• David Nunes Resende University of Aveiro ESTGA - Technology and Management School of Agueda GOVCOPP - Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies research Center. http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7206-9021
  • Marco Bravo University of Texas - IC2 Institute




Technology Commercialization, University Industry Relationship, Technology Valoriza-tion, Technology Transfer, Innovation Ecosystems


The objective of this article is to present a successful program that built a National Innovation Network based in the University Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs), incubators and science parks.The University Technology Enterprise Network (UTEN), which was launched in March 2007, includes 15 Portuguese Universities and select international partners in a 5-Year program funded by the Portuguese government. The main objective has been to accelerate the development of a sustainable, globally competitive, professional technology transfer and commercialization network within Portugal to increase Portugal’s international competitiveness in university–based science, and technology transfer and commercialization. We argue that all initiatives taken place in the project have gotten UTEN network presently run in the Open Innovation paradigm fostered mostly by the TTOs and their own networks and officers. Science and technology based entrepreneurship was increasingly seen as a key element of Portugal’s ability to grow and prosper (UTEN, 2012). Research universities had worked to foster a range of technology transfer and commercialization activities and offices, together with industrial liaison programs, mostly devoted to fostering entrepreneurial environments, launching technology based start-ups, and bringing ideas from the laboratory to the market. UTEN was created to synergize this growth and stimulate new competencies in international technology transfer and commercialization to facilitate industry access to leading markets worldwide. In other words, UTEN is the living example of an Innovation network - an Open Innovation Network launched to contribute to build the necessary relationships between all actors, giving them the necessary knowledge to play their roles. This working paper shows the actions taken to construct UTEN and improve the Portuguese Innovation Ecosystem. These actions follows the patterns observed in other studies – essentially those ones from Resende et al, 2013; McAdam et al., 2012; Philpott et al., 2011; Todorovic et al., 2011; Rogers, 2002; Rogers et al., 2001; Rogers et al., 2000 and Gibson and Rogers, 1994.We have collected data that shows the success of the program based on the results of the first five years of the project.


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Author Biographies

David Nunes Resende, University of Aveiro ESTGA - Technology and Management School of Agueda GOVCOPP - Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies research Center.

Biographical notes: Dr David Resende has finished his Post-Doc Research Project in 2014 at IC2 Institute - University of Texas at Austin. He has been using Multi-Stage Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) in his quantitative assessment of Technology Transfer Offices in US. He also teaches in the School of Technology and Management of Águeda at University of Aveiro in Portugal. His research interests include management of technology transfer (TT), cross-cultural studies in TT, and user centered innovation in open innovation paradigm. He is member of the international editorial board of The Innovation and Technology Management Review, member of the University-Technology Enterprise Network (UTEN), Researcher at GOVCOPP Research Unit (Governance,Competitiveness and Public Policy) at University of Aveiro, and Member of the FCT scoreboard for the 2014 PhD Studentships in Industry (BDE).
Dr. David Resende graduated in Electronic Engineering (1985). His professional career began in Rio de Janeiro as electronic engineer in big companies (computers and telecom industry) and, at same time, opened his first company in 1986 (he left this company in 1989). In 1992 went to Siemens at Lisbon to work as software Engineer, then went to the aviation industry as a hardware Engineer. In 1995 he created his second company in computing industry, which he left in 2003.
His academic career and research in TT Area started in 1999 with his Master degree in Innovation and knowledge management. His studies in the university-enterprise relationship is an old interest that have come from his previous first steps as entrepreneur in 80s.

Main Specialties: Technology Transfer,
Data Envelopment Analysis,
Innovation Manager,
Entrepreneurship and
User driven Innovation.

Marco Bravo, University of Texas - IC2 Institute

Marco Bravo is a Project Director at the IC² Institute of The University of Texas at Austin. His expertise focuses on entrepreneurial wealth creation, international innovation, and global technology commercialization.

He is an engineer with diverse international experience and education, as well as significant leadership and managerial experience in multinational business, consulting, academia, government, and startups with extensive cross-cultural literacy in Europe and the US.

As an entrepreneur, Marco has co-founded three companies, had one successful exit, and a business angel fund, and actively mentored 120+ technology startups and entrepreneurs from multiple countries.

He has graduate studies from reputable schools in Europe and the US, namely University of Minho, Mikkeli Polytechnic, Hannover University, Technical University of Lisbon, Carnegie Mellon University, and The University of Texas at Austin.

Before coming to the University of Texas Marco Bravo has been a scholar at the University of Minho and at the Engineering School of the University of Porto. In industry, he has worked at Continental AG in Germany and in Portugal, first as Production Superintendent and later as Production Department Manager where he was responsible for 350+ employees and €10+ million budget, leading change and reengineering processes. Afterwards, Marco Bravo has been Advisor and Chief of Staff of the State Secretary for Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Portuguese Government where he co-developed and implemented national policies on scientific development and technology commercialization expansion, leading to Portugal being the fastest growing European country in Science and Technology development. He was also the National Project Coordinator of the European-wide Eureka Program, having multiplied the number of R&D projects by a factor of three. He was co-responsible for developing the International Partnerships Program in S&T between Portugal and MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, The University of Texas at Austin, Fraunhofer Institute, and Harvard Medical School. He also led the creation of UTEN (University Technology Enterprise Network), a global initiative for the promotion of technology transfer and commercialization.

Being a frequent invited speaker at thematic events, Marco Bravo has published in peer-reviewed journals and been nominated Kozmetsky Scholar for academic excellence and the outstanding student of the MsC in Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin. Furthermore, he has been honoured by the Portuguese Engineers Association with the “Best Thesis 2001″ and the “Innovation Young Engineer 2000″ awards. He has also been distinguished as the best Engineering student of University of Minho and bestowed with the merit prize of the Portuguese Universities as a student of excellence and honoured with the “University – Industry” award by the Industrial Association of Minho. For three years in a row Marco Bravo has additionally been recognized with the Scholar Prize of the University of Minho and has been acknowledged with the Merit Prize of the Martins Sarmento Society.




How to Cite

Resende, D. N., & Bravo, M. (2016). A TOP-DOWN AND BOTTOM-UP APPROACH TO IMPROVE REGIONAL INNOVATION ECOSYSTEMS IN PORTUGAL. Brazilian Journal of Operations & Production Management, 13(1), 86–93. https://doi.org/10.14488/BJOPM.2016.v13.n1.a10