The European Prize RegioStars was awarded today in Brussels to the Business Center of Fundão, which created 500 skilled jobs after a bet on attracting technology to that county in the district of Castelo Branco.
In four years, Fundão’s Business and Shared Services Center (CNSP) has attracted 14 information technology companies, created more than 500 jobs and boosted an ecosystem that generated 68 startups and projects, in addition to the implementation of Intensive programs of conversion of unemployed into computer programmers, which already covered 240 people (50% without university education and a 97% employability rate).
The CNSP was among the finalists of the RegioStars 2018 awards, an award with which the European Commission distinguishes innovative projects and good regional development practices, supported by European funds.
The Câmara do Fundão project won in the category of support for the intelligent industrial transition.
The prizes will be delivered during the RegioStars Awards ceremony, taking place today, in Square, Brussels.
Portugal was also awarded the Public Choice award, with the requalification project of Vista Alegre, in the municipality of Ílhavo, where the porcelain factory was founded in the 19th century.
The other projects recognized with this award are: TeKiDe, from Finland, which creates new products through the recycling of textile fiber (category of transition to a low carbon economy); a social housing project in the city of Ostrava, Czech Republic (better access to public services); a labor and social integration program for refugees in the region of Murcia, Spain (response to the challenges of migration); conversion of the mining village of Nant Gwrtheyrn, Wales, into a cultural center (investment in cultural heritage).
According to Ana Abrunhosa, the president of the Commission for Regional Coordination and Regional Development of the Center (CCDRC), the Fundão project “shows that, with leadership, strategy, focus, partnership, there is in fact a it does not have to go only through the traditional sectors, but through the cutting edge sectors “.
From the refunctionalization of a multipurpose pavilion and the installation of the first technological, everything else “was a snowball”, managed to attract “qualified cadres, other companies and forced to have a rental market and services of health quality and education, “said Ana Abrunhosa.
The Fundão project involved an investment of 2.4 million euros (with the support of community funds) and consisted in the transformation of a multipurpose pavilion with 15 years in the CNSP, which today is home to hundreds of computer programmers.
Portugal was the country with the most projects among the 21 RegioStars finalists, with two from the North and two from the Center.
I3S and the Fundão Business and Shared Services Center competed in the category of support for the intelligent industrial transition, the Kastelo project in the area of better access to public services and the Vista Alegre Museum in the category of investment in cultural heritage.
Portugal was also represented in the international project ClimACT, a consortium of nine European institutions led by Instituto Superior Técnico, in Lisbon.