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Fundão

Fundão is part of the Cova Beira region in Portugal, a large and mountainous area where the rural ecosystems play an important role in the economy.

Fundão is located in the district of Castelo Branco, Central region (NUT II), sub-region Cova da Beira (NUT III) and occupies an area of approximately 700km2. With a population of 29,213 inhabitants and a population density of 42 inhabitants/km2.

Over the past few years, the Municipality of Fundão has been investing in a strategy to attract investment, create jobs and foster innovation with the aim of promoting the diversification of the local economy and a socio-economic development adapted to the dynamics of the current economy marked by globalisation and digitalisation.

Fundão focused its strategy on creating an ecosystem that would facilitate the attraction of investment, the retention of people, the creation of jobs and the conquest of new markets for companies, products and services.

This plan was known as Fundão's Innovation Plan and presented as an essential purpose to act decisively on all factors that contribute to the competitiveness and attractiveness of a territory.

It was aimed at the more traditional sectors of the local and regional economy, such as the agri-food industry, the textile and precision metalworking industry or tourism, but also and very specifically at sectors and activities that until recently seemed alien to this territory, such as the development of software, robotics or the installation of technology-based service centres.

Today, Fundão has a creative ecosystem of open innovation with a set of skills and services that go through areas of business reception; spaces for cowork and incubation; an integrated Fab Lab and certified by the world network; a Business and Services Center that meets the best technical standards and security required by the sector; an Advanced Training Centre that acts on the skills required by companies, including the initiative to convert the unemployed to computer programmers; the Agrotech IoT Centre; the Temporary Work Reception Centre; and a Software Verification, Validation and Certification Centre.

Since the announcement of the Innovation Plan in 2013, more than 700 jobs have been created in Fundão in the technology sector, whose companies export much of the knowledge produced.

Over the past few years, Fundão has been able to assert itself as a favourable destination for investment and innovation, and this has been evidenced on several occasions: 1st place in the European Awards for Business Development 2015; classification as Municipality of the Year as a result of the integrated ecosystem of attraction of investment and support to investors in 2016; and more recently as winner of Regiostars 2018 promoted by the European Commission.

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