Portimão Council has provided a 22,000sqm patch of land to the University of the Algarve to build a new university campus in the town, dedicated to “new technologies and innovation.”
The announcement came from Portimão Mayor Isilda Gomes on Wednesday, August 10 at the fifth anniversary of StartUp Portimão, a business incubator set up five years ago at the Algarve International Racetrack to help budding businesses flourish.
The land is located in Barranco do Rodrigo – an area which was once earmarked for a huge sports complex including a football stadium, an Olympic pool, a multiuse pavilion and a large shopping centre.
Said Gomes, the 22,000sqm plot is now available for the construction of a “university campus and residences, which would bring completely new elan not only to Portimão, but the whole Barlavento (Western Algarve).”
Part of the investment needed to build the new campus may even be covered by community funding via the CRESC Algarve 2020, said José Apolinário, president of the Regional Development and Coordination Commission (CCDR Algarve).
However, further information on the project – such as how much it will cost, when construction is expected to begin and when it is due to open – has not been revealed so far.
“Digital is the future”
For Isilda Gomes, “digital is the future and we cannot be left behind.”
Other new plans were also revealed, such as the opening of a new co-working space very soon as well as a new startup business incubator, “always with the goal of providing our citizens with the means and capacity to continue progressing and working to be the best,” said the mayor.
Gomes also said that StartUp Portimão – which has seen the launch of 25 startup companies since it was created five years ago – is a “dream come true that was born from the need to create spaces of dynamism, innovation and common learning, where youngsters can create and recreate.”
Meanwhile, Paulo Pinheiro, CEO of Parkalgar (the company that manages the racetrack), expressed a desire to “continue blazing this trail together” with StartUp Portimão.
StartUp Portimão was created on August 10, 2017 from a partnership involving Portimão Council, AIA and consulting firm Territórios Criativos in a bid to welcome companies and activities in the smart cities, energy, mobility, tourism, governance, quality of life and smart farming sectors. It provides services such as training, networking, workshops and mentorships.