Through this program for affirmation and promotion of the economic and cultural fabric of the municipality, promoted by the Economic Development Department, the Municipality of Guimarães intends to spread the label "Guimarães Marca" across five continents, anchoring this goal in the vast business fabric of the region. The initiative starts with a large group of companies that have been associated, from the first moment, with the project "Guimarães Marca".
Guimarães Marca is a territorial branding representing a political local strategy aiming the economic valorisation of the territory. As a city of a very long industrial tradition, adding the recognition of the UNESCO World Heritage, and profiting from the organization of the Guimarães European Capital of Culture 2012, the local policy tried to create and promote a local strategy based on the conciliation of several territorial aspects: industry and know how, culture, tradition, education and qualification, population, institutions and infrastructures of education, knowledge, technology and innovation, transports.
Taking for granted the big companies operating here, Guimarães Marca is also supporting new entrepreneurs within such new businesses which are operating on the field of innovation, new technologies of information and communication, collaborative procedures, urban arts, urbanistic renewal. It was created an incubator for those new entrepreneurial projects integrated in a modern arts centre, International Centre of Arts José de Guimarães, in a so called Arts and Creativity Platform.
Those new companies are hold by qualified young people and represent also political measures of creating jobs and attracting talents for the city.
On the other hand, these new methods and procedures, namely open innovation, could represent good practices for the older companies to follow and implement, by promoting so an ecosystem of innovation and creativity.
The incubator as a business area promotes the creation of employment. There are 12 companies here working with 25 employees.
The Municipality of Guimarães is facing a huge cultural movement which needs market solutions related to fashion, creativity, event organisation, and multimedia. The Incubator (called LabPAC) ensures a good answer to those needs.
Guimarães Marca has 100 registered companies which benefit directly from those services and promote the Municipality worldwide (fairs and other economic initiatives and actions).
The Municipality of Guimarães has a very important industrial tradition and expression. In fact, more than 60% of the active population works on an industrial company. The main industrial sectors active here are: the textile, props and footwear. Those kinds of activities require great efforts on the permanent innovation of product and design, as well as fashion events organization. Such kind of activities is quite good to promote talent attraction.
Guimarães Marca Project is also important because it promotes the export vocation and tradition of the companies from this territory, which are such a kind of tourism ambassadors of this site.
This project can be a good example for promoting the sustainable development of small European cities (around 60 to 160 inhabitants, with historical and industrial tradition), interested in creating a strong industrial cluster and, simultaneously, in a balanced and sustainable tourism promotion.
Creative Labs are business support offices for the hosting and incubation of projects related to the creative industries, betting on innovation and entrepreneurship.