Initiative took place on December 6th and 7th, at the University of the Algarve

ANI organised the 3rd National Meeting of Collaborative Laboratories (CoLAB), an event that took place on December 6th and 7th, at the University of the Algarve and which brought together the 35 CoLABs recognised in Portugal, up to the end of last year. This meeting presented the results and developed innovative technologies, as well as the discussions on society's challenges for which CoLABs seek to provide answers.

The first day of the event was marked by the opening session, held by Joana Mendonça, President of ANI, and Paulo Águas, Rector of the University of the Algarve. This was followed by several pitching and discussion sessions, in which CoLABs presented their views on various challenges such as the climate crisis, the digital transition, the ageing population and the circular economy.

Maria João Fernandes and Ricardo Carvalho, from ANI's Department of Incentives and International Programmes, also presented the opportunities of Horizon Europe.

The day ended with a panel dedicated to the 6 new CoLABs, recognised in 2022 by FCT, where they discussed the main challenges they faced.

The second day of the event featured three further pitching and discussion sessions dedicated to sustainability, natural resources and alternatives for the future. The Mission Interface Platform was presented by Ana Castro, Consultant at ANI, and Sofia Couto, from ANI's Department of National Innovation System Capacity Building.

Presentation of the 3rd Monitoring Report

The second day of the event was marked by the presentation of the 3rd Monitoring Report 'Collaborative Laboratories - Evolution and integration in Portugal and Europe', by João Mendes Borga, Director of ANI.

According to this report, developed by ANI, CoLABs have been reinforcing their participation in competitive programmes, having increased 2.5 times the reception of this type of funding.

During the past year, it was the laboratories in the area of Materials, Circular Economy and Sustainability that hired the highest number of qualified employees and also recorded the highest sales volume. On the other hand, the Agri-Food area recorded the greatest number of clients.

In 2021, there were 35 recognised CoLABs in Portugal in strategic areas such as Health, Energy and Sustainability, Digital Transformation and Agri-Food. Distributed throughout the national territory, they contribute to the valorisation of the country's interior, bringing together 295 partner entities, namely 173 companies and 122 non-business entities, including higher-education institutions, research centres, local associations and partners.

According to data from ANI, which follows and monitors CoLABs' activity, the companies now represent 58.6% of the members (12.6% more than in 2020), the result of a strengthened representation in these structures. Of these companies, 91 are Small and Medium Enterprises. The Collaborative Laboratories have already contributed to the direct creation of 639 jobs (a growth of 13.7% compared to 2020), 32% of which are PhD holders, which corresponds to 107% of the 2022 target.

CoLABs are distributed throughout the country, predominantly in the North (38%), in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (33%) and the Centre (18%) of the country. In 2022, 6 more collaborative laboratories were recognised.

See the full Report here.

The sessions were broadcast live on ANI's Youtube channel.

(Re)watch them here: the 6th and the 7th.

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