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BLC3 as a Strategic Entity

BLC3 Association – Platform for the Development of Center Inner Region (of Portugal) is a non-profitable association that develops activities in the field of (1) research and technological enhancement, (2) companies and business ideas incubation, and (3) support to the economy fabric. BLC3 was founded in May 2010 and started its activities in September 2011. Its associates are mainly from the technical-scientific area. This is the first and only Portuguese entity devoted to the development of Biorefineries (2nd and 3rd generation), Bioeconomy and "Smart Regions".

The multidimensional field of action of the Association varies with the type and scope of projects. In strategic areas such as Biorefineries, Bioindustries, Bioproducts and Bioeconomy, BLC3 develops its activities at a national and international scale. Its line of strategy is also headed to local and regional activities in terms of implementation of politics and development of strategies related to critical mass establishment and valorization of endogenous resources and genetic patrimony of the territory.

The name of the association has been set regarding the genesis of its main goals:

  1. BLC3 (Lignocellulosic Biomass and 3 from 3G – Microalgae), comprising the evolvement of biorefineries, bioindustries and bioproducts intended to replace petroleum derivatives, the resolution and minimization of the effects of forest fires, and the valorization of lignocellulosic resources and contaminated effluents and materials;
  2. Platform for the Development of Center Inner Region, representing the Association concept as a unit based on the principles of generation, development and implementation of a Bioeconomy and “Smart Regions” project, that allows an integrated and sustainable development of territories and the national and international REPLICATION for territories with resembling characteristics, problems and opportunities.

BLC3 has a structure and network of international excellence constituted by 55 entities from 9 European countries and more than 115 researchers and scientists of excellence. The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the College of Technology and Management of Oliveira do Hospital, Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies, Institute for Experimental Biology and Technology (IBET), Institute of Social and Political Sciences, Institute for Chemical and Biological Technology (ITQB), National Laboratory for Energy and Geology (LNEG), University of Coimbra, University of Jaén, University of Minho, University of Basque Country, National Research Council (CNR), among many other technological and corporate entities, can be emphasized in this network.

Strategic lines for the development of Bioeconomy and "Smart Regions"

  • Develop and apply technical-scientific knowledge to problems and opportunities raising from territory exploitation;
  • Establish a young critical mass;
  • Leverage the economic activity through its own resources;
  • Improve the quality of life of the population;
  • Promote the sustainable use of the territory in a SMART and efficient way.

Structure and Operationalization

The settlement of a strategy of development which promotes, simultaneously, the link between Technology and Science with Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth, was possible through the structure of excellence which characterizes this Institution and the access to a leading network of researchers of the Scientific and Technological International System.

The structure of BLC3 allows for activities and projects of excellence, highly innovative, differentiated and of high quality, namely of R&TD+I and of enterprise and economic development, not only in the Center Inner Region but also national and internationally. Relating to its activities, BLC3 is a dynamic and multidisciplinary structure with two main dimensions: a TECHNOLOGICAL one, based on INNOVATION and RESEARCH and another, targeted to CORPORATION and INDUSTRIALIZATION.

BLC3 | Center for Technology and Innovation

BLC3 develops its main activities (research and technological intensification) at its own Center for Technology and Innovation (CTI). CTI is founded on four cornerstones of development of R&TD+i ativities: (1) Citizenship; (2) Energy and Territory; (3) Environment and Quality of Life and (4) Agriculture and Food Technologies, based on Bioeconomy and “Smart Regions”.

BLC3 | Incubation Center for Business Ideas and Companies

At the Incubation Center for Business Ideas and Companies (ICBIC), there is a high commitment for the industrialization of researched and developed concepts and the settlement of critical mass resulting of CTI activity. CIIB is also constituted by an Incubator of Business Ideas and Companies, BLC3 | Incubator, which supports and promotes the rising, settlement and development of new ideas and business in the region.

BLC3 | Incubator is comprised in the Network of Business Incubators in the Central Region (RIERC), participates in national networks of counseling entrepreneurship projects and has an international research and innovation network of excellence created by BLC3.

