On October 8th, the second session celebrating the 40 years of INESC will take place. Few things have remained unchanged in these four decades, as witnessed by those who are reading these lines and have participated in the creation of the institution, in the 1980s. Technologies, tools, people and institutions have all changed. What remains the same is the enthusiasm that led the founders of the institution to believe that knowledge, competence and hard work could make the country change for the better. INESC, which has become a group with institutions in Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra, in addition to other locations that, over time, have followed their own ways, has always been a place where knowledge was applied to create innovation and value for the society.

This first resulted of this push for innovation was the creation of a new institutional model, based on private non-profit organizations (NPOs), independent and autonomous, but with strong links with universities. In time, this model became the most popular model for research and development institutions in Portugal. There are now hundreds of NPOs that have copied or adapted the institutional model first pioneered by INESC.

But the push for innovation also led to the creation of new startups, based on the knowledge and technologies developed in the research institutions of the INESC group. The session on October 8th focuses precisely on this process of creating value by incorporating knowledge and intellectual property in new startups, created by entrepreneurs who were once part of INESC, and who have themselves become national references in entrepreneurship and innovation. We invited the CEOs of eight companies, from the more than two dozen enterprises that were created as a result of INESC’s activities since 1980. Four of these companies were created more than two decades ago, and the other four were created only in the last decade. The CEOs and founders of these companies will share with us the experience and memories that always remain from a process that is often painful but always instructive.

We hope that these four decades of experience inspire the next entrepreneurs, those who will believe enough in their ideas to push them to face the challenge of creating, promoting and developing new companies. With the evolution of technology and the different and more open economic framework of today, we now live in an environment that is increasingly competitive and challenging but also, curiously, more amenable to the creation of innovative solutions with global impact.

Arlindo Oliveira

INESC Diretor

IST Professor

INESC 40th years website