The 2nd Talk of the National Innovation Prize 2023 took place at Nova SBE's campus in Carcavelos, on April 26. The theme of this event was "Future Tech: the role of innovation in the evolution of companies and the country", which served as the motto for a debate that was moderated by João Maia Abreu, journalist from CNN Portugal, and with four representatives of national companies.
"Innovation goes two ways in Portugal," began Silvia Maria Pires Garcia, Executive Board Member of ANI - National Innovation Agency, in her first intervention in the debate, guaranteeing that, when looking at the traditional sectors of the economy, it is still necessary to "empower and understand".
However, the idea still resists that innovation is bundled with "big tech," which is not entirely true:
"Often, when we talk about innovation, we talk about technology, but innovating is not only that," said Alexandre Ruas, Executive Director of Corporations at Claranet, stressing that innovation should be "at the root" of all organizations. However, it is difficult to create a formula, since all organizations have their size and resources: "it is very important for companies to have two things - a vision where innovation comes in, and leadership [management]". He also said that in every company that wants to innovate there are still two essential factors: experimentation and tolerance for error.
Departing the same premise, Fernando Vieira de Almeida, Partner Responsible for the Transactional IP Area at Vieira de Almeida, added that "we need innovation in the way we do it, for whom we do it, to achieve our sustainability. It has to be a differentiation and attractiveness factor" in all companies, even law firms.
Another factor mentioned to help accelerate the innovation process was collaboration, which can catapult the productivity of organizations and the country.
"Lisbon is already the fourth largest European innovation hub and this is already a great mark! One of the things that was talked about here was collaboration, and it makes all the sense to collaborate with start-ups and companies to make it happen", said Teresa Sousa, Manager of the Center for Excellence at BPI, who also gave several examples of innovation in the banking sector.
Considering this idea of collaboration, Silvia Maria Pires Garcia stated that it is essential to have a bridge between Academia and the business world, highlighting "the integration of PhDs in companies": "if we look at Germany or England, the PhDs in companies belong to the staff. They are everywhere".
Watch the debate and the event in full in the video below: