IPN - Instituto Pedro Nunes

IPN     IPN Incubadora
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Advanced Technology Development Centre

General characterization:
The Advanced Technology Development Centre with 1,900 m2 of gross area, includes spaces of semi-industrial nature, multifunctional, infrastructured from scratch to receive equipment, prototypes and complex systems with industrial typology.

Oriented for the implementation of R&D and Technology Transfer actions with technological maturity status from TRL 4 to 7, focused on IPN's technological domains, and on the priority areas of Circular Economy, Energy Efficiency and Digital Transformation of the Economy.

Characterization of the spaces:
  • The building will consist of the following spaces linked to the LED&MAT and LAS laboratories:
  • Three semi-industrial halls, with approximate dimensions: 45m2, 70m2 and 93 m2, for the areas, respectively, of Automatics and Robotics (LAS), Surface Engineering and Advanced Materials for the Circular Economy and Energy Efficiency (LED&MAT)
  • Tribology Unit, for advanced characterization tests of wear and friction processes of materials and surface engineering solutions (LED&MAT)
  • Polymer Innovation Unit (semi-industrial), for developing industrial projects and processes with companies on new generations of polymers to replace existing solutions with environmental problems (LED&MAT)
  • Rooms for Hardware and Firmware Development for Embedded Systems (LAS)
  • Room for Testing and Validation of prototypes, including external devices for fault introduction (LAS)
  • Room for Certification Support of medical devices (LAS)
  • Collaborative Robotics Room for the development of teleoperation, co-manipulation and trajectory planning systems, among others (LAS)
  • Prototyping room, equipped with 3D printer, laser cutting machine, mechanical lathe, 3-axis milling machine
  • Digital Media rooms, for capturing sound, image and movement, with potential application to areas such as robotics in health, mould industry, architecture and design, content production, games development, animation and cinema
  • Testing, Demonstration and Exposition Room for prototypes of IPN assets
  • Spaces for workshops, training or exhibition


The work developed between the Instituto Pedro Nunes (IPN) and the European Space Agency (ESA), a new space for the incubation of technology-based companies is being built - SPACE INCUBATOR - which will give priority to "new space" projects, application of space technology for non-space uses, GNSS or Earth observation data, from the ESA Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC Portugal) program.

The new building will have 14 incubation spaces with areas ranging from 33 m2 to 80 m2, for a total of 613 m2, a meeting room with 28 m2, a multipurpose room with 110 m2, offices for the management team and several shared spaces and networking.

Since 2014, the IPN has been coordinating the ESA BIC Portugal, one of 21 existing centers in Europe. This incubation center, which in 2020 became part of a network of 15 incubators throughout the country, supports Portuguese startups that use space technology in terrestrial applications, in sectors as diverse as transport, health, logistics, sports and agriculture, or that intend to enter the commercial space market.

In five years, the duration of the first phase of the program in Portugal, ESA BIC Portugal incubated up to 30 companies, allowing the creation of about 240 new jobs, with a total impact of more than 6.5 million euros.

In addition to ESA BIC Portugal, Instituto Pedro Nunes also coordinates other technology transfer programs promoted by ESA: the ESA Technology Broker, an ESA technology transfer network that provides support in commercializing space technologies in non-space markets, and the ESA Business Application Ambassador Platform, a network that supports national projects aimed at improving the lives of people on Earth through the transfer of space technology.