UPTEC in European consortium worth three million euros to support tourism companies in the digital and green transition

UPTEC_15 YEARS_Final Party

UPTEC is the only Portuguese partner in the European Commission project ST3ER that aims to support 200 SMEs

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UPTEC @ Web Summit

UPTEC – Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto, was one of the partners chosen by the European Commission to join the ST3ER project and will have close to 600 thousand euros in funding available to support companies in the tourism sector for the digital and energy transition – twin transition.

ST3ER – Scaling Twin Transition in Tourism by harnessing the Experience Economy for greater Resilience  takes place within the scope of the COSME program – Competitiveness of Companies and Small and Medium Enterprises, from the European Commission, and will have six partners in five countries (Ireland, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain and Denmark), with UPTEC being the only Portuguese partner, and which will be responsible for managing open calls for Small and Medium Enterprises ( SMEs) in the tourism sector to finance the respective projects.

With a duration of 36 months, and having started in September of this year, this project has a total budget of more than three million euros, financed between 90% and 100%, depending on the type of action. UPTEC will have 575,157.00 euros of available funding, and a large part of this amount – more than 400,000.00 euros – will be 100% financed, supporting the companies’ projects to be awarded within the scope of open calls.

ST3ER aims to support more than 200 SMEs in these five countries through specific measures, including 38 workshops, bootcamps, learning modules, international innovation forums, deep-dives, intersectoral meetings, round tables, 21 thousand hours of mentoring, maturity assessments digital and 32 matchmaking/B2B meetings, also sponsoring 70 innovation projects, and providing more than 20 examples of good practices that can reach more than 850 stakeholders, who will be able to replicate and transmit the knowledge acquired through this project.

SMEs selected for this program will benefit from advanced business support models, which aim to improve practices by implementing new systems, structures and tools, as well as innovation methods based on the challenges of carbon reduction, based on case studies and examples of intersectoral and interterritorial models.

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Maria Moura Oliveira representing UPTEC at ST3ER kick-off, in Furbogh (Galway, Irlanda)

For UPTEC’s Business Development Director, Maria Moura Oliveira, this investment in the areas of tourism and innovation enhances the best that Portugal has to offer. “With this consortium that UPTEC has just joined – the only Portuguese entity – companies in the tourism sector will find tools and support to leverage their projects. Tourism has been one of the areas that contributes most to the Portuguese GDP, and it is essential to combine this strength and vivacity with the ability that the Portuguese, and in particular their startups, must innovate, and find new paths for a digital and energy transition that is more efficient and sustainable”.

Interested Small and Medium-sized Companies can leave their declaration of interest here.

About the COSME Program

COSME was the European Commission’s program for the competitiveness of companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 2014-2020. For 2021-2027, its activities were integrated into the broader internal market programme, with financial instruments integrated into InvestEU.

The program aims to facilitate SMEs’ access to financing at different life cycle stages. Creating, expanding or transferring companies through the Loan Guarantee Facility and the Equity for Growth Facility, supporting internationalization and access to markets, helping SMEs benefit from the European Union (EU) internal market and opportunities in markets outside the EU.

COSME co-founded the Business Europe Network (to help SMEs find partners for business or technology purposes) and funded web tools (‘Your Europe — Business’ portal, the SME internationalization portal, and contact centres for SME for defending intellectual property rights) to provide advice on intellectual property rights, standards and public procurement rules.

COSME also aims to create an enabling environment for competitiveness by reducing unnecessary administrative and regulatory burdens (e.g. measuring the impact of EU legislation on SMEs and developing intelligent, business-friendly legislation), helping SMEs to adopt new business models and promoting hubs of excellence as well as digital skills and leadership, and encouraging a business culture: mobility exchanges, research, dissemination of good practices and pilot actions.

COSME was designed to implement the “Small Business Act”, reflecting recognition of the central role played by SMEs in the EU economy.

December 6th 2023

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