Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Porto

The University of Porto is a powerhouse of innovation and entrepreneurship. The university has implemented several measures to support entrepreneurship, creating an environment that encourages students and faculty to think outside the box and transform their ideas into reality.

Measures to Support Entrepreneurship

University of Porto’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship is evident in its numerous initiatives. The university’s Innovation and Technology Transfer Office, UPIN, is a testament to this commitment. UPIN provides support to students, researchers, and faculty members in the commercialization of their innovative ideas, offering services such as intellectual property management, technology transfer, and business development.

In addition to UPIN, another significant initiative by the University of Porto to promote entrepreneurship is the University of Porto Science and Technology Park, also known as UPTEC. UPTEC is a dynamic hub that fosters innovation, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship. It bridges the university and the business world, providing a nurturing environment for startups, researchers, and innovators to develop and commercialize their ideas.

Since beginning its activity in 2007, UPTEC has supported over 700 business projects, created over 6,000 jobs and helped raise more than 25M€ in investments for hundreds of start-ups.


University of Porto’s innovation prowess is also reflected in its impressive patent portfolio. The university leads the international ranking in patenting inventions, a clear indication of its commitment to research commercialization. Between 2017 and 2021, the University of Porto topped the list of international patents originating from Portugal, except for 2020. In 2022 alone, the university filed 57 international invention applications, primarily from the Faculties of Sciences, Engineering, and Pharmacy, covering territories such as Europe, the United States, China, and India.

Successful Spin-offs

University of Porto’s entrepreneurial spirit has given birth to numerous successful spin-offs. These companies, born from the innovative ideas of students and faculty, have made significant contributions to various industries, further enhancing the University of Porto’s reputation as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. Over the years, the University of Porto Innovation has supported more than 90 spin-offs, with an accumulated investment exceeding €900,000 in supported projects.

Here are some of the successful spin-offs and the areas they are operating in:

  1. CORIUM BIOTECH (2023): Corium Biotech is a start-up working on an innovative technology to bio-produce exotic leather from animal cells. They cater to the luxury fashion industry’s need for innovative materials that meet the requirements of luxury leather goods customers. They propose a cruelty-free and eco-friendly exotic leather created in a laboratory.
  2. DIGESTAID (2022): DigestAID leverages the combination of the enthusiasm and expertise of young and senior gastroenterologists with the drive for innovation and skillfulness of an experienced engineering team to take advantage of AI technologies. DigestAID is focused on the development of accurate deep-learning solutions for the detection of digestive lesions. Their aim is to improve GI healthcare.
  3. BE-ERGO (2021): Be-Ergo is a company dedicated to the promotion of Occupational Health with a focus on Corporate Performance. Their intervention promotes the acquisition of safer and healthier habits and behaviors based on three essential areas: Ergonomics, Physiotherapy, and Physical Exercise. With more than 10 years of experience, this spin-off enhances productivity and corporate well-being while also preventing staff illness.
  4. GRIPWISE (2020): Operating in the healthcare sector, GRIPWISE has developed the first integrated and connected system capable of assessing and monitoring frailty in the elderly in a simple and fast way. This innovation aims to maintain the quality of life of the elderly and reduce healthcare costs.
  5. MOOT (2020): MOOT has developed a training support tool for dancers and other practitioners of modalities associated with movement. This tool, which runs on a bilingual digital platform, considers the practitioners’ physical condition and well-being.

Internationalization at the University of Porto
University of Porto's international students

The University of Porto’s influence extends far beyond Portugal’s borders. The university is internationally recognized for its high-quality education and research, attracting students and researchers from around the world. The University of Porto’s internationalization strategy promotes global engagement and fosters international collaborations, further enhancing its global standing.

In the 2021/22 academic year, Portugal welcomed nearly 70,000 international students to its higher education institutions, according to Statistics Portugal. And a large number of students enrolled in the University of Porto because it is one of the top universities in the country, and given its international reputation, it is likely to have a significant share of these international students.

International Ranking

University of Porto’s commitment to excellence is reflected in its impressive ratings. The university consistently ranks among the top 100 European universities and among the top 250 universities in the world. Its strong performance in international rankings is a testament to its high-quality education, innovative research, and commitment to social responsibility.


The University of Porto is much more than a higher education institution. It is a dynamic and vibrant ecosystem that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship, enhances student opportunities, promotes research commercialization, and supports the local and regional economy. The University of Porto is shaping the future of innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe and beyond by hosting the European Innovation Academy on its campus. With more than 450 invention announcements, over 1,000 patent requests submitted, and more than 300 patents registered nationally and internationally, the University of Porto is indeed a beacon of innovation and entrepreneurship.