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  • The project
    The PTTI project – National Technology Transfer Initiative in Portugal - gathers Instituto Pedro Nunes (IPN), the Space Office of Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) and the European Space Agency (ESA) for a collaboration with the general goal of strengthening the competitiveness of the Portuguese space industry by supporting and facilitating the transfer of space technologies to non-space markets.
  • The collaboration
    This collaboration rises in the scope of ESA's Technology Transfer Programme Office (TTPO) support to technology transfer initiatives in certain ESA Member States through National Technology Transfer Initiatives. In the project, while all funding is made available by ESA, IPN is charged of the management and implementation of the project, with the support of FCT.
  • The purpose
    The project encompasses the publication of open competitive calls at national level, aiming primarily at Portuguese entities working and developing technologies in the area of space.
  • The benefits
    The project is designed to reach several beneficiaries/stakeholders: space technology firms, which may benefit from funding for technology transfers; universities and research centres, whose involvement may lead to partnerships in business and projects; the business sector in general, accessing state-of-the-art technologies; and the general public, whose awareness about the quality of the Portuguese space industry is to come out reinforced with the project.
The European Space Agency is an international organisation with 19 Member States whose mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. Its job is to draw up the European space programme and carry it through. ESA's programmes are designed to find out more about Earth, its immediate space environment, our Solar System and the Universe, as well as to develop satellite-based technologies and services, and to promote European industries.
ESA's Technology Transfer Programme Office (TTPO) supports technology transfer initiatives in certain ESA Member States through the National Technology Transfer Network Initiative (NTTI). National initiatives focus on their respective countries and facilitate transfers by matching requests for specialised technologies from the national non-space sector with technology descriptions provided by the national space industry. The NTTI also addresses the need for funding and other support and may involve local companies to provide this.
The main mission of the FCT Space Office is to fully explore the benefits of the Portuguese participation in European space programmes, particularly in ESA space programmes.

In order to fulfill its mission the FCT Space Office is set to:
  • Monitor the participation of Portuguese academia and industry in European and international space programmes while providing recommendations relevant to the implementation of national scientific and technological initiatives and programmes;
  • Contribute to the maintenance of a level of national contribution to ESA and to other international organizations commensurate with the ambitions and capacities of the scientific and industrial communities in line with the policies established for the space domain;
  • Explore the synergies established with other international organizations of which Portugal is a member and, simultaneously, promote bidirectional technology transfer to other economic activity sectors;
  • Promote the visibility and competitiveness of the Portuguese space sector alongside the main European and international partners;
  • Act as the Industrial Liaison Office, promoting the participation of the national industry in the technological activities of the major International Scientific Organizations of which Portugal is a member state (such as ESA, CERN, ESO and ESRF).
Instituto Pedro Nunes – Association for Innovation and R&D in Science and Technology is a non-profit private organization founded in 1991. IPN is a leading incubator and technology transfer institute in the Portuguese innovation ecosystem. It promotes innovation and technology transfer, being the main link between the University of Coimbra and the business sector. IPN’s work also encompasses R&TD in partnerships with companies, specialized training, dissemination of scientific and technological knowledge and support to start-up and spin-off tech companies, as well as advanced services on Intellectual Property (training, pre-diagnosis, patentability analysis and patent request preparation, support to negotiation and management of intellectual assets).

So far, the activity of technology transfer spanned across multiple areas (health,…), having participated in more than 200 R&TD projects in consortia or contracts, carried out dozens of technology transfer contracts, some leading to patented products, for more than 200 companies.
Through its business incubator, created in 1996, IPN has supported the creation and development of more than 180 technology and/or innovation-based projects with nationally and internationally distinguished results. The IPN incubator has actually won the “Best Science-based Incubator Award”, a worldwide contest organized by Technopolicy Network.

In the space sector, IPN has incubated some of the leading Portuguese space firms, such as Critical Software and Active Space Technologies, and has R&TD projects with major Portuguese players, for example EFACEC or Amorim Cork Composites.

At international level, IPN actively participates in the international networks EARTO (European Association of Research and Technological Organizations), TII (European Association for the Transfer of Technologies) and EBN (European Business Network), being an EBN accredited BIC.