Vila Real is a city located in northern Portugal, on the Douro Region. The city has a strategic location, since it is served by excellent transport connections that link it to the rest of the country and Spain.
A little more than 70 minutes after leaving Braga, we arrived to Vila Real. Our destination was Regia Douro Park.
This Science and Technology Park focuses mainly on agro and food industries, oenology, viticulture, green economy, environmental enhancement and agro-environmental technologies. It is promoted by the Municipality of Vila Real, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD) and Portuspark – a Network of Technology Parks and Incubators.
Vila Real is the headquarters and main campus for UTAD, a public university founded in 1986. And this has been very important to the appearance of innovation and new companies in a city that is characterized by having more traditional businesses.
Regia Douro Park, that wasn’t inaugurated yet, has now more than 18 resident companies spread across its incubator, business Center (Douro Business Center) – and what differentiates them the most – the Technology Pole of Excellence for wine and the vineyard and industrial lots for companies in the wine and agrifood sectors.
The wines developed by oenologists from UTAD are often part of international tops and the region of Vila Real is deeply connected to Douro river and wine production. Therefore, Regia Douro Park expects this to be the privileged place to develop products and businesses in this sector.
With events, structured programs, facilities, mentoring, and so on, the Park is receiving companies in different evolution stages. And we had the pleasure to hear from some of them:
A company specialized in providing quality control services and support in research and development (R&D) of cosmetic products, having new and more efficient methods for laboratory evaluation of the products. And even if you have never heard of them, you might know some of their work. The company was responsible for the development of the One Direction Eau de perfume and also Cristiano Ronaldo’s. They have also developed a nail polish with Rosmary from Trás-os-Montes and intend to create more products using ingredients from the region.
Consultans for financial and environmental sustainability. The company works with public and private entities by monitoring and developing sustainability projects and search for investment.
Born with the goal of disseminating technical and scientific information to professionals in the wine sector, Vinideas is a business “from wine people, to wine people”. The company has a strong connection to UTAD and is responsible for the Portuguese version of INFOWINE magazine.
A company that provides IT solutions intended to management positions.
A company that was born from the difficulty regional companies had to communicate. eLevar develops digital marketing solutions, specially dedicated to the customer support.
The company is a spin-off from UTAD and a result of research on the accessibility field. They develop dedicated and inclusive software, working in areas like healthcare and tourism. Their most famous app is “Nutrição com Coração”, that has been on the Apple Store top for several weeks. Recently, the company received the Inclusion and Digital Literacy Award from the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).
As promised, we’re revealing the pitch winner in the city. For all the energy, ambition and clarity, the winner is Cosmetek!