COTEC-BPI SME Innovation Award marks 20 years with new image

Applications open for the 20th edition of the Prize

  • The Award distinguishes national SMEs that stand out for their virtuous cycle of innovation: financial strength, investment in knowledge and growth through internationalization;
  • The Award marks two decades of existence and has already distinguished 24 companies in different sectors of activity, several of which have already surpassed the SME scale;
  • As the award with the greatest longevity and demand in the field of Business Innovation, a new image marks the celebration of the twentieth edition;
  • Applications are open until September 10th.

COTEC Portugal, a business association for innovation, announces the 20th Edition of the COTEC-BPI SME Innovation Award, an initiative that distinguishes SME companies that stand out for their unequivocal competitiveness and international growth based on leadership oriented towards the use of knowledge and innovation in production processes, management practices and the creation of a distinctive organizational culture. Applications are open until September 10th and can be formalized through the initiative’s website.

Launched following the founding of COTEC Portugal, the Award marks two decades of existence, during which 24 companies were distinguished from sectors such as the Agro-food and manufacturing industry, Pharmaceuticals, and information technologies, among several others. In the 2012-2022 decade, the various economic and social crises did not prevent the winning companies from maintaining their commitment to innovation and growth thus registering an average growth of 8% in turnover. Of this group, 14% went from the ‘Medium‘ to ‘Midcap‘ scale (turnover above €50M) and more than half went from ‘Small‘ to ‘Medium‘ (crossing the €10 M barrier).

The COTEC BPI PME Innovation Award is the longest-running and most demanding initiative in the field of business innovation. To celebrate its twentieth anniversary, COTEC Portugal created a new image for the Award, which pays homage to the capacity for growth, and the creative, multifaceted and diverse spirit of Portuguese SMEs.

“The 20th Edition of the COTEC-BPI PME Innovation Award is a significant milestone in fulfilling our mission of giving visibility and recognition to notable cases of investment in knowledge, human capital, innovation and international growth as critical factors of competitiveness and sustainability of Portuguese SMEs. By recognizing the inspiration of the best of the best, the Award constitutes a beacon of the evolution and adaptation of companies to compete successfully in the global economy and encourages leaders to seek to establish new levels of ambition. we distinguished 24 companies that today have reached the leadership of international markets in their sectors. We invite all companies to submit their applications by September 10th and thus join this legacy of great demand, prestige and success “ says Jorge Portugal, General Director from COTEC.

The winning companies
In the last three editions, the Prize received an average of 200 applications. Over the two decades, 24 companies from different economic sectors were distinguished, such as information technologies, engineering services, agri-food, sustainable mobility, technical textiles, robotics, automation and pharmaceuticals – all characterized by growth based on talent, intangible assets and innovation.

These companies stand out for their ability to continually innovate and maintain sustainable growth in international markets. The list of 24 distinguished companies includes names such as Critical Software, Ebankit and Inetum.

Finalists with strict selection criteria
The selection of companies is based on demanding criteria for investment in knowledge and innovation, high economic performance and financial strength.

To analyze these parameters, after the initial selection phase, finalist SMEs will have to complete the Innovation Scoring maturity model, a diagnostic system that COTEC Portugal developed to analyze business innovation performance. Subsequently, they receive a face-to-face visit to confirm and collect additional information, which will be used by the Jury to elect the winning SME.
The Jury for this edition is chaired by Ana Rosas Oliveira (BPI) and composed of Ana Teresa Lehmann (Faculty of Economics – University of Porto), António Portela (BIAL), Carlos Oliveira (European Innovation Council), João Bigote (University of Coimbra), José Carlos Caldeira (INESC TEC), Lua Queiroz Pereira (Semapa), Manuel Mira Godinho (ISEG) and Manuela Tavares de Sousa (Imperial).

About COTEC Portugal
COTEC Portugal, a business association for innovation, has the mission of contributing to the growth and increased competitiveness of companies located in Portugal through the development and dissemination of culture and practice of innovation, cooperation and economic valorization of endogenous scientific knowledge and support for execution of public policies.

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