The UAlg TEC Campus, the new technological center of the Algarve located on the Penha campus of the University of the Algarve, in Faro, will have the capacity to accommodate more than 300 people from 2021 onwards, aiming to foster the dynamics between companies and the academy.
The work, which rehabilitates a building in the educational complex on the Penha campus and is already underway, with a completion period of nine months, should be completed by the end of next year.
“We are going to have a business accelerator here, which will allow us to host around 300 to 350 highly qualified people. We are going to have companies that are not companies that are being born, they are companies that are already on the market, but that need to grow ”, explained today the rector of the University of Algarve, Paulo Águas, on the sidelines of the visit of the Minister for Territorial Cohesion, Ana Abrunhosa, which characterized the project as “the best example of the application of European funds”.
The global project is budgeted at 6.6 million euros, with community funding of around 70%, and also includes the creation of UAlg TEC Health, a clinical simulation center on the Gambelas campus.
In total, community funds for this initiative from the Algarve university exceed 4 million euros, with 3 million euros invested in UAlg TEC Campus and around 1.1 million in UAlg TEC Health.
"In this space, collaborative and creative dynamics can be created between these companies and, of course, between the University of Algarve", underlined the rector, stressing that the companies that will settle there will have to, "necessarily, interact with the academy", without that it is mandatory to incorporate only professionals with higher education in the Algarve.
“The companies are autonomous and UAlg will not interfere with its strategies. Now, the company will have to interact with UAlg. This will be part of the governance model that is being prepared ”, he said, adding that this is concerned with indicators such as the reception of interns or participation in projects co-promoted by the university or in the research area.
By the end of 2021, Paulo Águas expects to see companies in action at this new hub. “At the maximum, I hope that in a year from now we will be here with companies working, producing, creating wealth and exporting services,” he said, revealing that protocols of intention were signed with three dozen companies.
“The space is insufficient for all companies. Those with certain characteristics will come and, we believe, will be able to interact with UAlg. Companies don't come here for life. There will be a set of goals and indicators and there will be renewal of these same companies ”, he said.
The clinical simulation center, called UAlg TEC Health and located on the Gambelas campus, will allow “training health professionals and interacting with companies in the health area”.
The work should finish in the first weeks of 2021, but then comes the “more complex” process of equipping the space with its own “software”. "We have to buy simulators and then it will start working," he said.
On the other hand, Paulo Águas asked for a reinforcement of European funds for the University of Algarve in the next community framework, after in the previous financial package the Algarve academy only received 3.6% of the «cake» delivered to the Algarve (more than 300 million euros).
“The next« cake »will have twice that weight, it will be 700 million euros. We would like the 3.6% share to also increase. It would be a huge responsibility, but, believe me: there is so much to do in terms of knowledge creation ”, he commented, exemplifying with a collaborative laboratory in the area of aquaculture and fisheries, which needs the hiring of highly qualified personnel and technology transfer for the companies.
"UAlg will not waste a cent and everything that is applied at UAlg will be to serve society and the region", concluded Paulo Águas.