BLC3 | Support Center for Innovative Projects and Ideas

The Support Center for Innovative Projects and Ideas (SCIPI) endorses the development of innovative projects and ideas, therefore supporting the Center for Technology and Innovation and the Center for Incubation of Ideas and Business. It also converges BLC3 structure with the Business Welcoming Services. It is the main link between BLC3 Association and the community. Its core activities are project management; selection and identification of sources of investment and funding; and promotion of structural, investment and community funds. The Department of Bioeconomy and Support to the Regional Economic and the Support Office for Intellectual and Industrial Property (SOIIP) are integrated in the SCIPI Center.

BLC3 | Business Welcoming Services

As a result of a strong character and spirit of mission to industrialize knowledge and technology, with focus on the market, BLC3 presents, as the last cornerstone of the platform, the linkage with the Business Welcoming Services to make possible to promote the scale up of projects of the Center for Technology and Innovation and the Center for Incubation of Ideas and Business. Finally, in an “outside in” approach, it also supports the connection and contact between BLC3/Companies, Companies/Companies and Regions/Regions.

To be the leader in R&TD+I towards the development of solutions for biorefineries and bioindustries; as well as in politics of valorization of natural resources and mass flow resulting from economic activity for the generation of bioproducts of high added value.

To stimulate Bioeconomy and “Smart Regions” and to solve environmental and educational problems and the lack of technological implementation in agroforestry and agri-food sectors, turning them into opportunities.

To establish a link among the stakeholders and decision-making agents, companies, technology centers and higher institutes.

BLC3 project emerged as a commitment of the City Council of Oliveira do Hospital towards the development of its city and region; acting, nevertheless, in both national and international territory. It also results from a commitment to promote a new vision of innovation, science, creativity, quality and entrepreneurship, thus fostering the appearance of new business ideas and of a new enterprise generation.

The establishment of BLC3 appeared as a strong commitment of the City Council of Oliveira do Hospital, of which various founding associates from the national territory make part, presenting, nonetheless, an international dimension of action.

  • Biocant
  • College of Technology and Management of Oliveira do Hospital
  • National Laboratory on Energy and Geology, I.P.
  • City Council of Oliveira do Hospital
  • University of Coimbra
  • University of Minho

The Center for Technology and Innovation (CTI) is a research and technological intensification center recognized internationally by its excellence. CTI is the answer of a multidisciplinary and proactive team, with high innovative spirit and force of youth. CTI is composed by four departments:

  1. Citizenship
  2. Energy and Territory
  3. Environment and Quality of Life
  4. Agriculture and Food Technologies

In CTI, it was created an international network constituted by 55 entities from 9 European countries.

Citizenship

To manage the decline and low density of the population with the promotion of setting a critical mass in the region along with activities and project developments that promote well-being, gender equality and the necessary conditions to counteract the rural exodus.

To innovate in education and knowledge transfer with new educational models of scientific literacy, through recreational activities of innovation and technology with focus on developing models of competences and creativity in youngsters from 4 to 18 years old.

To implement and promote the development of incentive policies for the establishment of economic activities, notably the technological and innovative ones, raising youth entrepreneurship.

Energy and Territory

Activities of research and technological development associated with the following sectors: (i) energy, energetic systems and intelligent mobility; (ii) protection, valorization and sustainable management of natural resources, preventing the risk of large-scale forest fires; (iii) valorization and exploitation of the potential for energy generation and production of bioproducts based on lignocellulosic resources and hydrocarbons, without competing with the food and agroforestry sectors.

Environment and Quality of Life

Development of systems and solutions for the reduction and resolution of serious environmental problems, promoting its exploitation in a business point of view.

Research and development of more innovative and efficient biomaterials, based on dematerialization and valorization of the resources of the territory, integrating eco-innovation and eco-design.

Research and promotion for a healthy and functional nutrition and active life.

Agriculture and Food Technologies

Research and technological development in food industry regarding "Super Food", "Natural Food", "Pleasure Food" and fruit based products, using endogenous resources and focusing on the development of new agricultural products. Particular attention is given to Serra da Estrela cheese, São Bartolomeu pear, apples from various regional sources, native mushrooms and truffles. Foster agricultural production by developing quality and differentiating products and implementing technological and scientific knowledge that improve the productivity and quality of productive systems. Mycology is also an important focus of research in this department in what concerns food in general and biomolecules.

