InovCluster - Agroindustrial Cluster Association of Centro Portugal
InovCluster - Associação do Cluster Agroindustrial do Centro

Portugal: Centre (Portugal)
Susana Caio
90% completed


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.

Established - 29 May 2009
Staff in the management team - 6-10
Support services for upskilling and reskilling of companies workforce
  • Lifelong learning
  • On-the-job training
  • Mentoring
  • Involvement in a local skills strategy

Cluster composition

  • 175
    Cluster Members
  • 140
  • 5
    Number of start-ups among SME's
  • 1
    Large Companies
  • 12
    Research Organisations, Universities, Technology Centers
  • 8
    Number of civil society members
  • 14
    Other Ecosystem Actors

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.

Legal form of the cluster organisation
Registered Association
Languages spoken
English Portuguese Spanish
Link to the team description on the cluster organisation website

Management team

Natacha Pinto - Executive Coordinator of InovCluster
Natacha Pinto
Cluster Manager
Susana Caio - International project manager and RDI unit
Susana Caio
Project Manager
Carlos Lima - Internationalisation unit
Carlos Lima
Internationalisation Responsible
João Santos - RDI unit
João Santos
Project Manager

Sectorial and industrial focus

Sectoral industries
Agriculture, forestry and fishing:A01 Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities - Manufacturing:C10 Manufacture of food products - Manufacturing:C11 Manufacture of beverages
Sectoral Industries (NACE 4 digit)
Cross-sectoral industries
Advanced Packaging
Industrial Alliances and Ecosystems
Technology fields
A\: Human necessities:Foods or foodstuffs; their treatment, not covered by other classes - Y\: General tagging of new technological developments:Technologies or applications for mitigation or adaptation against climate change
S3 EU priority areas
Digital transformation:Internet of Things (e.g. connected devices, sensors and actuators networks) - Digital transformation:Smart system integration - KETs:Advanced materials - KETs:Industrial biotechnology - Nature & biodiversity:Biodiversity - Public health & security:Ageing societies - Public health & security:Food security & safety - Service innovation:New or improved service processes - Service innovation:New or improved service products (commodities or public services) - Social innovation:Social innovation with regard to environmental issues - Sustainable innovation:Eco-innovations - Sustainable innovation:Sustainable production & consumption - Sustainable innovation:Waste management

Key members

Profile name Location
A. Pires Lourenço & Filhos, S.A.


Support services provided

Internationalisation Support (access to third countries markets)
Access to finance: Public funding
Facilitation of collaboration between members (within the cluster)
Support of Research, Development and Innovation
Location branding

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 services for upskilling and reskilling of companies workforce

Lifelong learning - On-the-job training - Mentoring - Involvement in a local skills strategy

Support programmes

EU Programmes

European Programmes

Name & description


Project name


Cooperation activities

International cooperation

Targeted countries

United States

Transnational cooperation

Targeted countries

Czech Republic

Transnational support activites

Promotional Activities - Support to collaborative activities/etc.

International support activites

Support to collaborative activities/etc.

Membership in Cluster Partnerships or initiatives

Upcoming events

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

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