In this month’s edition of “A chat with companies”, we were joined by Eduardo Soares, Head of Innovation at Amorim Cork Composites. “It’s crucial to understand the role and missions of each institution, and the obligations that arise from them, in order to efficiently manage everyone’s role in our society.”, as referred by our guest.
Q: What’s the importance of Amorim’s relationship with the scientific and technologic community?
A: Amorim Cork Composites’ innovation and product development strategy is highly focused on differentiating and sustainable value creation, due to the nature of its raw material, cork. We believe in the unique features of this material as an unlimited source of research and curiosity. Thus, at the centre of our activities, we find the partnerships with the scientific and technologic environment, driven by open innovation and multidepartment search for knowledge. From chemistry, to material technologies, biology and mechanics, we search for synergies that complement our portfolio and create added value in the common creation for solutions to challenges.
Q: How have Amorim and the University of Porto been collaborating?
A: The most common ways of interaction are R&D projects, internships, postgraduate courses and job fairs. Proximity to academia is valued and highlighted in our institution. Not only in research and cooperation, but also in the attraction of qualified human resources to our activity. We are always available to welcome new proposals for interactions that might streamline and enhance the best outcome for all parts involved.
Q: What are the main challenges these two players face, in what concerns national innovation?
A: It’s crucial to understand the role and missions of each institution, and the obligations that arise from them, in order to efficiently manage everyone’s role in our society.
If Amorim Cork Composites’ role is centered in the valorisation of cork and the sustainable creation of value for its shareholders, the role of the University will always be to train human resources, develop research, enhance and strengthen its position in academia and raise public or private investment. The overall challenge is that we have increasingly fewer people on both sides that have had mixed experiences or backgrounds in both corporate and academic settings. These individuals are key as communication facilitators, to improve mutual understanding.
It is also essential that Amorim Cork Composites is able to convey to the University of Porto some of the company’s tech challenges, in order for them to be fostered and developed by the university. This requires the strengthening of the open innovation and knowledge sharing spirit from both institutions.