In the form of a unique concept in Portugal - UTOPIA PROJECT seeks to associate new technologies and preservation of the environment in rural areas.
Plako is a company dedicated to the development of software solutions based on the Internet infrastructure. In 2011, Plako entrepreneurs' decided to move from Braga to Póvoa de Lanhoso to a business incubator in a counter-cycle logic of departure from the urban center to an rural area.
One year later, the company bought approximately one hectare of land, in this same location (Póvoa de Lanhoso) in order to develop the UTOPIA project. The idea was to refurbish an old school no longer at use - what in itself constitutes an excellent example of reutilization of spaces and coexistence with nature,
In the form of a unique concept in Portugal - which seeks to associate new technologies with the preservation of the environment and to prove that they can contribute actively to the reduction of the ecological footprint on the planet. UTOPIA main challenge was to be developed in an area away from the big urban centers promoting not only the entrepreneurship in rural areas, associated with the preservation of these, but also proving that today the use and developmentos of technology solutions can be developed anywhere and that is possible to invest in rural areas and be successful.
In terms od resouces needed some financial resources in order to start a project like this is needed in addition to human resources and used materials. UTOPIA project consists, in material terms, in a total investment of around 230.000,00 € for a building of 250 m2.
Evidence of success
UTOPIA project intends to implement more measures in a near future and this is only possible because of the sucess of the project and the increase ment of clints and working jobs in an area outside the big city.
With the relocation of the company in a rural area, Plako has proved that it is possible to focus on decentralization, promoting better working conditions (outside the city center, away from pollution and stress) and seeking to have a positive impact on the rural areas.
Licencing the project is a difficult, time consuming and long process (it took 2 years to have it licenced.)
The cost of the project could be the major difficulty for some companies, once building with such materials is even more expensive.
Potential for learning or transfer
The transfer of this practice is especially interesting in rural areas. New technologies and new working models allow that high tech companies can operate in remote areas with no additional costs and no loss of income.
Plako is a technological company that takes advantage of their expertise in this area.
The project has the advantage of being easily transferable in any geography and taking advantage of the existence of old buildings no longer at use.