InovCluster - Associação do Cluster Agroindustrial do Centro

Portugal: Centre (Portugal)
Cláudia Domingues Soares

Overview

Profile:
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About us

InovCluster AgroFood Cluster Association of the Center Region of Portugal

InovCluster is a legal entity, non-profit organization, funded in 2009 and based at Castelo Branco – Portugal. Was officially recognised as a “Collective Efficiency Strategy – Competitiveness and Technology Pole” by the Portuguese Government in 2009.

The mission of InovCluster is to “act as a mobiliser platform for the agro-industrial sector of the Centre Region of Portugal, by reinforcing the development of initiatives and offering services in the fields of R&DI, internationalization and capacity building of the business sector; while working closely and benefiting from the competences and available resources of other reference actors in the region”.

Since its creation, InovCluster has mobilized different regional partners. Therefore, the cluster counts nowadays with 174 associates. Actually, 76% of its members are companies, 10% of Sectorial Enterprise Associations, 5% of R&D Institutions, 5% of Municipalities and 4% Universities.

Our Agro Food producers members are from the sectors of: Dairy Products, Meat Products, Olive Oil, Fish Products, Cereals, Fruits and Vegetables, Wine and Vine and Honey. From the Agribusiness we have companies from sectors like: Logistics and Transports, Territorial and sectorial Marketing, Packaging, Cold, Quality Control and Equipment Suppliers.

InovCluster is developing a strategy oriented to the cooperation development between the stakeholders through aiming to enhance strategic cooperation with business, academia and agro food users and providers in a regional and national context.

The Association has expertise and extensive experience in the selected areas and has highly qualified professionals to the areas where proposed their accreditation, including: Entrepreneurship, Internationalization, Innovation and R&D.

Formalised strategy
Strategy focus on internationalisation

Cluster composition

  • 180
    Cluster Members
  • 140
    SME's
  • 1
    Large Companies
  • 12
    Research Organisations, Universities, Technology Centers
  • 22
    Other Ecosystem Actors

Achievements

InovCluster is an active player on the SMART SPECIALIZATION STRATEGY in the Center Region of Portugal and in the EUROACE Region constituted by two regions of Portugal (Centro and Alentejo) and one region of Spain (Extremadura) - InovCluster is one of the clusters that are in the heart of the Regional Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialization (RIS3) in the Center Region of Portugal. We participate in the different phases of a RIS3 (definition, implementation, monitoring and evaluation). We also promote inter-cluster activities that can facilitate diversification of regional specialisation. InovCluster is a tool to align the efforts of different actors of the regional innovation system towards a shared vision of the regional future.

Knowledge transfer and agrofood innovation - SME’s of the central region of Portugal have, generally, a poor access to information about trends, new processes and methodologies and innovation. Through Unit +RD +Innovation, InovCluster supports the new products development with: new ingredients, new processes, and new ways of packaging and innovative image. InovCluster also research and develops technologies for agrofood production. It organizes events to the dissemination of Trend Reports and improve the innovation capabilities of our members; Identifies the regional products that have potential to fit the new consumer needs and that can be   used to the innovation processes; Supports the process of innovation by facilitation the cooperation between Companies and the Universities and/or ID&T Institutions; and Disseminates the innovative products of our members. Knowledge transfer and agrifood innovation is two of the InovCluster’s aims. Through Unit + RTD + Innovation and Unit + Communication,  InovCluster supports the development of new products, the implementation of new technologies and new methods production, the creation of brands and design and the development of marketing plans in the quality area and product certification.  Innovation consulting services, in the knowledge transfer domain, organizational innovation and management, digital economy and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), Industrial Property Protection, Quality and Eco Innovation, can be found at InovCluster.

Inovcluster and the promotion of CATAA – Agrifood Technological Center and CEi- Center for Innovative Companies - During the last years, InovCluster developed an effective network of cooperation with CATAA – Agrifood Technological Center and CEi- Center for Innovative Companies. The role of InovCluster was essential in implementing an applied cooperation strategy. InovCluster actuated as a facilitator between the various actors, in the promotion and monitoring of various applications / projects already approved, and in the support of current management activities of these infrastructures. The strategy of InovCluster has, in one hand, allowed the companies to walk towards innovation and development of new products, and secondly, that entrepreneurs feel accompanied, boosting the number of new companies created. The InovCluster positions itself as a gateway for entrepreneurs and companies, accompanying and forwarding to CATAA or CEI depending on whether the case is a development of a new product or the creation of a company based on a business idea.

InovCluster received the Gold Label of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative in 2015.

Management team

Natacha Pinto
Cluster Manager
Susana Caio
Project Manager
Tiago Farias
Internationalisation Responsible
Luís Pinto de Andrade
ECCP Responsible Person

Sectorial and industrial focus

Sectoral Industries
Technology fields
S3 EU priority areas
Cross-sectoral industries
Advanced Packaging

Services

Support services provided

Other (please specify)

Further information

InovCluster is a regional research and business-driven triple helix cluster. InovCluster works for the agroindustrial sector’s development through 6 intervention areas, defined according the identified specificities and needs of the regional agro-industrial sector:

+Internationalization A priority for InovCluster. Therefore it has been fostered through the implementation of different activities, such as: development of market surveillance studies; organization of international market research actions; participation in missions, fairs, workshops, seminars and international conferences; presentation of products of associated companies in foreign markets; support and guidance to sectorial business in the initial export activity.

+Innovation +R&D (support to projects and innovation trends). InovCluster has been implementing different actions aiming to address the difficulties of the agro-industrial sector in the identification of innovation trends, such as: facilitation of information with regard to innovation trends in the sector related to new products, ingredients, packaging and technologies; organization of seminars and workshops; analysis of international trends reports; elaboration of dissemination materials of cluster associates innovative products. Additionally, the cluster has supported its members in the identification of products with innovation potential, as well as in gathering the needed know-how to introduce those innovations in the referred products. Additionally, the cluster has supported its members in the identification of R&DI funding opportunities, including the analysis of the feasibility of proposals, support in the elaboration of proposals and project follow-up and audit.

+Entrepreneurship In this regard, InovCluster has been supporting the creation of companies in the agro-industrial sector in the Centre Region. Additionally, it has supported entrepreneurs in market consolidation, cooperation with the Entrepreneurship support network in the Beira Interior Sul (BIS) region, identification of business and funding opportunities and organization of dissemination sessions to inform the cluster associates.

+Communication In this regard, InovCluster has been offering consulting services related to the improvement of graphical image and digital presence (such as website, profiles in social networks). Moreover, InovCluster has promoted the participation in fairs and other national and international events, where the cluster promoted the agro-industrial products of the region.

+Funding is a unit that identifies private and public funding for SME’s projects and for InovCluster’s projects. It is also the unit responsible for the financial execution of the association projects.

+Cooperation is the unit that promotes cooperation between members and between InovCluster and other entities, public or private. This unit is responsible for maintain “in touch”, promotes “the team work” between players and seeks for new partnerships nationally and internationally for members or for InovCluster.

Support programmes

EU Programmes

European Programmes
CIP/COSME INTERREG

Name & description

Project name

Cooperation activities

International cooperation

Targeted countries

Canada
Colombia
Mexico
Panama
United States

Transnational cooperation

Targeted countries

Belgium
Czech Republic
France
Germany
Spain

Transnational support activites

Promotional Activities

International support activites

Support to collaborative activities/etc.

Upcoming events

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
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