BLC3 as a strategic entity
The BLC3 Association - Technology and Innovation Campus is a non-profit association, which was founded in May 2010 and began its activities in September 2011, with headquarters in Oliveira do Hospital, with an area of 38,000 m2, two poles in the Northern Region of Portugal, in Macedo de Cavaleiros and Alfandega da Fé, and a third one under development in Alentejo, resulting from the work carried out in that region, with the goal of creating regional symbioses.
The BLC3 brand and identity are associated with its flag and anchor project: Biorefineries. The name/acronym derives from Lignocellulosic Biomass and 3 from 3G – Microalgae; It aims at the development of bioindustries, biorefineries and bioproducts to replace petroleum derivatives, for the resolution and minimization of forest fires and the valorisation of lignocellulosic resources, contaminated effluents and materials.
BLC3 develops activities of:
- Research and technological intensification of excellence, according to the concept of the complete cycle of invention (from idea to market);
- Incubation of ideas and companies;
- Support to the economic fabric; and
- Development of a Bio and Circular Economy, with a particular focus on the concepts of Biorefineries.
As a result of a focus and leadership, BLC3 is the first and only entity in Portugal created for the development and industrialization of Biorefineries (2nd and 3rd generation) and the Bioeconomy and "Smart Regions". It acts nationally and internationally in strategic areas such as Biorefineries, Bioindustries and Bioproducts, with focus on Bioeconomy and Circular Economy. It also develops local and regional activities for the implementation of policies and strategies linked to the fixation of critical mass, the valorisation of endogenous resources and the territory.
Since its inception, BLC3 has already executed and attracted to the inner regions, as a promoting entity and in partnership, about 20.3 million euros, in a total of 55 R&TD projects. It is the one entity in the Interior Region of Portugal that has created more scientific and qualified technical jobs, in a set of +120 fully dedicated young researchers (average age of 29 years).
BLC3 has a structure and network of international excellence composed of 55 entities from 9 European countries and more than 150 researchers and scientists of excellence. An entity already recognized as (1) an interface structure, in ANI, and (2) a specialized R&DT unit, in FCT, denominated "Centre Bio R&D Unit", to strengthen the competences and research capacities of BLC3, composed of 36 researchers (7 foreign) of which 12 are PhD.
BLC3 develops its activities in 4 MODULES in its technology and innovation campus, which were designed and built, both physically and operationally, according the complete cycle of invention (from the birth of ideas to market).
- MODULE 1. R&TD Centre: main module where the research and technological development activities are carried out;
- MODULE 2. Support Centre for Innovative Projects and Ideas, (CAPI): to provide support and connection to the economic fabric for the development of innovative projects and ideas and attracting investment, also integrating an Innovation and Creativity Management department and an Intellectual and Industrial Property Office;
- MODULE 3. Incubator | BLC3: incubation of ideas and companies, with a focus on supporting young entrepreneurs and establishing ideas and companies for the Bioeconomy and Circular Economy market; and
- MODULE 4. Business Centre: dedicated to business hosting, setting up companies, R&DT centres and technological scale-up in an industrialisation.
To lead in R&D+i, regarding the development of solutions for biorefineries and bioindustries; as well as in the creation of policies for the valorisation of natural resources and mass flows, resulting from economic activity for the generation of high added value bioproducts, based on the Circular Economy concept.
To stimulate Bioeconomy and "Smart Regions" concepts for the settling of critical mass and young people in inner regions and to solve environmental/education problems and the lack of technological implementation in the agroforestry and agro-food sectors, turning them into opportunities.
To establish a link among stakeholders and decision-making agents, companies, technology centres and the academia.
To promote a new vision of innovation, research, science, creativity, quality and entrepreneurship, fostering the emergence of new business ideas and a new generation of entrepreneurs.
- College of Management and Technology of Oliveira do Hospital - IPC
- Institute of Catalysis and Petrochemistry
- National Laboratory of Energy and Geology
- Municipality of Oliveira do Hospital
- Portuguese Catholic University
- University of Coimbra
- University of Minho
- CECOLAB - Collaborative Laboratory Towards Circular Economy
- Develop and apply technical-scientific knowledge to problems and opportunities related to territory exploitation;
- Establish young critical mass;
- Leverage the economy activity through its own resources;
- Improve the population quality of life; and
- Promote the sustainable use of the territory in a SMART and efficient way, focusing on the Circular Economy concept to increase the economy activity efficiency.
- RegioStars Award, given by the European Commission, in the "Sustainable Growth: Circular Economy" category (2016);
- Top 10 Best Incubators in Europe, by The University Business Incubator (UBI) and by I3P - Business Incubator of Turin Polytechnic (2015);
- Top 25 Best Incubators in the World, by The University Business Incubator (UBI) and I3P - Turin Polytechnic Business Incubator (2015);
- "30 Most Important Brands of the Beira Serra Region" Award, by Rádio Boa Nova (2015);
- 2nd Place in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards - EEPA, in the area of "Support for the development of green markets and resource efficiency" (2014);
- Excellence Award: Technology and Innovation, awarded by Caixa Agrícola (2013).