The 'Innovation District' is a project from NOVA University of Lisbon and a group of owners of the area of Monte da Caparica and Porto Brandão that promises a new centrality and the internationalisation of the Greater Lisbon region.
"The main asset to succeed in the knowledge economy is people, their talent and the networks they establish among themselves. This is the genesis of the 'Innovation District'", said the vice-rector of NOVA University of Lisbon, José Ferreira Machado, who said he believed the first phase of the project would be completed within ten years, by 2030.
And, as people need "places to live and interact, places where they can live, work, talk and enjoy their leisure time", "cities like the one that will be born in Almada and that will strengthen the internationalisation of the greater Lisbon region" are necessary, he added.
The vice-rector of Universidade NOVA de Lisboa also said that some projects, such as the works on the campus of the Faculty of Science and Technology - construction of the sports facilities, of a commercial surface and phase I of the innovation 'hub' - should begin this year, given that part of the funding is from the EU and must be completed by the end of 2023.
At the presentation of the project, the Mayor of Almada, Inês de Medeiros (PS), highlighted the involvement of public and private, national and foreign investors, in adapting what were their initial projects into a more ambitious common project, within the scope of a common strategy between the municipality and the investors.
According to the promoters, the 'Innovation District' will be "a unique and plural city, designed to raise the quality of life of each of its inhabitants", based on the `live-work-play' concept, and the various points of attraction will be within a short distance of 15 minutes.
"Having as central point the Campus of NOVA School of Science & Technology [FCT], the 'Innovation District' intends to be a new centrality that places knowledge, qualified talent and innovation as an engine of development and urban transformation," says a note distributed to journalists in the `online' presentation of the project to be developed in the municipality of Almada, Setúbal district.
Also according to the promoters, it is also intended that the 'Innovation District' becomes, "as a space for innovation, attractive for companies and people, contributing to promote the development of the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon and leveraging its internationalisation potential".
Moreover, they add, it is a project focused on creating a creative, diverse, energetic and sustainable community, inspired by a better quality of life".
Among the owners and investors who have shown interest in the innovative potential of the 'Innovation District' are the companies Cordialequation, Rustik Puzzle, SOSTATE, Maia e Pereira, Cooperativa de Ensino Superior Egas Moniz, Emerging Ocean, Rio Capital, Orbisribalta and the Serra Henriques Foundation.
Alongside the promised investment of 800 million Euros, the Innovation District should also benefit from new accessibility and a set of public infrastructures, namely the rehabilitation of Porto Brandão and the extension of the South Tejo Metro to Costa da Caparica.
The presentation of the project did not mention any cost estimate or deadline for these public investments, which are fundamental for the realisation of the 'Innovation District'.