In the framework of ROP Algarve 2007-2013, a number of measures were funded in order to promote the use of innovative technologies to improve products and processes in industry. For instance, in the context of incentive measures addressed to companies to foster RTD, innovation and modernisation activities (“SI I&DT”, “SI Inovação” and “SI Qualificação”), about 370 projects were supported during that period.
Within the new ROP Algarve 2014-2020, measures that are particularly addressed to companies (e.g. Incentives System for Research and Technological Development, Incentives System for SMEs Qualification, and Productive Innovation for large companies and SMEs) support actions such as development of new products and processes, new organisational models, ICT development, energy efficiency, use of renewable resources, enhanced environmental performance, better waste management, noise reduction, use of eco-efficient technologies, etc.
Within the main specialisation areas selected under RIS3 Algarve, support to advanced manufacturing is present in more than one area, namely in the fields of agro-food and forestry, ICT and creative industries, health and life sciences, and green economy (particularly renewable energy). Although none of the clusters formally recognised in Portugal are headquartered in Algarve, there are clusters with significant participation of Algarve’s regional actors. Apart from the cluster on tourism, it is the case of the “Sea Knowledge and Economy” cluster, which is contributing to advance manufacturing in fields such as shipbuilding and repair, aquaculture and fish processing, new products/materials, marine technology, environment and energy. The activities of the cluster have had positive impact in regional factories regarding particularly increased productivity, new products/services and better dissemination of technology.
Research and technology transfer activities targeted at new products, processes and services are undertaken at several R&D units based in the University of Algarve, namely at the Institute of Engineering (ISE) and the Faculty of Science and Technology. In particular, the University of Algarve encompasses a number of renowned units in fields such as marine sciences, health sciences and biotechnology.
According to RIS3 Algarve, the following priority related with industrial modernisation that can also be related with the thematic areas included in the Smart Specialisation Platform for Industrial Modernisation: Sea related economic activities (related to Efficient and Sustainable Manufacturing).