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IR&D in Porto

IR&D in Porto and North of Portugal

R&D
Photo:  Instituto Superior de Engenharia do PortoCC BY-NC-SA - Some Rights Reserved

Renowned IR&D units are located in Porto and in the North of Portugal. Some of them are connected to the University of Porto, some to other universities and a few are lead by private entities.

R&D units reaching the category of Associate Laboratories, granted for a maximum period of 10 years, renewable based on a positive assessment, are institutions of high merit, which recognized by external evaluations, following international quality criteria.

The so-called National Laboratories are public research institutions, created and kept with the specific goal of complying with the objectives of the Government’s scientific and technologic policy, by conducting scientific research and technologic development activities and other scientific and technical activities within the respective organic laws. These may be to provide services, support industry, supervise, normalize, certify, set up rules, etc. These laboratories are formally consulted by the Government about the definition of programs and instruments to apply national scientific and technologic policies, and are part of the coordinating structures for scientific and technological policies, as legally stated.

Technology and Knowledge Transfer Centres mediate technology. They conduct a set of activities, transferring for industry use and trade rights of new discoveries and innovation coming from scientific research. They seek to identify and promote the transfer of innovating ideas and concepts to companies, thus strengthening University-Business cooperation.

Research in Higher Education Units

Public Higher Education Units

  • Porto University

Porto University is Portugal’s largest scientific research institution and one of the top 100 universities in Europe. It welcomes research, development and innovation groups (R&D) from different fields of knowledge from humanities to science and technology, as comprised within the set of knowledge and competences of its fourteen organic units. Groups are organized into specific research centres and most of them are assessed by an external panel of international experts, by initiative of FCT –Foundation for Science and Technology.

Porto University research centres have varied dimensions, purposes and organizational structures: from small units to centres of considerable size, specialized or more general, integrated in faculties or autonomous. Many of these centres stand as interface institutions, gathering the University and other public and private entities that represent other interests (industries, governmental organisms, etc.) as partners; thus improving the connection between the community and the Porto University’s R&D activities.

Porto University´s Science and Technology Park (UPTEC) is a valued space of mutual enhancement skills between the university and business, which is divided into 4 hubs: technology, biotechnology, creative industries and sea. UPTEC integrates two type of infrastructures: incubators, (transforming entrepreneurs’ ideas into solid business projects) and business innovation centres (space and technological infrastructures, ideas and innovative business activities that benefit from the synergies with the R&D departments and Porto Uni. Associated institutes)

  • Porto Polytechnic Institute

Around 20 thousand people study, teach and investigate daily in the 7 Schools of Porto Polytechnic Institute. Around twenty groups conduct scientific research in the 7 Schools. They experience, discover and innovate in the Portugal’s best internationally ranked polytechnic institution, and with more unities recognized by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) – Foundation for Science and Technology. This is Research and Development for the community, within a world network of investigators, partners and projects.

The Technology and Knowledge Transfer Centre (OTIC.IPP) supports the Schools in terms of protection, management and development of academic knowledge. The OTIC promotes the protection, management and development of Intellectual and Industrial Property. It participates in the definition and settlement of Technology and Knowledge Transfer strategies, supports the management of IR&D projects and promotes the Innovation and technological, cultural and social entrepreneurship

Privat and Concordat Higher Education Units

Several higher education institutions, most of them private, with facilities in Greater Porto have research and development units, some of them classified as excellent and very good, particularly:

  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa – Centro Regional do Porto (University created by the Concordat between the Portuguese State and the Santa Sé. It, therefore, has the status of a non-State Public University)
  • Universidade Fernando Pessoa
  • Universidade Lusíada
  • Universidade Lusófona
  • Universidade Portucalense


Research in Other Private Organizations

Private organizations also run  IR&D projects, playing a key role in diferente areas, most notably:

  • Bial – area of health
  • Unicer – area of soft drinks
  • Efacec – area of energy

Published 30-01-2013