In April, José Carlos Caldeira participated in the panel “Paths of industrial innovation in Portugal”, part of the conference Inovação e Processo Criativo (Innovation and Creative Process), at the University of Minho. The member of INESC TEC’s Board of Directors presented relevant outlooks from the footwear industry, in a discussion with managers and government leaders.
The footwear industry went through a deep transformation, covering all aspects of the business: from products to the production process, as well as sales, supply and distribution chains. According to José Carlos Caldeira, the “formula” that allowed the reinvention of this industry can be applied to other sectors. “The main success factor [of the footwear industry] was the ability to establish strategic partnerships with other sectors (namely production technologies manufacturers, etc.) and with entities in the scientific and technological system.” This is where research and development come in, together with the innovation factor.
As stated by José Carlos Caldeira, institutions like INESC TEC play an instrumental role in these innovation ecosystems. Moreover, this type of institution is able to identify the needs in the industrial context quite effectively, translating them into innovation and development challenges, and creating technologically advanced solutions. “Institutions like INESC TEC act as the system’s ‘glue’, as true channels that enable sharing knowledge and human resources between academia and the business world,” he added.
The conference is part of the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Alfredo da Silva, which the Amélia de Mello Foundation has been promoting for over a year. The theme of innovation was explored in the event co-organised by the University of Minho and the Collaborative Laboratory in Digital Transformation, DTx.
The researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with INESC TEC.