3i Club – Investigation | Innovation | Interdisciplinary is a structure that arises within BLC3 Association and aims at “sowing the seeds” for the appearance of new business ideas and a new business generation.

3i Club intends to harness talents from the Center Inner Region with the establishment of an entrepreneurship culture, privileging the close connections with the academy, the scientific and technological research and, innovation and creativity. The Club is restricted to teachers, researchers, company employees with a background defined by innovation, technological development and creativity; from municipalities of the Inner Region, aged between 22 and 35 years.

The 3i Club also aims at being a club that invests in entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, research and science, encouraging the creation of self-employment through the development of new ideas. This goal is achieved by converging entrepreneurship with innovation and technological development.

This Club is a key lever that increases and enhances the emergence of the so-called "Start-Ups", which are associated with innovative ideas characterized by a strong technological component.

The club will always work closely with the Center for Incubation of Ideas and Business, the Center for Technology and Innovation and the Support Center for Innovative Projects and Ideas, being endowed with human resources, facilities, equipment and a number of key infrastructures for the release of business projects.

The 3i Club has already a network of 46 members from 14 different subject areas.

The Young Farmers Club is a strategic club released by BLC3 in early September 2011. The club aims to gather young farmers (up to 40 years old) from the Center Inner Region or those who wish to settle in this region, in order to promote and revive the agricultural activity in the region within this age group, with particular emphasis on horticulture.

For example, the Beira Serra region - Arganil, Góis, Oliveira do Hospital and Tábua -, according to the latest data of the agricultural census 2009, had only six farmers younger than 25, against 1354 farmers with more than 65. The average area of agricultural holding in Portugal is 12.74 ha, however this average in the pilot region is 2.27 ha.

BLC3 Association has struggled to reverse this situation, which is dramatic, by working and encouraging government bodies to make decisions on such matter. BLC3 presents a solution based on the creation of a real estate fund that allows the land restructuring of the region and a tax on agricultural abandoned lands to encourage agricultural activity. The land restructuring is essential to enable access to many young people who wish to develop their future in this activity. Besides, there is still the problem of not knowing who owns a significant part of the territory - about 20%.

Young Farmers Club is a strategic club for the region and a strong bet of BLC3, allowing enhancement of the region and the settlement of young people by creating jobs for them.

One of the main focus of the club is to monitor 45 young people from Oliveira do Hospital, Tábua, Arganil and Seia, in the development of farming projects with PRODER funding. Therefore, four projects for young farmers are being developed, in a total of 14.45 ha per area (investment of € 908.343,10).

Portugal has all the conditions to be a major exporter of apples; nonetheless, is still a country which imports this fruit. The focus at this point are the apples and the S. Bartolomeu pear, a native species of the region. The local geographic and climatic conditions enables to establish a high priority to these fruits, which will be the point of differentiation of this club at a national and international level.

The Entrepreneurship Club is a cornerstone of innovation and excellence, where a network of young entrepreneurs with the ability to make a difference in the global market is being created. This club functions in convergence with the Center for Technology and Innovation and the Center for Incubation of Ideas and Business.

The mission of this club is gathering entrepreneurs, promoting interaction, increasing team spirit and cooperation between projects and companies.

To support the creation and development of innovative and technological business projects locally based, aiming on the progress of the territory, innovation, differentiation and creativity to generate employments of quality and with value for the region. BLC3 represents an Incubation Center of Ideas and Business, a structure directed to the creation and development of new business models and to the self-value of every citizen.

Counting the privileged contacts with the academic environment, scientific and technological research and innovation and creativity, this Center is endowed with human resources, furnished office spaces, meeting rooms, and gives access to a whole range of communication technologies, such as mail, telephone, internet and video conference.

The Center for Incubation of Ideas and Business is also comprised by an incubator: BLC3 | Incubator; located on the premises of BLC3. Therefore, the Center also provides free support for the incubated companies in the following areas:

  • Technical supervision during the establishment of a new company;
  • Involvement in the elaboration of the Business Plan;
  • Identification and analysis of Investment Incentive Systems;
  • Support for Intellectual and Industrial Property.

