The city of Porto and some of the surrounding areas of northern Portugal are fortunate enough to have very high quality Universities, in particular for engineering and other more practical areas. It means that for businesses that are located in or around Porto that are connected with engineering, manufacturing, software development and so on, there is a good talent pool available and it is one of the key attractions for locating a business here, particularly given the fact that this talent comes at a lower cost than many other locations in Europe – an engineering graduate might look to earn €18,000 gross in a good quality first job for example. Furthermore, the level of English spoken by engineering graduates is typically extremely high and many courses are not taught partially or entirely in English.
Furthermore a lot of effort has been made in recent years to increase the amount of cooperation between business and universities in northern Portugal, with much of academic funding now being dependent on the university having a business partner for a particular research area.There has been a move away from universities researching more esoteric areas and rather a focus on areas that have direct business applications. It means that university departments now have to make a concerted effort to reach out to businesses and there is a red carpet on permanent standby for any business that is looking for cooperation from a university for research purposes.
A good example of this in Porto is INESC TEC , a research and development institute focuses on technology transfer from universities to businesses. With 13 R&D centres, 650 graduates of which 270 are PhDs their aim is to bring practical solutions to business, mainly for engineering, software development and scientific areas. PortugalWorks took a British client (a software development company) that is looking to invest in Porto there recently and the client said that they were really struck by the contrast in the enthusiasm with which they were met by INESC TEC compared to that typically shown by British universities.
So if your company is interested in locating a subsidiary in a city with a low-cost, high quality pool of engineering graduates, with the opportunity to make productive ties with universities, then please contact us at PortugalWorks and we can organize some visits for you to meet the R&D institutions and universities that Porto has to offer.