35 years heading for the future

It is always worth praising an institution that outdoes the passage of time, while maintaining the vitality and relevance that presided over its founding moment for many decades. Even more so when the main goal is the promotion of scientific research and technological development – fields that require constant updating of knowledge, methodologies and equipment, due to their nature. Therefore, we must applaud INESC TEC’s extraordinary ability to remain at the forefront of science and technology over the 35 years we’re celebrating.

Over more than three decades, INESC TEC carried out the mission of interfacing with the academia, the business sector, the public administration and the community in general. Thanks to R&D projects, it generated economic and social value across the Portuguese society. Through its innovation and technology transfer activities, it prepared multiple companies for the challenges of competitiveness in the knowledge economy, particularly in Northern Portugal. With his highly specialised training, INESC TEC qualified technical staff in crucial areas for sectors of high technological intensity. By means of pre-incubation services, it helped to consolidate start-ups and accelerate scale-ups in niches with significant added value.

INESC TEC accomplished all this while focusing on clusters with significant scientific and socio-economic potential, such as information technology, industrial and systems engineering, networked intelligent systems and energy. In fact, INESC TEC is a window to the future, in a country that is gradually taking on a more prominent position in emerging and economically strategic sectors. This position owes much to the work and expertise of 700 researchers (about 350 doctorates) from INESC TEC.

Congratulations to INESC TEC; we ought to congratulate all those who, over the past 35 years, contributed to the Institute’s national and international recognition, namely concerning the quality of the creation, valorisation and transfer of knowledge processes. With regard to the University of Porto, we can only be grateful for the fact that INESC TEC has made it possible to improve our scientific skills, our technological ability and our synergies with the business community. Moreover, the fact that the University of Porto is an institution eminently dedicated to research and effective partnerships with companies is, in good measure, a result of INESC TEC’s interfacing work.

Cooperation with companies is a crucial factor for the development of higher education institutions. For this reason, the Rector Team is making a serious effort to get closer to the business sector, for the cooperative promotion of training, research, development and innovation activities. This way, the University of Porto contributes to the integration of the country in the knowledge economy, while preserving the notion of companies as the ideal partners for applied research.

I do not want to end without congratulating the Chairman of the Board of INESC TEC. The scientific sophistication, international recognition and the businesses’ demand that INESC TEC appreciates today are inseparable from the dynamism that Professor José Manuel Mendonça imprinted on the institute. In addition, it is only fair to remember the tenure of Professor Pedro Guedes de Oliveira, during which INESC TEC achieved institutional stability, economic sustainability and scientific and business credibility.

I wish INESC TEC the best of luck and success for the development of science, technology and the economy of our country. I hope that INESC TEC preserves its vision and unconventionality in a future that is full of challenges for the scientific community, as the covid-19 pandemic has dramatically exposed.

António de Sousa Pereira,

Rector of the University of Porto and President of the General Council of INESC TEC

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