IBM opens innovation center in Fundão that could create 150 jobs

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IBM Portugal today inaugurated an innovation and technology center in Fundão, Castelo Branco district, whose activity will focus on areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) or ‘cloud’ and which could create up to 150 jobs.

The center, which is managed by Softinsa (a company of the IBM group), resulted from a partnership between the Fundão City Council, IBM Portugal and the IBM subsidiary, and the investment exceeds one million euros, a sum co-financed by the European Union (EU) at 85%.

“This is a good example of the application of investment from European funds”, said the Minister of Territorial Cohesion, Ana Abrunhosa, during the inauguration of the new Softinsa / IBM Innovation Center in Fundão, which starts with the creation of 50 jobs and whose capacity can reach 150.

The Design Factory was born from the rehabilitation of Solar Vaz de Carvalho, the former Colégio de Santo António, and the exterior of the building in the city center was kept intact.

This infrastructure also houses the Center for Territorial Studies, Mobilities and Heritage (CETMOPA), which received the collection of Hugues de Varine (French museologist who donated it to the municipality of Fundão), a cowork space, a business incubator and a social innovation laboratory.

The minister highlighted the work carried out by the mayor of Fundão, Paulo Fernandes, which allowed the rehabilitation of the building, in an investment that exceeded one million euros.

Ana Abrunhosa also highlighted the Fundão mayor’s capacity for vision and strategy, as well as his “boldness”.

“I’m glad that he started being daring at an early age and today he is followed by others. In Fundão we had a leadership that had strategy, knew how to surround itself with the right partners and did not give up,” he said.

The governor believes that the work developed by Paulo Fernandes “is a reference for other mayors and territories” and also highlighted the fact that IBM Portugal and Softinsa create technological centers in the interior of the country.

In turn, the president of IBM Portugal, Ricardo Martinho, explained that the center now inaugurated starts with 50 employees, but has a capacity to receive up to 150.

This official also stressed that IBM will open a new technology center in the country, but did not specify when or where it will be installed.

For now, IBM has technology centers operating in Tomar, Viseu, Fundão, Portalegre and Vila Real.

The president of the municipality of Fundão, Paulo Fernandes, was proud of the “people of Fundão” and thanked the Minister for Territorial Cohesion for her praise.

“Fundão was never given anything. We have always had to fight hard” for “everything we have achieved here”, he maintained.

The mayor also maintained that Fundão is on the “right track” and that this center has “impact” on the region.

“A center of 50 people is already of a size and can go up to 150 jobs. This is the approach. It is to always grow in a sustainable way, to continue to be a reference point for talent from all over the world (we currently have about 70 nationalities in the municipality) to live and work here and to make the connection with the community “, he concluded.

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