INESC TEC is at the center of the entrepreneurial ecosystem that Portugal has been consolidating in recent years, around technology-based startups. As a leading organization in science-based innovation since its inception, INESC TEC has been supporting the development of technology-based companies over the years, strengthening this area by investing in the creation of organizational support structures.
In 2007, the Center for Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (CITE) and LET-In: Laboratory of Technological-Based Companies were created, acting as service that comprehends the pre-incubation of new business projects, or startups in a test concept, with a strong technological development component and an innovation laboratory to support the development of ideas for new products or services.
CITE is in charge of coordinating LET-In, and the laboratory relies on a highly interdisciplinary team, with a strong assurance from top management, consisting of members of the INESC TEC Board of Directors, consultants, researchers, university professors and grant holders with academic training in the Engineering, Economics, Management and Sociology fields, and with extensive professional experience in Valorization and Transfer of Technology, Innovation Management and Technological Entrepreneurship.
In addition to the internal team, LET-In also relies on a network of mentors formally established and the INESCTEC Alumni network, important to establish formal relationships to support entrepreneurial activity.
In order to strengthen its position, INESC TEC also provides four fundamental services:
- the Technology Licensing Office (SAL), responsible for the protection and licensing of Intellectual Property;
- the Business Development Services (SAPE), which establishes and supports Research and Development (R&D) collaborations with business partners;
- the Legal Support Service (AJ), which provides legal advice and technical intervention in the areas of human resources, institutional relationships, contracting projects, and public procurement of goods and services;
- the Communication Service (SCOM), which plans, prepares, organizes, and monitors internal and external communication actions, promoting and boosting the institution's knowledge, image, and prestige at internal and external levels.
These internal organizational structures have played an important role in the effective positioning of INESC TEC as an organization capable of competing in the field of innovation at national and international levels, supporting and promoting business initiatives, and contributing to the modernization and strengthening of the capacities of the region and the country.
These services have successfully ensured the integrated collaboration between researchers (as technology providers) and companies, entrepreneurs and investors (as promoters or facilitators of technology commercialization), thus reinforcing the commitment to the creation of highly qualified jobs, the sustainability of the institution and the expansion of the scientific and technological capacity of the region and the country, through extra incentives to investment in R&D.