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UPTEC has supported 700 projects in 15 years of activity

The executive director of UPTEC, Maria Oliveira, admitted that the creation of a new centre "is not out of the plans" of the institution.

UPTEC has supported 700 projects in 15 years of activity
Dinheiro Vivo · 04 Aug 2023
Founded 15 years ago, UPTEC - Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto has already supported 700 projects from the most diverse areas and does not exclude the creation of an additional centre, revealed this Tuesday the executive director.

Speaking to the Lusa agency, the executive director of UPTEC, Maria Oliveira, admitted that the creation of a new centre "is not out of the plans" of the institution, created in 2007, with the purpose of contributing and supporting the development of projects.

"This whole strategy has to be properly articulated with the university itself, but proposals have been analysed, even to understand whether it will make sense in economic terms, sustainability and development, to have an additional pole," he said.

The result of a project that "had been maturing" by the University of Porto, UPTEC initially went through "prefabricated structures" that the university acquired from Metro do Porto for an "experimental and testing phase".

"This served to realise the demand that UPTEC could have and whether it could have added value to support the development of companies. The years went by and there was a strategy to broaden the activity. First, in a logic of sectoral centres, and then, with a focus on multidisciplinarity and diversity", said Maria Oliveira.

Today, 15 years later, UPTEC has three centres scattered around the city of Porto - one in the Baixa area and two in Asprela -, has supported 700 projects in the area of science, arts and technology, graduated 98 companies and contributed to the creation of more than 3,600 jobs, most of which (86%) are "highly qualified".

"At the moment, we support on average about 80 projects per year. We are a science and technology park, but we are also an incubator and this means that there is a logic of rotation of the projects we welcome", she noted.

UPTEC has a waiting list of about six months to welcome new projects, so the goal is to "provide the best possible conditions for companies".

"This implies maintaining the logic of sustainable growth over time and making plans to understand whether it makes sense to expand and create conditions to develop new companies, but also to welcome other reference companies that want to settle in the region of Porto," said the executive director.

Currently, the projects hosted by UPTEC include people of 37 different nationalities, so one of the institution's future goals is to "attract and retain talent".

"We want talent to stay here [Portugal] and not just be a rotation logic, I think we have to set an example", said Maria Oliveira, saying it is also necessary to "draw a path" based on economic, environmental and social sustainability.

In addition to economic and financial sustainability, not only of the projects it supports, but of the institution itself, UPTEC intends to approach the new generations in order to understand what they favour and what opportunities may arise from it.

In 2022, 207 projects were supported, involving 2,100 people, and five acceleration programmes were developed, with 72 participants, according to the UPTEC website.