São João da Madeira may be the smallest municipality (in area) in Portugal, but that is not standing in the way when it comes to tech and industry. We arrived to São João da Madeira in the beginning of the afternoon to discover more about the city and to visit SANJOTEC, its science and technology park and incubator.

In 2011, São João da Madeira introduced in Portugal a new type of Tourism: Industrial Tourism. The routes include the hat-making industry (part of the heritage, even though it has a small presence nowadays), the shoe-making industry and the only pencil factory operating in the Iberian Peninsula. Along with the tradition, São João da Madeira wanted to encourage the region’s competitiveness by supporting the creation and growth of new and innovative projects. That’s the reason why SANJOTEC was created in 2008. Specialized in robotics, engineering and automation, SANJOTEC has now more than 40 projects and an occupancy rate of 100%, leading to a need of constructing a second building to accommodate more projects. Among the biggest companies there, you may recognize Creative Systems, acquired in the beginning of the year by Tyco Retail Solutions.

SANJOTEC is also managing the Oliva Creative Factory (a creative industries center with around 30 projects) and a Social Innovation Center.

During our visit we had the pleasure to meet a few companies:

Systems4you: Best know for Promo Finder, a system that intends to revolutionize the way people communicate information with their customers. Through an App, it sends a specific promotion to the customer’s smartphone when he is in front of or inside a store at a specific location.

Topame: Route optimization system for boats. During the pilot, they were able to save more than 5% in fuel and one and a half hours per trip. The demo will be available in the beginning of next year.

We have been receiving nominations for people and organizations from the city. But don’t forget you still can nominate till September 27th!

PS. Check the event photos here.