Portugal is a small country, however, there are big regional disparities in terms of research and innovation performance and this is immediately reflected in terms of the competitiveness of our country and regions.
In fact, in Portugal there are diverse regions when considering investment in research and innovation. For example, Algarve and Aveiro experience a significant lack of funding, a weak infrastructure and an emigration problem to other central regions as Lisbon and Porto where researchersʼ' conditions are significantly better. CINTESIS was created aiming to address these regional differences, creating a network with a strong flow of know-‐‑how, methodologies and innovative actions; and developing smart specialization strategies. CINTESIS is a research unit of national character. In its creation, it was an essential objective to develop the north region, but also to allow institutions in other underserved regions the access to stronger research activities clustered in a bigger specialized center. The other underserved regions involved were Algarve and Aveiro, which are regions with an important economic impact and potential to create more industry products (e.g. food industry and health tourism). These centers have a high potential to develop research with high quality, and it was consider that its inclusion in CINTESIS strengthened their researchers, giving them access to complementary methodologies and increasing their level of opportunities for internationalization.
Keeping in mind the guidelines in the HORIZON 2020 and in the NORTE 2020, CINTESIS is a new research unit grounded in existing units who gathered together to create a new stronger research center, more specialized and focused. This center has a huge potential to seek synergies between regional funding, HORIZON 2020, EU funding and national and EU industries.
At a national level, CINTESIS is involved in diverse national networks (e.g. PtCRIN – Portuguese Clinical Research Infrastructure Network). At a regional level, CINTESIS has its core located in Porto city, and includes researchers from two strong regional institutions, Porto University and Porto Polytechnic Institute. Considering that north region has a surplus capacity of health professionals, our strategy with this national structure, although with arms in Aveiro and Algarve, is to create excellent opportunities to these regions to be attractive to qualified health professionals, creating a better distributed national health care system.
It will be a priority for CINTESIS 2020, with this national and regional structure, to work with, and for, four main stakeholders: research community, health system, national and international industry and the costumers (the society in general, and patients in particular).