R&D SPENDING CREATES INNOVATION CULTURE
According to the European Commissions annual review of the Portuguese economy, Portugal has yet to deliver Internet penetration to a level equal to the rest of the EU. We have received a lot of money from the EU and put that money to good use, mainly in the improvement of Portuguese infrastructure. Maybe weve put too much stress on public works at the expense of training and education, explains Valento de Olivera, vice president of the Portuguese Business Association.
government has since created a number of advanced training programs
and scientific development agencies to boost human resources and Research
and Development (R&D) in this area. The Minister of Science &
Technology, Jose Mariano Gago sees the solution in the creation of closer
ties between science and industry. The expansion of R&D in
industry in the last few years has been mostly in the service sector.
We would like to extend it into other sectors, by using foreign investment
to tie Portuguese R&D abilities to Portuguese business, he
success of home-grown companies such as Imediata is an example for others
to follow. Imediata
graphic designers, hardware and communications engineers, programmers,
project managers and marketing specialists. It is currently experiencing
significant market popularity in the U.S. with the Portuguese-made Cybertotem
company is financed by AMORIM, a family-owned European business conglomerate
for a way to aggressively develop hi-tech, innovative business solutions.
Now Imediata has a growing U.S. base and turnover, is investing heavily
in R&D and has plans to expand globally. We are developing
the organization in Europe, the U.S. and Brazil and to do that we need
people who know the business.
S.A. was formed in 1979. Today, 80% of its production is exported to
over 50 countries
continents. R&D plays an important role in producing a range of
technically advanced, high quality new materials. A company must
be abreast of the business, the product and the technology, says
Mr. Santos. We are investing a lot in communications
systems and new technologies. We have been automating and robotizing
our production line. We also want to get into other sectors that use
abrasives such as the wood, metal, stone glass and leather industries,
so we are currently investing US$12 million in new facilities here in
Portugal and hiring engineers and training younger people. The future