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Associação Pool-Net - Portuguese Tooling & Plastics Network

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General Information
The date when the cluster organisation was established: 
Monday, 13 October, 2008
Number of staff in the management team of the cluster organisation : 
Centro (PT)
Cluster Excellence Label: 
Gold Label
Other Label: 
European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2012
Membership to European Strategic Cluster Partnerships (ESCP-4i, ESCP-S3 or ESCP-4x): 
Membership to other networks/partnerships: 
Cluster Management Team: 
Cluster Manager
Project Manager
Languages spoken: 
Sectoral and Industrial Focus
Sectoral Industries: 
Aerospace Vehicles and Defence
Technology fields: 
Moulding, injection moulding, sintering
Plastics, Polymers
S3 EU priority areas: 
Advanced manufacturing systems
Advanced materials
Emerging industries: 
Advanced Packaging
Digital Industries
Composition of the cluster
Total number of members: 
Number of SME members: 
Number of larger company members: 
Number of research organisations/universities/technology centres: 
Number of other ecosystem actors : 
Entrepreneurship and scale-up support facilities in the cluster's ecosystem (see "Organisation type"): 
Name and link of major players: 
Cluster Strategy


•Develop and produce moulds in order to achieve products and manufacturing processes optimization of its customers, assuring total quality and reducing the total costs throughout the life cycle of the product.

•To integrate the mould in a widened chain of high tech engineering services, that means to innovate at the level of end product in which the mould is just a part of the manufacturing process.

•To develop and to produce special tools and high precision machined parts with high added value for the customer, supported by innovation of product and manufacturing processes.

•Develop and produce moulds in order to achieve products and manufacturing processes optimization of its customers, assuring total quality and reducing the total costs throughout the life cycle of the product.

•To integrate the mould in a widened chain of high tech engineering services, that means to innovate at the level of end product in which the mould is just a part of the manufacturing process.

•To develop and to produce special tools and high precision machined parts with high added value for the customer, supported by innovation of product and manufacturing processes.



•To place Engineering & Tooling sector in top 5 at worldwide level, according ISTMA key performance indicators, in productivity, innovation and human resources qualification areas.

•To assure at least a 2% production value growing by year (in Euro currency) on mouldmaking area.

•To assure a high rate of production growing (two digits) (in Euro currency) of high precision machined parts business area.

•To assure high revenue levels for mouldmaking and high precision machining companies, with average results above the average of ISTMA-Europe Section.

•To reach 30 new technological companies on Engineering & Tooling area.

•To reach high recognition levels of the brand “Engineering & Tooling from Portugal”, at national and international level.

•To promote a consistent reduction of the dependence of Automotive sector on Portuguese Engineering & Tooling exports, in for values closer to 50% of total sales.

•To assure a significant increase of market share for Portuguese Engineering & Tooling industry on strategic markets, namely, Energy & Environment, Electronics, Health/Medical Devices and Aeronautics.

Do you have a formalised strategy?: 
Do you have a specific strategy focus that addresses internationalisation ?: 
Support services provided: 
Access to the European Internal market
Access to public support (regional/national programmes, innovation vouchers, etc.)
Promotion of activities (marketing/ visibility)
Support of knowledge transfer
Innovation Management / Support of innovation processes (internal, external)
Cooperation Activities
International Cooperation
The main countries targeted by the cluster organisation: 
United States
Our cluster organisation undertook the following international activities to support our members: 
Participation at missions/events/study visits/fairs
Trans-national Cooperation
The main countries targeted by the cluster organisation: 
United Kingdom
Our cluster organisation undertook the following trans-national activities to support our members: 
Promotional Activities
Which clusters do you collaborate with?: 
PRODUTECH (Portugal)
TICE.PT (Portugal)
Habitat (Portugal)
Mobinov (Portugal)
Health Cluster (Portugal)
Support Programmes
Participation in Funded Support Programmes: 
European ProgrammesName & Description (Regional/National)

The main goal of Pool-Net is to manage and coordinate iniciatives, projects and dynamise corporate cooperation, in view to implement the strategic plan established for the Engineering and Tooling Industry and place it in the top level recognition at worldwide. To carry out its mission, Pool-Net has key partners in specialised training, R&D +I&T and business development.

In the last years, the cluster was deeply involved in R&D and innovation projects, studies and other initiatives towards the sustainable development of the industry, promoting product development in strategic areas (aeronautics, automotive, medical devices, packaging, electronics, energy and environment) enhancing their competitiveness and international positioning. Pool-Net works to stimulate innovative activities by promoting interactions, the sharing of facilities and the Exchange of knowledge and expertise, as well as contributing to technology transfer, networking and information dissemination.

