This week we would like to present you our fourth project partner: Business and Innovation Centre of Beira Interior in Portugal.

CIEBI/BIC is a private non-profit association, created on 1994 at Covilhã city, located in the Centre region of Portugal. It is part of EBN, a network of around 140 quality certified BICs (Business and Innovation Centres,) and approximately 100 Associate Members that support the development and growth of innovative entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs.

The centre gives advice and support to new or existing SMEs of the region and participates in European projects (especially related to entrepreneurship, ICT and Innovation) having as main concern the increase of innovative performance and competitiveness of companies.

The policy instrument that CIEBI/BIC is addressing through DIGITAL REGIONS, ‘Centro Regional Operational Programme 2014 – 2020 (CENTRO 2020)’, contributes to promote the competitiveness of the Centro region's economy and its sustainable development and internal cohesion. CENTRO 2020 is also a decisive instrument for the implementation of the RIS3 in the central region. According to Paulo Costa, Project Manager at CIEBI/BIC, “there are some ways to improve this policy instrument, such as increasing business investment in R&D by supporting the economic intensive activities in knowledge and value creation based on innovation; promote the development of new products and services, especially in more technology-intensive activities, as result of business cooperation with R&D centres and universities, and also strengthen the transfer of scientific and technological knowledge into the SMEs, in order to implement I4.0 solutions as a result of improved innovation policies.”

CIEBI/BIC aims to Influence the preparation of new Policy Instrument for the following period, in order to increase the number of SMEs from manufacturing sector cooperating with other innovation actors in Centro region to implement I4.0 solutions as a result of improved innovation policies.

Our Portuguese partners have experience in open innovation. As an interface organization CIEBI/BIC plays an important role regarding the transfer of technology and knowledge between the Science and Technology System and business sector. They will share good practices, knowledge and experience to enhance the capacity of the policy makers in charge of innovation policies making them ready to handle challenges of the Industry 4.0.