At a time when the European economy strives to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, with significant constraints caused by the war in Ukraine, the focus on innovation-based growth is the path to greater productivity, namely through the creation of products and services with added value to society.
Innovation, in particular science-based innovation, will certainly be a dimension that improves the national industry’s competitiveness, with institutions like INESC TEC playing a key role in creating disruptive solutions that incorporate added value.
To create solutions, there is a vital factor: people. Portugal has several challenges and opportunities in this area. In reality, and despite the fact that 120 thousand Portuguese left the country over a single year during the economic crisis of 2010-2013 (unprecedented figures, only matched by those from 1973) – with considerable impact, still felt today -, the truth is that the country has witnessed an increase in the number of graduates among the working population, with the Instituto Nacional de Estatística (Statistics Portugal) registering an increase of about 200 thousand graduates in the labour market in 2021, when compared to 2020.
Therefore, Portugal seems to gather the necessary conditions to grow its economic activity, supported by highly qualified human resources, a notion that is reinforced by the increasing presence of tech companies in the country (some of them multinationals), willing to hire much of the talent generated by our universities.
The truth is that these resources are scarce considering the opportunities that the country offers nowadays, a fact that is further intensified with the possibility of teleworking for other companies around the world, from our homes in Portugal. This work model, which has proliferated with the pandemic, has already demonstrated its benefits, and is here to stay; therefore, it became an option for all those who wish to work with us.
INESC TEC aims to play a relevant and distinctive role in this whole process of national economic growth based on innovation. With a vast portfolio of highly challenging projects of great technical complexity, it allows researchers to mature their knowledge, benefiting from the contact with some of the most prestigious and relevant experts in various scientific fields, while establishing relationships with most of the top companies in our application fields.
The question here is: which path can a researcher take at INESC TEC? The answer is: several! With this in mind, we are currently designing a new human resources policy, which will attract, welcome, improve and acknowledge, to the best of our ability, all those who wish to go all the way with us. We aim to provide, at each single moment, the prospects and conditions that best suit their will: from supporting people’s training towards improving their qualifications before entering the business world or academia, to developing a research career, which can extend throughout the knowledge value chain.
Whether a passage or a long path, we want INESC TEC to be a milestone in their careers, not only considering the skills they have developed, but mostly for their involvement in one of the noblest ways we can contribute to society: by generating knowledge.
Luís Seca, Member of the Executive Board