Minister visits Algarve’s most “innovative” projects

Regional Development Minister Miguel Poiares Maduro visited the Algarve yesterday (September 9) as part of a national tour called ‘Inovação Social’, designed to present the minister with the “best examples of innovation” across the country.

His first stop included a visit to Querença – the small village in Loulé which has been basking in positive media attention for its ongoing initiative, entitled ‘Projecto Querença’, to make the most of the region’s interior and its many traditions.

Examples include the Querença energy bar (BEQ) – made up entirely of Algarvean products (click here) – and the Querença Trail Running Association.

His second stop was the CASA charity in Faro, a support centre providing food, clothing and necessary items for underprivileged families, elderly and the homeless across the Algarve.

That’s where he learned about the ‘Mercearia Solidária’ project, which plans to provide food for “300 underprivileged families”, and ‘Teto de Abrigo’, designed to provide solutions for homeless people.

Upon his visit, the minister said that “now is the right time to promote social innovation by using community funding” from the Portugal 2020 programme.

“We have €150 million available which gives Portugal a chance to be at the frontline of social innovation,” he said, adding that the projects he visited in the Algarve can be “replicated” anywhere else in the country.

The minister was expected to complete his two-day tour today with visits to the Alentejo, centre and north regions.
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