  • Offices from 20 m2 to 60 m2, with furniture and internet.
  • Common areas: reception, meeting rooms and service areas with a photocopier, fax and video conference.
  • Location: Av. Calouste Gulbenkian, No. 71, Zona Industrial – 3400-060 Oliveira do Hospital
  • GPS coordinates: 40º21'38.40''N 7º50'1.20'' W
  • Contact us: incubadora@blc3.pt

A.H. – Saúde e Formação (Virtual Incubation)

Campus Saude XXI is a health related brand, providing an outstanding service in this area. One of its key points is to offer services at the level of remote assistance / Telemonitoring, a solution developed for helping the elderly population, providing them with a sense of independence inside their family environment, while at the same time providing constant remote monitoring. The company actively works in parallel for the development of solutions and products in this area.

Website: www.campussaude.com
Email: campussaude@iol.pt


Centro TV (Room 5)

Centro TV is an innovative project concerning multimedia information, focusing on regional aspects, which through online television and several other digital platforms offers on time information on the center inner region, as well as national and international news.

Centro Tv’s new webtv, available on the digital platform denominated Meo Kanal, is a low cost project in which outsourcing is of extreme importance.

Website: www.centrotv.pt
Email: geral@centrotv.pt


Enging – Make Solutions (Room 2)

The company Enging – Making Solutions aims at the commercialization of a new solution for predicting maintenance issues of industrial engines, namely by a diagnostic system focused on electrical parameters. The proposed system measures electric currents and tensions applied to the terminals of the monitored engine. Consequently, this diagnostic machine processes and analysis real time data, preparing a technical report sent to the client. Enging focuses on the development of new solutions related to electrical engines market, together with a strong bet on research and development in associated areas (R&TD+i).

Website: www.enging.pt
Email: geral@enging.pt


Gadgetendency (Virtual Incubation)

Gadgetendency provides a new and dynamic communication system, contributing to the diffusion of specific brands by using technological based products. Through new media, the company aims at optimizing the dissemination of a brand and maximizing specific products. Gadgetendency wants to revolutionize the world of communication in terms of content and brand.

Website: www.showstore.pt
Email: office@showstore.pt


Idealconcept (Virtual Incubation)

Idealconcept is a multidisciplinary company, consisted of highly qualified and talented professionals, dedicated to different areas such as design, web design, video, photography and publicity. The company’s main concern is client satisfaction, providing quick and efficient services, together with a personalized and dedicated costumer service. Client support and 24 hour service is guaranteed.

Website: www.idealconcept.pt
Email: geral@idealconcept.pt


iFungHealth, Lda. (Room 3)

iFungHealth – Fungi Innovation Solutions for Health, Lda. is a recent company specialized on research, training and development of groundbreaking products in the area of clinical and analytical toxicology associated to fungi.

Website (em construção): www.inovfung.pt
Email: geral@inovfung.pt


JFOH (Room 6)

JFOH is a dental prosthesis laboratory providing support to different dental clinics in the region, aiming in the future at expanding the business and working with other clinics from surrounding areas. Although working with clinical practices from the whole country and international ones is an option, JFOH is focused nowadays on establishing a proximity relationship between laboratory and clinical practice.

Email: jfohgeral@gmail.com


Regional-Innovation (Room 8)

Regional Innovation aims at the promotion and marketing of products from the Center region, specially focused on Serra da Estrela and surrounding areas.

The project consists on a web page with up-to-date data provided in different languages, containing information on products and partners, also detailed on the virtual online shops exhibited on the virtual shopping center. The costumer can stroll through the internet webpage, envisioning the shops and products, as if standing on a real shopping center.

Website: www.ccvserradaestrela.com
Email: geral@regional-innovation.com


SolidBlue (Room 2)

SolidBlue develops its activity mainly on research and development related to bioclimatic architecture and sustainable urban regeneration, supervision, consulting, analysis, evaluation and expert appraisal. Additionally, the company focuses on project conception and on characterization of artistic, architectural, urban and archaeological heritages, together with planning strategies and mechanics related projects. On the other hand, SolidBlue is involved in animation activities, working on new business models associated with tourism.

