Home UPTEC: A Talent Based Approach.

UPTEC – Science and Technology Park of University of Porto supports the creation and development of business projects in the arts, sciences and technologies, through sharing knowledge between the university and the market.


Following a clustering strategy and resource sharing between startups, innovation centres and anchor projects, UPTEC offers its projects the specific support they need, engaging them into a broader and transversal network of national and international partners and mentors.



Since the beginning of its activity, in 2007, UPTEC has supported more than 700 business ideas.



UPTEC is an EIT Culture and Creativity Core partner.


On the EIT Culture and Creativity blog series – Industry Thought Leaders in Europe, here are our 5 questions and the 5 answers from André Forte (Head of Business Development for the Arts at UPTEC):


1.) What is your company’s strategy to navigate the multiple crises currently afflicting Europe? How is your company leveraging innovation to do so?

We are actually using creativity to address the problems afflicting Europe and to drive innovation. UPTEC has access to very broad talent, from creatives to scientists, and we develop our innovation programs, based on challenges identified by ourselves and by partners to get our community working in developing new solutions and products. Creativity has an essential role, as we have been experimenting with disruptive approaches led by artists to find new uses in technology, and to empower our tech and science community with new tools to scale up their work.


2.) How do you invest in innovation? (e.g. in incremental steps close to markets, in disruptive innovation with long-term returns, or a mixture?) Are you investing more or less than before?

Briefly describe your front-runner innovation coming to market next year – and why it is likely to succeed.
As per above, UPTEC is an incubator and its key approach is to support entrepreneurs and provide them with the right tools and a vibrant community in order to succeed. When it comes to innovation, we have our own acceleration programs, where we make sure entrepreneurs have contact with new challenges, new technologies and are thus able to develop solutions using both. We also help corporations implement disruptive innovation programs by connecting them with the talent in our community.


3.) What is your outlook for the future of your market next year, and in 5 years?


It is challenging because more and more companies are developing their own innovation strategies, forcing UPTEC to adapt to the new demand — which for creative approaches to innovation. Considering the core of our business, the post-pandemic context also demanded that we adapt how we manage infrastructures and develop scalable programs to support more entrepreneurs. For the next year we plan to test and validate digital programs for new entrepreneurs and pilot cross-innovation as a continuous approach to innovation and in industrial contexts.



4.) Which policy agendas and legal frameworks would support your global competitiveness?



UPTEC is a non-profit association fully owned by the University of Porto. This means we are obliged to comply with public procurement rules, which reduce our agility to implement new support programs for our companies. We advocate for streamlined processes and reduced bureaucratic hurdles for startups and innovation-driven enterprises. Simplifying access to funding and grants is crucial, specifically addressing the needs of companies in the CCIs. Additionally, defining policies to foster a diverse, multidisciplinary, and integrated ecosystem will enable more experimentation and cross-innovation.



5.) What resource would most help your company to reach its financial or other performance targets next year, and/or in 5 years?

Access to a robust network of industry partners and investors who understand the value of impact and cultural projects, which often scale differently than typical startups, is crucial. This network would provide critical mentorship, funding, and market opportunities for our incubated startups. Additionally, continuous investment in state-of-the-art facilities and technology infrastructure, aimed at creating more sustainable and digitally adapted environments, is essential. Cultivating a pipeline of skilled talent through partnerships with educational institutions to ensure a steady influx of fresh ideas and expertise. Greater involvement with cultural stakeholders and the city municipality would offer our companies opportunities to engage and showcase their innovations effectively.







About EIT Culture & Creativity

EIT Culture & Creativity is the ninth Innovation Community by the European Institute of Innovation and Technfology (EIT), a body of the European Union. It is designed to strengthen and transform Europe’s Cultural and Creative Sectors and Industries (CCSI) by connecting creatives and organisations to Europe’s largest innovation network. It takes a holistic and open approach to innovation – from tech to artistic driven innovations, from business to citizen driven – and reinforces the appreciation and anchoring of European values and identities. EIT Culture & Creativity will unlock latent value from a multitude of small CCSI stakeholders through technology transfer, improved cross-sectoral collaboration and their effective integration in production value networks. EIT Culture & Creativity will support technology and business innovation; artistic innovation and social innovation. It will also harness the unique position of the CCSI to facilitate the Triple Transitions in Europe – green, digital and social.



About The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

The EIT is Europe’s largest innovation ecosystem bringing together close to 3,000 partners from top business, research and education organisations across Europe in over 80 innovation hubs. The EIT strengthens Europe’s ability to innovate by powering solutions to pressing global challenges and by nurturing entrepreneurial talent to create sustainable growth and skilled jobs in Europe. The EIT is an EU body and an integral part of Horizon Europe, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The Institute supports dynamic pan-European partnerships, EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities, composed of leading companies, research labs and universities each dedicated to solving a pressing global challenge, from climate change to health, to renewable energy.