COTEC seeks to approach SMEs with a network of innovative companies

COLLAB distinguished with the APDC / Siemens Innovation Award

COTEC launches tomorrow an initiative aimed at SMEs which it called the COTEC Network of Innovative SMEs.

The initiative aims to recognize a group of companies for their «innovative attitude and activities», explained Rui Guimarães, general director of COTEC, in a press conference.

At the meeting, which served to take stock of the first two years of COTEC’s activity, the officials detailed that this initiative will aim to promote cooperation between the SMEs involved and COTEC’s associates, with the aim of exchanging experiences and promoting innovation .

This network starts with 24 companies, admitted by the COTEC monitoring committee, which is chaired by Belmiro de Azevedo.

The launch of the initiative will take place tomorrow at the second national innovation meeting promoted by the association, an event that also hosts the delivery of the Innovation Award, also directed to SMEs.

Murteira Nabo, president of the association, explained at the event that in the two years of the association’s life it was possible to realize the need to promote a closer relationship with SMEs, which resulted in the definition of these two initiatives for the 2005 business plan.

This plan also includes the intention to work more closely with the two other European COTECs (Italian and Spanish).

Gathered at a meeting on 12 May, the three entities intend to study and discuss the possibility of cooperating and aligning positions in areas such as the 7th Framework Program, Lisbon Strategy and cooperation at the business level.

In 2005, the association will also resume initiatives such as COHITEC and NDP actions (training), which support research projects.

In 2004 the initiative took place in the north of the country and this year it is repeated in Lisbon and in a new edition in the north.

Last year, efforts to support the development of the software do Minho, with objectives of internationalization and cooperation between companies.

The work carried out in 2004 has already resulted in support for the internationalization of some projects.

The study component that COTEC proposed will also be active in 2005, with the start of a study, which aims to be a contribution to the creation of a Portuguese cluster in the area of ​​biotechnology.

In October of this year, the work on the structuring initiative on forest fires, which involved a set of initiatives for the study and coordination of efforts, should be concluded.

It should be noted that for 2005 the association is studying new structuring initiatives that may target the areas of tourism and logistics.

Regarding the new government and the strategy for innovation, COTEC representatives were cautious, admitting, however, the possibility of coming to study a possible participation in the Mission for Innovation Unit, announced by the government of Socrates.

Murteira Nabo made it clear that for the time being the association does not know how this Mission unit will be created, but admits that if there was an invitation by the government to join the initiative it would be a matter to consider.

The representatives also suggested some measures to the new government that they consider key to foster innovation and induce technological shock.

António Carrapatoso recalled that there is an urgent need to modernize the administration and improve the State’s capacity to organize itself, a statement corroborated by Belmiro de Azevedo who stressed the savings that public services would be able to generate if there was a complete liberalization of fixed communications and furniture.

The officials also mentioned the importance of betting on strong regulation, at various levels, that makes the Portuguese economy more competitive, increasing competition between agents.

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