Website: www.solid-blue.pt
Email: geral@solid-blue.pt


Go-Star (Virtual Incubation)

The main goal of Go-Star is to revitalize regional wealth, assets and traditional products, by rec-reating and constantly adapting them to new demands, in a responsible and innovate way. The company also targets the valorization of raw materials from the region, namely Serra da Estrela products such as plants, herbs, fruits, milk and milk derivatives.

This project came to life as the Go-Star brand in food industry and will allow to create with time a wide variety of nutritional options.

Website: www.solid-blue.pt
Email: geral@solid-blue.pt


TrialMotor Off Road Adventures (Virtual Incubation)

“TrialMotor Off Road Adventures” project arises for the creation of the first National Trial School, with unique and pioneer features at an international level. The school will be established in Lousã, which is characterized as an excellency area for top-level athletes training as well as for other sports training.

The present project counts with the collaboration of the Portuguese Motorcycling Federation and will have as the main focus Serra da Lousã and Cordilheira Central (Central Mountain Range). The natural landscape and the heritage of both places will be an extra benefit for the clients, al-lowing them to go through sites of interest in terms of history as well as geologically and archeo-logically, while at the same time Bluetooth headphones will allow them to be communicated as to the places they are visiting.

Email: trialmotor@gmail.com


Voz da Natureza (Room 4)

The main focus of Voz da Natureza is research and biotechnological development related to innovative and unique products in mycology. Comprised of highly qualified human resources, Voz da Natureza is strongly dedicated to the development of bioreactors in the referred area.

Website: www.micnatur.pt
Email: geral@micnatur.pt

To support and promote the development of innovative projects and ideas, with a strong emphasis on young people.

To link BLC3 with the community in general and the economic region.

  • Project management
  • Support to Intellectual and Industrial Property
  • Selection and identification of investment and funding sources
  • Promotion of community funds of the projects: Horizon 2020, Portugal 2020, Centro2020 and PDR2020
  • Feasibility analysis of ideas and projects.

The idea of a Bioeconomy underlined on modern, global, competitive and dynamic knowledge was established in 2000 at the Lisbon Summit Meeting performed by the European Union (EU). Bioeconomy is pointed out by the EU as a fundamental cornerstone of development in Europe, as part of its strategy for 2014-2020. In the Support Center for Innovative Projects and Ideas it was created the ‘Department of Bioeconomy and Support to the Economic Region’, whose mission and purposes are:

  • To provide to the economic society a structure of excellence in human resources with high skills in the areas of engineering, biotechnology, chemistry, computer science and nanotechnology;
  • To act as a business department to promote the revitalization of businesses and industrial/regional symbiosis and to be the basis for innovative and technological growth for companies;
  • To conduct thematic meetings with the economic fabric to create a new spirit;
  • To establish a young critical mass in the region;
  • To develop new projects with the economic region for a more efficient use of the land and its resources;
  • To promote an interconnection between processes and value chains for decarburization and dematerialization of the economic activity, investing in smart and sustainable growth.

Contact us: bioeconomia.empresas@blc3.pt

The success for any business project lies on the protection of the ideas, projects and business models. Therefore, this department aims at supporting the development of strategies and actions of intellectual and industrial protection in business ideas and the knowledge transfer from scientific and technological system to the economic region.

“BIO Center: Bioindustries, Biorefineries, and Bioproducts” project consists on the creation of a new technological facility arising from an international emerging area: Biorefineries, Bioindus-try and Bioproducts. Portugal, a pioneer country in this technological area, presents a high po-tential for this due to its availability of lignocellulosic resources and hydrocarbons capable of being transformed in new products. Those same resources are also able to promote the devel-opment of new industries and companies in this area.

BIO Center project is being implemented in Lagares da Beira, Municipality of Oliveira do Hospi-tal, with a total area of 3.6 ha. Overall, the project aims at requalifying an old abandoned facility of six buildings and a large outdoor area. The requalification process consists on the remodel-ing/conservation of six buildings, arrangement of the surrounding areas and acquisition of equipment to fill out the new spaces.

