InvestPorto catalyses partnership between Academia and business to develop sustainable chemical innovation

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The Centre for Biotechnology and Fine Chemistry at the Faculty of Biotechnology of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP) and Elementis, an international company operating in the chemical sector, established a partnership to develop new products in the area of sustainable chemistry. The initiative of the InvestPorto municipal office was the driving force behind this joint venture in the R&D area.

The launch event took place last Friday at the Porto Regional Centre of Universidade Católica, and was attended by the Councillor for the Economy, Employment and Entrepreneurship, Ricardo Valente.

The support of the Municipality of Porto, through InvestPorto, enabled these two entities to create the conditions for establishing this partnership, a fact highlighted by the director of UCP's Centre for Biotechnology and Fine Chemistry (CBQF), Manuela Pintado, during the ceremony.

In turn, Ricardo Valente noted the importance of the project for the city's investment attraction strategy, stressing that InvestPorto has already supported around 500 investment projects in Porto, with around 1.8 billion euros of investment and more than 20,000 qualified jobs achieved.

'This project shows the city's ability to attract projects on a competitive basis, with the link between business and Academia as one of its pillars. This link and UCP's commitment to a research centre of excellence are bearing fruit and we can anticipate a growth in the ecosystem of high value-added companies coming to the city', the Councillor for the Economy, Employment and Entrepreneurship said.

Training qualified human resources

The partnership between the company, recently established in Porto, and Universidade Católica will also train qualified human resources in a research environment.

'As a research centre and associated laboratory, whose mission is also to transfer knowledge and have an impact on society, it is essential that we develop strategic partnerships like this one, which allow us to leverage the science we produce', Manuela Pintado also explained.

The London-based Elementis group announced that it intends to invest up to three million euros in its first global centre of excellence and research and development (R&D) laboratory in the country, which will open in the second half of 2024 in Porto.

'Through this collaboration, we will combine our formulation experience with the advanced technology and analytical capabilities of the Centre for Biotechnology and Fine Chemistry to offer innovative and sustainable solutions to the markets we serve', Joe Lupia, Senior Vice President of Research & Development at Elementis explained. 'We aim to launch 50 new products by 2026, a goal for which this research and development centre in Porto will play a crucial role, which is why it is so important to establish partnerships that can enrich our efforts', he concluded.

The launch event was also attended by the rector of Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Isabel Capeloa Gil.