The Cluster has a deep knowledge of the international environment and is fully aligned with the European Tooling Technology RoadMap (2014-2020), developed within the EUROPEAN TOOLING PLATFORM (MANUFUTURE SUB-PLATFORM) and geared towards the opportunities of HORIZON 2020, thereby taking advantage of the most advanced technologies which will be a feature of the “Factories of the Future” recommended by the EU.



Success Story / Achievements: 

 Engineering & Tooling from Portugal: The Cluster Brand

The cluster was formally recognized by the Portuguese government in 2009 and is legally represented by POOL-NET – the Portuguese Tooling Network Association. The aim of the cluster is to contribute to the sustainability of the Portuguese industry, supporting product development in strategic areas (such as aerospace, automotive, medical devices, packaging, electronics, energy and the environment) and to promote the Portuguese Engineering & Tooling cluster internationally, under the ’umbrella’ of the collective brand ‘Engineering & Tooling from Portugal’. With this brand name POOL-NET has the responsibility to promote the cluster range of skills and services available to customers from all over the world (i.e., trade missions, fairs, magazines, etc).

The development of this initiative of creating and promoting a collective brand to the cluster, has been developed with the support of the projects of the cluster GESTOOLING, GESTOOLING 2014, BtM – Branding to Market, and BtM 2015 – Branding to Market 2015, being the most import activities done during the last 24 months.  The complexity of this process and the need to gather the cluster in this process shows the importance of the work that has been done by POOL-NET, to show the value of the brand (at the present moment, 30 companies members and 2 Institutions are considered official members, authorized to use the collective brand, and many others are promoting the adjustments they need to enlarge this group).

Considering that the creation of a Collective Brad is the highest level of the Industrial cooperation, because companies are establishing the roots to cooperate and compete, it has been given to POOL-NET the role to register the brand internationally, discuss the main rule for use, approve the users in compliancy with the main rules approved, and to promote the brand (inside of the cluster – workshops, visits to companies and meeting), but also and especially at the international level (magazines in strategic markets – Spain, Germany, France, USA, Poland, Brazil, UK, Russia and Mexico). 

The companies that make up the “Engineering & Tooling from Portugal” brand offer a full range of services comprising the entire value chain up to actual production, and, in some cases, including production. These companies have long understood that technological excellence and innovative business strategies and approaches to the market are essential to remain at the top of the industry. This has led to the development of an array of available technologies, and Portugal’s Engineering & Tooling companies have gained international recognition for their skill in interpreting their customers’ requirements, building a reputation as versatile, technologically advanced and offering an excellent price/quality ratio.

Our cluster integrates a full set of solution providers streamlining innovation, helping customers to find solutions, building reliability, precision & efficiency, highlighting trust & commitment which are assumed by companies as core values of the brand.

WIINTECH PROJECT: Cooperation beyond Europe

WinnTech (2012-2014) has been a Pilot-European Project (most of the activities had been developed during the last 24 months) involving complementary clusters from different European Countries (Portugal – POOL-NET; Spain – PLASTIVAL;  France – PLASTIPOLIS; Italy – NANOTECH and PROPLAST; Germany – Chemie Cluster Bayern; Austria – CLUSTERLAND; and England - NEPIC), fostering new opportunities on “CLEAN TECH MARKETS”, in Countries outside of Europe (India, Japan, USA, and Brazil).

These 8 European Clusters from 7 Countries represented more then 2.000 companies, 300 Research Centers & Universities, worked together in a “Worldwide Intercluster Initiative for New Materials and Processes focused on Clean Technologies”. In fact, complementary skills, contacts and competences, allow to organise common visits to different and strategic markets, to promote the clusters individually, organizing B2B meetings (more then 1.000 meetting with local companies), detecting opportunities, to learn the challenges of these markets, to establish the basis for future cooperation (signing several Memorandum of Understanding with clusters from Brazil, USA, Japan and India).

The main importance of this Pilot project, was not only the reinforcement of cooperation between these European countries, but also, the new contacts developed to opening future collaborations and business, for the members of the clusters involved on this initiative.

As results of this project, we enlarged our international network, new project proposals between clusters are increasing, the cooperation and exchange interclusters information are rising, and new business opportunities are coming up.

POOL-NET performed an active international action during this project, representing the cluster, creating a sustainable relationship not only with the visited markets but also with the European Clusters involved, opening new cooperation and business opportunities to the Engineering & Tooling members. POOL-NET created the ground to established protocols for cooperation (with PLASTIPOLIS, PROPLAST, CLUSTERLAND and PLASTIVAL) that will be sign during the next MOULDSEVENT 2014 (23rd – 27th June) in Portugal. POOL-NET, created the opportunity to receive the representative from MISSISSIPI district (USA) during the MOULDSEVENT 2014, to discuss future cooperation, involving action with the OPEN Incubator Center and their Accelerator, and also to discuss the procedures to make “twins” the cities of Marinha Grande and Hattiesburg (Mississippi).