The main purpose of this project is to recover those buildings into functionally separated infra-structural units, considered nonetheless as essential units for the future management, functional-ity and revitalization of the future facility in terms of research and support to the entrepreneuri-al fabric as well as development of ideas and projects (pre-incubation/incubation and enterprise acceleration).

“BIO Center: Biorefineries, Bioindustry and Bioproducts” project is being co-funded by QREN in the “Mais Centro” Programme through the European Regional Development Fund, in a total of 3.019,00 €.

BioREFINA-TER is a multidisciplinary project of R&D that is designed to apply advanced technologies, in network, to the conversion of forest and farm wastes and soils which do not have any agricultural potential, to 2nd generation biofuels intended to replace diesel fuel and petrol.

The present project has managed to bring together an international knowledge network of 32 R&D organizations of five European countries. It started in 2010 with a Portuguese State fund, through IFAP, of 0.5 million euros. In a first stage, BioREFINA-TER intends to proceed with the construction of an industrial demonstration biorefinery, with a capacity of 25 million liters per year of 2nd generation biofuels produced, which do not compete with the food sector or the wood processing industry. The pilot territory of this enterprise will cover the municipalities of Arganil, Góis, Oliveira do Hospital and Tábua.

This innovation project, which aims to regenerate and invigorate the economic and social region, has already been considered by the Portuguese State as a project of national interest, currently being the largest national project in the area of bioenergy/biodindustry. It is considered as the alternative to fight large-scale forest fires and minimize the serious environmental, economic and social impacts caused by this paradigm.

According to a recent survey made by BLC3, forest fires may represent a national economic loss of 800 million to 1 billion euros. In collaboration with LNEG and with the involvement of various business partners such as Galp Energia and Sonae Industry, BioREFINA-TER was submitted to an EU funding pre-application for an investment of 118 million euros to build an industrial demonstration biorefinery. It is predicted that the community fund occurs between 2014 and 2019.

This may represent an annual saving of 1500 million euros in petroleum import, which will allow Portugal to tackle two of the major problems it is facing - forest fires and petroleum dependency.

EU 2020 Strategy, announced in 2010, includes Bioeconomy as an important component with three major strategic priorities:

  • Smart growth: to develop a support economy for knowledge and innovation;
  • Sustainable growth: to promote a more efficient use of ecological resources and a more competitive economy; and
  • Inclusive growth: to foster an economy which ensures a social and territorial cohesion.

Bioeconomy refers to sustainable production and transformation of organic natural resources in a variety of bioproducts, food, biomolecules, other industrial products and energy. It includes all production industries and sectors, and management operations. This concept also comprises any other usable way of biological resources, including organic waste.

Modern Bioeconomy consists of biological science knowledge and innovation, together with other technologies such as engineering, chemistry, computer science and nanotechnology. The development of bioeconomy allows the "re-industrialization" of the territory through its own resources and the revitalization of the primary sector.

At an enterprise-level, the Inner Region economy needs technical and structural support, as well as the implementation of innovative ideas and new technologies of resource transformation and valorization: value the "Land." It also requires young critical mass settlement to resist desertification. The “Bioeconomy and Smart regions” project has been developed on the basis of these ideas, being nowadays working towards the development of “Bioeconomy and Smart Regions” in national territories with specific needs of economic development, low density and in scourge.

i-DUCA is an R&D project that appear as a response to the 21 School Agenda and follows the UE strategy for the promotion of smart growth. This project is being developed by BLC3 Association in consortium with scientific entities and associations dedicated to local and rural development.

BLC3, in association with several national and international institutions, has been developing work strategies and taking great efforts in the educational field for a sustainable juvenile development, in which this project is integrated.

Thus, the project aims to promote/contribute to sustainable development in its main areas (Economic, Social and Environmental), advocating: (1) the promotion of self-value by stimulating physical and mental well-being and skills, as well as motivation and personal development of students taking into account the local values; (2) the economic valorization of endogenous resources, through human capital qualification; (3) the fostering of an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit in young people, by promoting creativity and other mechanisms; (4) the usage of information technologies / informatics in order to monitor/ track the development of the aforementioned skills and assist in the development of tools and methods to evaluate them and stimulate the students.

