CeNTI provides, in a business to business approach, applied R&D, engineering and scaling-up production of innovative smart materials and devices.
CeNTI provides, in a business to business approach, applied R&D, engineering and scaling-up production of innovative smart materials and devices to contribute to product innovation.
CeNTI follows 5 guidelines:
• Multi-disciplinary and complementary group (chemists, physics, engineers);
• Experimental activities (prototyping, sampling, scaling-up) with scientific support;
• Activity from laboratory to industrialization (lab2fab);
• High quality, unique service at affordable R&D costs;
• Real and proved benefit at low production costs.
Targeting world-class research and development, CeNTI’s knowledge is based on the development of multicomponent fibres, smart materials/devices, multifunctional coatings and organic electronics and embedded systems.
CeNTI is the only centre of its kind in Norte Region. It offers intelligent technology designed for all in areas such as “Automotive and Aeronautics”, “Health, Protection and Well-being” and “Architecture and construction”. In this areas, for example, CeNTI works with the following materials: textile, shoes and accessories, wood, ceramics, paper, cork, glass, polymers and moulding, telecommunications and energy.
CeNTI offers a comprehensive set of equipment to its scientific community and collaborating visitors and partners and envisages the good relation with companies, providing high-quality services and results.

Resources needed

Both the physical infrastructure and the scientific equipment of CeNTI were co-funded by Structural Funds. An estimated amount of 6 M€ was invested.
To support its activities, CeNTI provides innovative services to companies and participates in European projects, R&D Co-Promoted Projects, etc.

Evidence of success

With research activity started in 2007, CeNTI has now just about 65 full time equivalent workers (FTE); more than 20 collaborations with R&D centres and 50 collaborations with companies; 67 patents submitted; an investment in technology of 5M€ (2007-2008) and 2M€ (2010-2011); and a turnover of 3,5M€ (2016).
In the news, CeNTI is seen has a “Platform for the materials of the future” and its products are seen has “products with unlikely functions”, “Things that think”, etc.

Difficulties encountered

• Need to resort to different funding instruments, which requires higher complexity management structures and demands private investment of collaborative R&D actions.
• Exploitation of inherently higher-risk R&D projects for stakeholders without underlying support from public base funding programs

Potential for learning or transfer

This good practice represents a successful institutional arrangement aiming at knowledge transfer in the field of Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials and Production. Specific aspects of its interest include its financial sustainability: to support its activities, CeNTI provides innovative services to companies.
CeNTI mobilizes regional actors, namely by:
• Widening participation of regional stakeholders in European funding;
• Promoting the involvement of regional stakeholders in relevant RTD, innovation and technology transfer projects, contributing to the consolidation of the different types of actors in the Regional Innovation System (universities, science parks, companies, associations, financial institutions and government agencies);
• Creating a regional ecosystem of applied research and innovation in the interdisciplinary nanotechnology field.
CeNTI has a great number of international collaborations and supports internationalization activities.

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Main institution
CeNTI - Centre of Nanotechnology and Smart Materials
Norte, Portugal
Start Date
January 2007
End Date


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