The Centre for Nanotechnology and Smart Materials - CeNTI, is a private, non-profit research institute, placed in Portugal, that provides, in a business to business approach, applied R&D, engineering and scaling-up production of innovative functional & smart materials and devices. Through development of micro/nanotechnologies and functional/smart materials, and by means of knowledge creation and diffusion, promotion of technology integration and development of technological intervention strategies. CENTI is contributing to supply of market gaps, weaknesses and structural deficits in the offer of technical and technological services, and in the relationship with other entities such as companies.
As a recognized Interface Centre (Portugal C.I.T centres), CeNTI is being playing and important role in strengthening the interaction amongst Academia, Technology transfer centres, industrial clusters and enterprises (both LE and SMEs) of different sectors (construction, automotive, textile, etc.), enabling the technology and innovation pull / push within this ecosystem.
The technological ecosystem, of which CeNTI forms an integral part, aims to enhance and increase the competitiveness of Portuguese products/companies in national and international markets, through innovation, increased productivity, value creation and incorporation of technology into the productive processes of national companies, by means of knowledge and technology transfer from academia to industry players, in multisectorial technology lines.
The dynamization of this regional ecosystem, namely in the NUTII region Norte, stems from coordinated actions promoted by Academia, RTOs and industrial stakeholders (ranging from industrial clusters, to industrial associations and industrial stakeholders), but also Municipalities and Societies associations promoting high-level technical and scientific employment, joined in clustering activities for individual industrial sectors, but also from the promotion of continuous inter clustering activities.
The role of CENTI, as a cross-sectorial organization focused on technology transfer and KET dissemination across several economic value chains, complemented by the integration into a dynamic industrial cluster network promoting continuous inter clustering collaborations, encourages the uptake of new technologies and the integration of KETs into industrial processes and new added-value products. Furthermore, the role of municipalities enrolled in the inter-clustering activities, supports the dynamics created by technologists and CIT centres and companies located in their respective municipality, actively promoting new initiatives and brokering several new relationships between cross-sector companies, academia and CITs.
The practice showcases the need to create critical mass in NUTSII regions based on a mutual technological support network, i.e., combining the more dynamic industrial sectors with researchers from academia and CITs, integrating and promoting activities jointly the municipalities and industrial clusters, and searching for opportunities via routinely inter-clustering activities that bind the several stakeholders;
Furthermore, to implement such dynamics, the regional RIS3 strategy must contemplate the funding financial support network that promotes the activity of multi-sector CIT centres such as CENTI, the inter-cluster and cluster activities, but also support the linking activities between municipalities, academia and industries.