With respect to the business innovation indicators, the Azores stand out for possessing a high number of companies undertaking innovation activities.
In terms of the promotion of innovation, the Autonomous Region of the Azores has established some partnerships between public and private entities, such as for example, the cooperation of the Innovation Institute of the Azores (INOVA) and the School of New Technologies of the Azores (ENTA), the participation in initiatives of INETI, of Universidade Nova and other entities.
Other successful partnerships were also established with the Civil Engineering Laboratory and the University of the Azores (prospecting and assessment of mineral resources), and INOVA, INETI and CEDINTEC (study of the development of thermal waters in the Azores).
At the moment, the Azores possess two infrastructures, both located on the island of Santa Maria, with a high level of technological evolution, the Oceanic Control Centre and the Satellite Tracking Station.
In the Azores there are several accredited research units:
.University of the Azores:
-Biotechnology Centre (Food Biotechnology and Vegetable Biotechnology);
-Centre of Applied Economic Studies of the Atlantic (Promotion of fundamental and applied scientific research, by taking advantage of human, material and financial resources, bringing together research projects within the scope of the areas of economic sciences and business, with action lines that include Labour Economics, Regional Economics, Public Sector Economics, Economic History, Management and Corporate Finance);
-Research and Natural Resources Centre (Biodiversity and Conversation, Research of natural products with medical applicability, Biological control of plagues, Research of insecticide molecules, Epidemiology and Human Genetics);
-Research and Agrarian Technologies Centre (Modelling and Environmental Studies, Food Production and Technology Systems);
-Vulcanology and Assessment of Geological Risks Centre (Prevention and Prediction of disasters, calamities and natural catastrophes, favouring national and international technical and scientific cooperation); and
-IMAR/DOP – Institute of the Sea/Department of Oceanography and Fisheries of the University of the Azores (Marine Ecology and Biodiversity, Physical and Biological Oceanography, Biology, Ecology and assessment of the pelagic, demersal (and of depth) haligenic resources).
-Regional Civil Engineering Laboratory;
-Specialised Service of Epidemiology and Molecular Biology; and
-Genetics and Molecular Pathology Unit.
In the Azores there are also spaces of dissemination of scientific and technological culture:
-Observatory of the Sea;
-Vulcanology and Geothermal Observatory of the Azores; and
-Regional Observatory of Tourism.
Throughout the various islands we are also able to find several ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) spaces:
-Computer Science Clubs;
-ICT Spaces; and
-Digital Inclusion Centres.
Entrepreneurship has also been the object of a lot of support in the Region. On all islands it is possible to find Offices of the Entrepreneur, of the Regional Department of Support for Investment and Competitiveness and, in São Miguel, the Entrepreneurship Centre, at the University of the Azores, can be found. Every year, these entities reward the best projects, aiming to encourage the appearance of new business ideas.
The System of Incentives for the Regional Development of the Azores (SIDER), foresees financial support for the Development of Quality and Innovation (SIDGI – Subsystem of Support for the Development of Quality and Innovation), provided they are applicable and with investments between 15 thousand Euros and 200 thousand Euros.
The recent establishment of a Venture Capital Fund could be an asset to this area and can assist in supporting and enhancing innovation and research in the region.