Travel broadens the mind and stimulates the imagination. It is a great way to learn. In February 2017, CIIM Masters’ students have had an opportunity to learn about innovation and entrepreneurship via a field trip to Lisbon.

Portugal has the fastest annual growth rate in innovation performance in EU. According to the recent Global Competitiveness Report, Portugal is now N36 out of 144 countries, as compared to N51 in 2013-2014. Portugal is currently in the top 20 countries in terms of availability of latest technologies, FDI & TT, and in the top 25 in terms of collaborative innovation. Portugal has defined 17 sectors for its specialization within EU, and N1 is Aeronautics and Space. Other sectors include Creative Industries, Services (including Education), Agrofood, Healthcare, Tourism and Cultural Heritage, Sustainable Construction, and others.

The educational activities of the CIIM trip were spread over 3 days and included the following:

  • Visit to a leading Portuguese company in the aerospace sector DEIMOS Engenharia where we had the presentation by the General Director about the company and the presentation of a Case Study of one of the technologies: MyFARM (using the Value Creation Wheel Methodology) by the Innovation Manager.
  • Visit to the Portuguese Innovation Agency ANI – Agência Nacional de Inovação , a government organization which is in charge of promoting innovation practices in Portugal, where we had two presentations on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
  • Tour of the ISCTE University by the representatives of the International Office
  • Seminar at ISCTE with Executive Director of Building Global Innovators – IUL MIT Portugal Accelerator (BGI) Mr Gonçalo Amorim. BGI is a technology accelerator in cooperation between ISCTE and MIT.
  • Visit to the NOVA School of Business and Economics where we had a lecture on “VCW – Value Creation Wheel” by Prof Luis Lages & an interactive workshop with the NOVA students
  • Visit to ‘Chapito a mesa’ – a social entrepreneurship initiative, an arts and circus school, which among its business activities hosts a famous restaurant ranked as N7 in the world for best view. We met with one of the managers of this social project, which includes programmes for troubled youngsters and lonely elderly people (68+) to help them re-discover themselves and find their place in the society.
  • Visit to the Start-Up Lisboa, a business incubator in the downtown Lisbon.

The cultural activities of the 4-day trip were also many. Visits to the central square of Lisbon Praca do Comercio, the beautiful Eduardo VII Park, the magnificent central street Avenida da Liberdade, the medieval Lisbon Cathedral in the old town, the beautiful Jerónimos Monastery where Vasco da Gama is buried, the oldest and most famous confectionery store in Lisbon Pastéis de Belém which makes unique custard tarts, the powerful Tower of Belém, the impressive Monument of the Discoveries, the modern EXPO area (with its Vasco da Gama shopping mall, park, teleferik and Oceanarium), the old St George castle, and the Alfama (the old part of Lisbon) with its many narrow and twisting streets.

Amazing team –in an amazing country – so many amazing experiences!!

The trip was organized by Dr Olga Kandinskaia, CIIM MSc Management Director.

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