The city-birthplace is one of the medium-sized cities of the country that has taken a leading role in attractiveness and competitiveness, or in its appreciation of its singularities and thematic capacity, or in attracting and endowing the urban space with relevant equipment and services. With a total area of 241.05 km², distributed throughout its 48 parishes, it is a densely populated county with about 160,000 inhabitants, being one of the youngest in Europe. In the academic field, AvePark becomes an essential pillar with a pole that can cover more than 20 thousand students and 1100 professors from the Minho University.
Located in the Braga District, the municipality of Guimarães belongs to the sub-region of Vale do Ave. Its location was fundamental for the installation of this great pole of innovation, science and technology, generating multiple contributions for the development of the region and with impact worldwide. The AvePark is located in a huge valley of the parishes of Caldelas and S. Cláudio de Barco, in Guimarães, and comprises a geographical area of 360 000 m2. It currently covers about 20 companies employing more than 500 skilled people. Among the institutions of this innovative habitat are 3B’s, Farfetch, SpinPark, IPCA, TecPark and other SMEs. In the future, it will open doors to more companies that are already in the process of changing facilities and with one of the most desirable addresses of the Guimarães economy.
The Guimarães Municipality presents itself as the managing entity of the Science and Technology Park, providing the space for logistics for large companies and institutes of innovation and science. The AvePark also has as common spaces a restaurant, auditorium, conference and meeting rooms and hundreds of parking places.
Between 2019/2020, two important institutes will be installed in this Technology Science Park. The European Institute of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, the first European Center of Excellence in Portugal, and the Institute of Nanotechnology, Nanomodeling and Nanofabrication, with the imprints of Portuguese teaching institutions from north to south of the country such as the Universities of Aveiro, Minho and Nova de Lisboa.
Currently, the municipality of Guimarães constitutes one of the most industrialized regions of the country and, consequently, an employer of abundant labor in the secondary sector. Innovation/knowledge, industrialization and competitiveness are considered fundamental, definition of rules of urban intervention, compatibility of the industrial fabric, and articulation with the various promoters. It aims at a functional and sustainable interaction, taking into account ecological and environmental, improvement of infrastructure/restructuring.
The AvePark was built around three important decisive factors for its development for city council:
▐ Needs of the last decades:
• Training and tertiarization of sectors.
• Good internal accessibility and access to high density roads.
• Internationalization and instrumentalization of Vale do Ave.
▐ Important steps for territorial affirmation:
• Important equipment such as Hospital, University or Cultural Center.
• Planning and management of the city and territory
• Improvement in access roads, railways and municipal roads.
• Positive contamination by agents and external actors in the region.
▐ For the Future:
• Promotion, specialization and qualification of the business sectors installed in the municipality.
• Support to higher education institutions, R & D, technology centers and business areas.