Discover Our New Member COTEC Portugal!

COTEC Portugal is a leading innovation broker focused on accelerating innovation processes, business cooperation and advancing technology diffusion. It is a private association that encompasses multinational companies, major national corporations and SMEs, operating in most sectors of activity, and whose gross added value represents more than 16% of national GDP and 8% of private employment.

COTEC’s main activities include anticipating and discussing issues on innovation trends with an impact on business competitiveness, advancing business networks and partnerships and, contributing to public policy on innovation issues. This is achieved through the following strategic lines:

1. Anticipate and reflect on the trends that will influence company growth, strategies, investment and competitiveness.

2. Activate new collaborative innovation networks with associates and other actors of the innovation system.

3. Advocate on public policies with an impact on business innovation, including the assessment of their effectiveness and submitting proposals for their improvement.

In Portugal and overseas, COTEC acts as a trusted broker between companies and national or international innovation hubs. In this role, COTEC undertakes (i) awareness raising, dissemination and innovation process appropriation activities with companies; (ii) fosters the adaptation and re-skilling of workers in the I4.0 age, contributing to the evolution of learning models to cater to their needs; and, (iii) proposes funding schemes for high risk innovation projects, in collaboration with financial institutions.

Due to its ability to mobilise the Portuguese innovation system, under a Protocol with the Portuguese Government signed in 2017, COTEC is currently responsible for monitoring and supervising the Industry 4.0 Programme, the national initiative to promote the digitization of Portuguese industry.

Within this public-private partnership, COTEC led individual projects itself, structuring and making available new knowledge and information; creating a self-assessment digital maturity tool; and disseminating and creating an ecosystem that facilitates technological implementation by SMEs.

COTEC led the creation of working groups in areas where digitization has a significant impact: (i) work 4.0 (assessing the main implications of economy’s digitalization on the labour market), (ii) Financing (identify financing solutions to facilitate the implementation of digitisation processes in Portuguese SMEs), (iii) Innovation Meets Cybersecurity (raise awareness and mobilize companies for the compatibility between growth, business risk management strategies and technological innovation), (iv) Connected Healthcare (identify the impact of digitisation on the ecosystem of health care delivery), (v) Normalization (discuss the adoption of standards and the assessment of business standardization and ensure that Portuguese companies are standardized in line with Europe), (vi) Construction Digitisation (identify Building Information Model application opportunities in the construction value chain), (vii) Design for performance (seeks solutions for an industrial performance and lifespan of “smart” products”).

COTEC has organized, throughout Portugal and abroad, meetings, conferences, industry technical visits, international missions such as Hannover Messe. For example, it organized 8 Open Shop Floor Sessions in companies of different business sectors with the aim of demonstrating how companies can adopt the different I4.0 concepts and promote the sharing of experience among different parties involved in supply value chain. In July 2019, COTEC organized the major event in Portugal dedicated to innovation: the 16th COTEC Innovation Summit, an international summit on the latest trends of the 4th Industrial Revolution, with more than 30 speakers and 650 attendees, including industry leaders, academics, technology transfer organisations and policy makers.

COTEC brought a number of issues to the fore, such as job transformation, collaboration’s role in innovation, the relation of humans and machines and business capacity building. It has also advocated the relevance of the circular economy as opposed to the current model of programmed obsolescence, the cybersecurity imperative in companies and the need to reward industrial excellence.

COTEC has been a pioneer on the development of a structured approach to innovation management through an array of online tools, including the Innovation Scoring (tool for companies to self-assess the maturity of innovation processes), THEIA (self-assessment digital maturity tool, which produces individual roadmaps to the digital transition) and THRUST (tool measuring the level of management processes, standards, knowledge and certification).

Finally, it is worth highlighting the production of a number of reports on topics related to innovation and digitalization, including:

- The Digitalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises in Portugal: models for financing digital projects”. A joint project of the European Investment Bank and COTEC, which assesses the current status of business digitalisation in Portugal, identifies barriers and suggests targeted solutions;

- The Adoption of Certification and Standards and the Competitiveness of Companies;

- Report "BIM e a Digitalização da Construção e das Infraestruturas” outlining the potential of BIM methodology in the construction sector, including the experience of implementation in other jurisdictions, in particular in other EU countries, including a set of recommendations for the adoption of the BIM approach in Portugal;

- Report “A New Business Innovation Architecture for Portugal” - a new benchmark to transform the business and generate new growth horizons for the future, from the business of the present.


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