Promoting the creation of Innovation Ecosystems: the case of the University of Porto

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Carlos Melo Brito


Universities are increasingly acting as promoters of innovation, economic growth and regional development, a trend that has attracted the attention of both policy makers and researchers. The objective of this paper is to contribute to a deeper understanding of the role of higher education institutions as dynamic promoters of growth and development. The University of Porto is used as a case study to explore how universities can act as innovation ecosystems leaders and integrators. The main contributions of the paper are threefold. First, the case puts in evidence a key success factor: the talent to transform the knowledge produced by universities into valuable solutions for companies and other organisations. Second, links between universities and industry must assume a long-term and relational nature rather than an intermittent and transactional character. Finally, the success of university-based ecosystems depends on the integration of a diversity of actors, resources and competences. This means that a sustainable strategy of innovation and knowledge valorisation requires an approach that fosters both internal and external networking.

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Author Biography

Carlos Melo Brito, Faculdade de Economia - Universidade do Porto

Carlos Brito is Associate Professor of marketing at the School of Economics of the University of Porto. He got his PhD in marketing at the University of Lancaster and an MBA at the New University of Lisbon. He has developed his career both in the academic and consultancy fields. He began lecturing at the University of Porto in 1980, after getting his degree in Economics. Since then he has lectured master and doctoral programmes as well as MBA and other short and medium term executive programmes. His main research interests are in exploring theoretical and practical issues in relationship marketing, business-to-business marketing, international marketing and branding. He is author and co-author of six books of marketing and strategic management.