Cheese factories effluents are a consistent problem and an existing complication concerning all economic agents, directly and indirectly, in the affected areas, due to the difficulties in treating and minimizing the environmental impacts of these effluents and, on the other hand, due to the significant importance of this activity for the region and the primary sector.

After two years of extensive research performed by various BLC3 employees, the project concerning the alternative use and valorization of the cheese factory effluents is now in patent process. The possibility of new products and the significant decrease of the environmental issues arising from this type of effluents, which can be accomplished with this project of high value to the region, will allow an improvement in the quality of life of the affected population and to the water and soil resources.

BLC3 managed to gather the cheese producers of Oliveira do Hospital, the City Council of Oliveira do Hospital and other entities, with particular emphasis for those focused on research. The characterization of this sector has been completed, allowing to conclude that the effluents volume from cheese factories in the region is significant, approximately 18 million liters per year. At this stage, various municipalities and entities showed interest in the work of the BLC3, and the municipality of Oliveira do Hospital is again highlighted, for having supported and encouraged this project since its beginning.

This project is the result of the Young Farmers Club, created by the Center for Technology and Innovation. Currently, it represents an investment of around € 1.7 million and a cultivated area of approximately 60 hectares of apple and S. Bartolomeu pear trees. This is the first professional structure of young farmers created in the region of Arganil, Oliveira do Hospital, Tábua and Seia.

Dried fruits have been highly valued in international markets as the search for this type of food has grown bigger and bigger worldwide. Following this trend, Fruit ECO-Drying Line, a BLC3 project, aims at innovating and valuing one of the richest fruits of the region: S. Bartolomeu pear, also known as Dried Pear, which almost disappeared from the market due to the lack of technological investment.

The R&TD project, financed by EU funds with an investment of € 603,623.10, foresees the creation of a pilot unit that automatically peels, dehydrates, presses and packs pears, in an entire circuit that extends from production to its entry in the marketing chain, in order to make this eco-efficient line a competitive process. Experiments performed in the pilot unit will later lead to the industrialization of this great regional wealth and to its recovery for the national and international markets. The main area of production of the S. Bartolomeu pear is located in the municipalities of Oliveira Hospital, Tábua, Seia and Viseu, Nelas, Gouveia, Mangualde and Santa Comba Dão.

The main goal of this R&TD project, financed by EU funds with a total investment of € 533,524.98, is the valorization of a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheese, through the development of a research project for the construction of a prototype manufacturing single units of this soft cheese.

University of Minho is one of the institutions behind this pioneering initiative of BLC3. Serra da Estrela PDO cheese is considered one of the best in the world, though it is at risk of extinction given the large market indiscipline that it has been exposed to and the inability to value this product to the consumer. In order to enhance the value chain for both milk producers and cheese factories, which produce this protected mountain delicacy from the milk of a sheep species called Bordaleira Serra da Estrela, the project will have the following stages: (a) Creation of an analytical "kit" that distinguishes the cheese made with the milk from the Bordaleira Serra da Estrela sheep with those whose milk comes from Spain or other geographical regions; (b) Elimination of mold, that hinders the conservation of the cheese after 35 to 40 days of maturation; (c) Slicing the product into individual doses to respond to the new patterns of consumption, packing it at the peak of its quality, through a packaging that keeps the slice texture and allows its conservation, without molds.

Mushrooms have a key role in ecosystems. Changes in natural resources and habitats relating to land use, pollution, fires, invasive species and climate, all have potential to influence the structure and composition of mushrooms communities. The values of diversity and characteristics of mushrooms in nature are critical research topics in order to address the health, productivity and sustainability of ecosystems. Therefore, it is critical to evaluate the significance of diversity of native mushrooms in a local, national and international scale so as to increase the mushroom reserves in Europe. Similarly, mushrooms with high added value have a higher representation in the emerging critical support in the field of Bioindustry (e.g. biotechnology, biomedicine, bioenergy), while providing an attractive economic return and in ecosystem services. Some of the mushrooms species of high added value gain greater importance not only because of its value to ecosystem functions, but also for their organoleptic and nutritional properties or due to the presence of bioactive compounds. In addition, some mushroom soils establish a symbiotic relationship with plant roots, called mycorrhizae, recognized as critical mediators in biological and ecological processes, which include nutrient cycling, plant health, soil protection and control of biological disease roots.

