human capital. By fostering start-up companies and innovation centres, supported by academia, this ecosystem plays an important role in the sustainable development of Portugal's Norte (North) Region – not least the creation of around 800 jobs.
Overall, UPTEC is designed to drive long-term structural change in the Norte Region's innovation system. However, it has already achieved a number of impressive results in terms of creating firms and highly qualified staff. In total, it has resulted in some 110 firms, including 95 start-ups, five large companies and five private innovation centres. These statistics highlight UPTEC's potential for entrepreneurship and its impact as a beacon and attractor for foreign direct investment (FDI) to the region. Of the 800 jobs created, 13% are at PhD level, 23% at master level, and 59% are college graduates.UPTEC is considered innovative for its multi-poles conception, its open stance on internationalisation, and above all its focus on capitalising on Norte Region's key assets. The project is now being scaled up, possibly to include a fifth pole, bringing further added value to the region. It is a member of several regional and national networks or partnerships for entrepreneurship and incubators, including Spinpark and Portuspark, and works internationally with MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Texas Austin, and Microsoft.