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Inspirational cases are the subject of the Aliança para Inovação em Porto Alegre event

Spanish professor Josep Piqué presented in Porto Alegre projects of urban revitalization based on innovation. This initiative was promoted by UFRGS, PUCRS and UNISINOS

Examples of innovation that are sources of inspiration to the capital of Rio Grande do Sul. This was the theme of the event promoted on July 4th at the UNISINOS Theater by the Aliança para Inovação em Porto Alegre (Alliance for Innovation in Porto Alegre), which is a product of the joint work of UFRGS, PUCRS and UNISINOS. UFRGS’ Vice President of Research Luís Lamb, as executive coordinator of the Aliança, opened the event highlighting the capacity of Porto Alegre to become a city of knowledge and to retain local talents. In front of the crowded theater, Lamb highlighted the importance of society’s participation in the transformation of Porto Alegre: “You, who are here today, are the most important actors, you are the innovators who will transform Porto Alegre,” he said.

The presidents of the three universitites reinforced the Aliança’s proposition for co-operation. According to the UNISINOS president Marcelo Fernandes de Aquino, the initiative is a commitment to the community of Rio Grande do Sul: “We will unite innovation, find the points of contact and make a happier society”. The UFRGS President Rui Vicente Oppermann also stressed the importance of the engagement for the transformation of the city. “We are committed to seek the development of the well-being in Porto Alegre,” said Oppermann. “This is a historical responsibility of the universities and now of the Aliança”. The PUCRS president, Br. Evilázio Teixeira, emphasized that society must reconcile its differences and act in an aligned and cooperative way. “The time to be assertive and build a global ecosystem of innovation with a strong vision of international action has come,” he said.

Also present at the meeting, the mayor of Porto Alegre, Nelson Marchezan Júnior, reinforced the importance of the academic area and the businessmen’s support, both dedicated to help the public power. “We will participate and get involved in this innovation with you,” he said.

Barcelona and Medellín Cases

The president of the International Association of Science and Technology Parks (IASP), Josep Piqué, detailed how the 22@ Barcelona – carried out by the local city council, considered the most important urban project of the Spanish city in recent years and one of the most ambitious in Europe, having great real estate potential and credited with the accomplishment of the total renovation of the local public infrastructure – was developed. For two years, Barcelona was named the European capital of innovation.

“Without entrepreneurship, a productive innovation will not occur. Each year, around a thousand startups are set up in Barcelona. Because of that, we have been able to develop an entrepreneurial culture,” the IASP president announced. In addition, he emphasized that, through El Gran Pacto Por La Innovacion, it was possible to create a mechanism to articulate a set of projects, combining talent, technology, and international outlook.

“Talent and technology are the mechanisms for productivity, competitiveness and employability. It is necessary to find out where the talent lies and insert it into the ecosystem and constitute an intersection between major agendas of universities, companies and governments, sharing their economic and social challenges,” he said.

Concerning the Medellín case, in Colombia, Piqué recalled the delicate situation that the city had experienced – with the domination of the cartel – before becoming one of the most innovative cities in the world. “We understood the local problems, and tools were created to promote innovation through the participation of the main local institutions in districts,” he added.

Innovation in Santa Catarina

The professor of the Department of Knowledge Engineering (in Portuguese, Departamento de Engenharia do Conhecimento – EGC) of the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Clarissa Stefani Teixeira, showed that there is a model of innovation to be followed in Brazil. According to her, a kind of ‘mapping of Natural Persons Register (in Portuguese, CPF)’ was made, what means that information related to the number of institutions, to how they were positioned, and to their connections was detected. “From this information gathering plan, we need to find a way to communicate and strengthen this ecosystem[P1] . The interesting thing is that in this agreement the institutions were not asked something different from what they had already been doing, but we wanted instead to verify what we already had of science and technology. The proposition was to find a way to carry out the work in a joint commitment,” she commented. Based on the regional activation model, inspired by what had been done by Josep Piqué in Barcelona, ​​the Pacto pela Inovação was conceived, a collaborative movement that presently counts on the participation of 295 city councils.

In Santa Catarina, the agreed institutions are divided into four working groups: knowledge and talent, access to capital and investment attraction, infrastructure, and collaboration networks. A project monitoring system similar to that of Barcelona is used, via the observatory of the industry of Santa Catarina.

Portuguese link:

Translated by Guilherme de Souza de Oliveira, under the supervision and translation revision of Professor Elizamari R. Becher (PhD) – UFRGS/IL.

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