40.2089° N • 8.4242° W

Pedro Nunes, and the spirit of ground-breaking innovation

The Kingdom of Portugal’s capital in the Middle Ages, Coimbra is now the country’s undisputed “university city”. One third of its population of around 150.000 are students. The university is the seventh-oldest in the world in continuous operation but it certainly does not simply rely on its long and distinguished history.

Take the Pedro Nunes Institute (IPN) which our travellers visited. The IPN is named after the famous mathematician of the sixteenth century, who taught at the university and who revolutionised navigation just in time for Portugal’s great explorers to take advantage of it.

This spirit of ground-breaking innovation has served the institute rather well. Already in 1991, an incubator was founded, which then became the Pedro Nunes Institute, a private, non-profit institution facilitating the development of ideas and businessess. In 2010, it was awarded the prestigious global distinction “Best Science Based Incubator”.

It has supported the creation and development of more than 200 tech firms, which in turn have helped to create more than 1,500 direct skilled jobs.

To take this success story one step further, in 2014  an EU funded business accelerator was set up, which caters to the specific needs of tech-based companies that are already established in the market and are now aiming for faster growth and internationalisation: the TecBIS Accelerator.

On site, Yldau and Fabian could exchange with young entrepreneurs who benefited from this business-friendly environment.

MATEREO, a young and ambitious engineering company established in 2014 that provides consultancy for structural design, fluid dynamics and thermal engineering.

BOOK IN LOOP, a finalist at the 8th National Creative Industries Award. Using an online platform, supported by a network of national dispersion posts, Book in Loop optimises the lifespan of school books. As a result, the financial impact of the start of the school year on family budgets is reduced, as well as the environmental impact of the use of school books.

Also worth noticing, in connection with the Atlantic flavour of our route: the FRIDAY PROJECT, focused on creating technologically advanced nautical and water related leisure devices and equipment, and they even build floating houses!


Browse for more about the Pedro Nunes Institute and get to know start up entrepreneurs:





For the floating house, check the video below! 

See also