POOL-NET - Portuguese Tooling & Plastics Network

Portugal: Centre (Portugal)
Rui Tocha
90% completed


About us


•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.

Established - 13 October 2008
Staff in the management team - 1-5
Support services for upskilling and reskilling of companies workforce
  • Lifelong learning
  • Vocational training

Cluster composition

  • 92
    Cluster Members
  • 56
  • 19
    Large Companies
  • 12
    Research Organisations, Universities, Technology Centers
  • 5
    Other Ecosystem Actors

 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).

Legal form of the cluster organisation
Languages spoken
English French Portuguese Spanish
Other label
European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2012

Management team

Rui Tocha
Cluster Manager
Cristina Soares
Project Manager

Sectorial and industrial focus

Sectoral industries
Manufacturing:C22 Manufacture of rubber and plastic products - Manufacturing:C25 Manufacture of fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment - Manufacturing:C29 Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers
Sectoral Industries (NACE 4 digit)
Manufacture of rubber and plastic products:C2222 Manufacture of plastic packing goods - Manufacture of rubber and plastic products:C2229 Manufacture of other plastic products - Manufacture of fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment:C2573 Manufacture of tools - Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers:C2932 Manufacture of other parts and accessories for motor vehicles
Cross-sectoral industries
Blue Growth Industries
Industrial Alliances and Ecosystems
Alliances:Circular Plastics Ecosystems:Digital
Technology fields
B\: Performing operations; transporting:Machine tools; metal-working not otherwise provided for - B\: Performing operations; transporting:Grinding; polishing - B\: Performing operations; transporting:Working of plastics; working of substances in a plastic state in general - B\: Performing operations; transporting:Vehicles in general - B\: Performing operations; transporting:Aircraft; aviation; cosmonautics
S3 EU priority areas
Aeronautics & space:Aeronautics - Aeronautics & space:Remotely piloted aircrafts - Digital transformation:Advanced or High performance computing - Digital transformation:Artificial intelligence, cognitive systems, augmented and virtual reality, visualisation, simulation, gamification & interaction technologies - Digital transformation:Big data, data mining, database management - Digital transformation:Cloud computing and software as a service and service architectures - Digital transformation:Digitising Industry (Industry 4.0, smart and additive manufacturing) - Digital transformation:ICT trust, cyber security & network security - Digital transformation:Internet of Things (e.g. connected devices, sensors and actuators networks) - Digital transformation:Robotics, autonomous and cyber physical systems (e.g. vehicles, embedded systems) - Digital transformation:Smart system integration - KETs:Advanced manufacturing systems - KETs:Advanced materials - Sustainable innovation:Eco-innovations - Sustainable innovation:Resource efficiency - Sustainable innovation:Smart green & integrated transport systems - Sustainable innovation:Sustainable production & consumption - Sustainable innovation:Waste management


Support services provided

Internationalisation Support (access to third countries markets)
Access to finance: Public funding
Advisory Services
Support of Research, Development and Innovation

Support services for upskilling and reskilling of companies workforce

Lifelong learning - Vocational training

Support programmes

EU Programmes

European Programmes

Name & description

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.

Project name

Cooperation activities

International cooperation

Targeted countries

United States

Transnational cooperation

Targeted countries


Transnational support activites

Promotional Activities - Participation at missions/events/study visits/fairs - Support to collaborative activities/etc.

International support activites

Promotional Activities

Connection to cluster organisation(s)

Membership in cluster networks, meta clusters and national associations of clusters

Profile name Location Network type
European Tooling Platform

Membership in Cluster Partnerships or initiatives

Upcoming events

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