The mission of the Center of Applied Mycology (CAM) is to provide basic research applied to the diversity and characteristics of functional reserves of value-added mushrooms, focusing on the decline of biodiversity, environmental threats and socio-economic problems that Mediterranean forests face nowadays. Besides, it aims to see the opportunities for sustainable and innovative business initiatives and decision-making assistance. The CAM | BLC3 seeks also a new national and international research platform in order to understand and improve the identity of the reserves of value-added mushrooms to restore and protect native biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as to determine solutions of productive efficiency, thus ensuring environmental safety. The main objectives of CAM | BLC3 are: (1) report the diversity of value-added mushrooms in nature and in Europe; (2) develop biotechnological knowledge; (3) build capacity of valorization of diversity and characteristics of native species of mushrooms to support the sustainable planning management and industrial innovation; (4) build capacity to support agroforestry and bioindustrial management at European level (e.g. products, production systems, and development of a set of indicators and quality and sustainability criteria); (5) develop and promote networks of knowledge and awareness about the value of native biodiversity in Europe, in addition to actions related to conservation and sustainability. Currently the CAM | BLC3 already cooperates with Portuguese, Spanish and Italian research centers.

The goal of this BLC3 biotech project is to explore the economic potential of values and co-products of forest ecosystems. The project has a partnership with the Centre for Functional Ecology of the University of Coimbra and Voz da Natureza - an incubated company in BLC3, whose area is scientific and technological research for the development of innovative products.

The project aims to develop in the Center Inner Region of the country the production of native wild mushrooms and research the conditions for the production of truffles. This project was financed by EU funds with a total investment of € 465,554.18. To be executed over the next couple of years, Value MicotecTruf contributes not only to the plant ecosystems, as it may reduce the risk of large fires.

The textile sector of the Beira Serra region is an important employer and economic activity sector. Therefore, BLC3 is promoting a textile cluster for the valorization of the sector, to develop new products and a connection with the Scientific and Technological System. This cluster consists of nine companies in the Centre Region.

This union allows an increase in the capacity to generate added-value products with their current production lines.

The S-MOBIL is an electric mobility project based on S cornerstones: "Smart", "Small", "Self", "Security" and "Sustainable". This project finds itself in a pilot stage of development and it is creating a new electric mobility "low cost" business model, able to meet the challenges inherent to electric mobility systems.

  • Development of new products, systems and value chains, particularly linked to natural resources, energy, foods, forestry, agriculture and mycology.
  • Provision of research and innovation services in Biotechnology and Bioindustry.
  • Development of automated lines.
  • Supporting the development of new business models, business creation, entrepreneurship, organizational models, training and business training.
  • Incubation of ideas and projects.
  • Supporting the development of creative and recreational activities.
  • Identification and preparation of applications for community, structural and investment funding programs.
  • Creation of R&D and entrepreneurial networks.

Address:

BLC3 Association - Platform for the Development of Center Inner Region
Rua Nossa Senhora da Conceção, Nº 2
Lagares
3405-155 Oliveira do Hospital
PORTUGAL

Tel. (+351) 238 641 059
GPS Coordinates: 40.360623,-7.833612

Opening Hours:
  • Morning Period: from 09h30 to 13h00
  • Afternoon Period: from 14h00 to 17h30

    General Information: info@blc3.pt
    Center for Technology and Innovation: cti@blc3.pt
    Center for Incubation of Ideas an Business: incubadora@blc3.pt
    Support Center for Innovative Projects and Ideas: capi@blc3.pt
    Communication and Marketing : comunicacao.marketing@blc3.pt
    Human Resources: recursoshumanos@blc3.pt