Fundão is located in Castelo Branco District, Centro region (NUT II), Cova da Beira sub-region (NUT III). Just over 250 kilometers from Lisbon, this small city wants to be the “home” of new information technologies.
Over the years, the Municipality of Fundão has been investing in a strategy to attract investment, create jobs and foster innovation with the aim of promoting the diversification of the local economy and a socioeconomic development adapted to the dynamics of the current economy, marked by globalisation and digitalisation.
In this sense, Fundão focused its strategy on creating an ecosystem that would facilitate attracting investment, fixing people, creating jobs and conquering new markets for companies, products and services.
This plan, known as Fundão's Innovation Plan, aimed to act decisively on all factors that contribute to the competitiveness and attractiveness of a territory.
It was addressed not only to the more traditional sectors of the local and regional economy, such as agri-food, textile industry and precision metalworking industry or tourism, but also and very specifically to sectors and activities that until recently seemed alien to this territory, such as the software development, robotics or the installation of technology-based service centres.
Today, Fundão has a creative ecosystem of open innovation with a set of skills and services that pass through enterprise hosting areas; cowork and incubation spaces; an integrated Fab Lab certified by the worldwide network; a Business and Services Center that meets the best technical and safety standards required by the sector; an Advanced Training Center that works on the skills required by companies and where there is an initiative for converting the unemployed to computer programmers; the Agrotech IoT Center; the Temporary Work Reception Center; and a Software Verification, Validation and Certification Center.
As a result of this strategy, it was possible to capture to Fundão some investments that today are concrete signs of a new reality: the advantage of working from this region to any point in the world, integrating a value chain of productive processes, that run at a global scale and that here find the added value.
Since the announcement of the Innovation Plan, more than 700 jobs in the technology sector have been created in Fundão, establishing companies that export much of the knowledge produced. There are already 13 companies in the ICT sector that chosen the municipality of Fundão to establish themselves, some of them multinationals, such as Altran.
Over the past few years, Fundão has managed to assert itself as a favorable destination for investment and innovation, and this has been evidenced on several occasions: 1st place in the European Business Development Awards 2015, promoted in Portugal by IAPMEI; ranking as Municipality of the Year as a result of the integrated ecosystem for attracting investment and supporting investors in 2016; and most recently as the winner of Regiostars 2018 promoted by the European Commission.