On our 3rd InnoBridge Interregional Learning Workshop in Évora, Portugal the local partner had organized a study visit to ÉvoraTech - Évora Technological-based Business Incubator. Located to PCTA - Science and Technology Park of Alentejo, it is a business incubation environment designed to stimulate creative and entrepreneurial capacity and modernize the business environment in the county and region. With an area of 705 m2, it offers individualized areas and a set of common services in order to promote and welcome ideas, projects and companies, especially those that reveal innovative nature, technological base and high potential for growth. ÉvoraTech supports micro, small and medium enterprises with technical support, equipment with latest technology and materials to test and make demos and experimental research that is needed. Inside ÉvoraTech we also got to visit the FABLAB (ÉvoraTech Rapid Prototyping Center). With its global network of local laboratories, FABLAB offers the ideal conditions to stimulate engineering activities by fostering the spirit of innovation and creativity by providing access to tools for prototyping and digital fabrication.
The second place to for the study visit was a Business Association of the Évora Region – NERE. Founded in 1986, NERE is a non-profit Business Association, with a mission to promote the economic development of the district through support and defense of the interests of the business of its associates and the dynamization of projects to improve the context and business environment. Working as a delegation of AIP – Portuguese Industrial Association, as of May 1989, NERE AE is an autonomous and independent Business Association. It represents its associates and assures its representation in all the private and public bodies that by law or invitation is attributed to it. The Association has a strong influence on decisions and programs that relate to the development of economic activities in the technical, economic, commercial and associative fields.
The 3rd place we visited during our meeting in Évora was PCTA – Alentejo Science and Technology Park of Alentejo. It aims to contribute to promotion and increase of productivity and competitiveness of the Alentejo region. The PCTA intends to support the development and modernization of existing companies and encourages the implementation of innovative business projects. It also has an important role in facilitating and stimulating cooperation between the business community and the scientific community. It is also intended that the PCTA will integrate other networks of knowledge and institutions that allow access and sharing of knowledge, information and integration into other institutional networks. In this way, the PCTA supports the creation of conditions which will enable scientific and technological processes to be directed towards the real needs of enterprises, and which will be transferred to the market as a raising competitiveness.
The afternoon of study visits was interesting and well-organized. Thanks to all the visited places and their representatives we got a lot of information about the innovation and business environment of Alentejo