Beja, Portugal – September 19, 2023 – Polytechnic Institute of Beja recently signed an MOU with Empowered Startups to expand Empowered’s HQA Visa™ Program to the institution. This will give IPBeja the opportunity to receive foreign direct investment towards research secured through the program.
Empowered Startups, a Canadian multinational based in Évora, has been operating its HQA Visa program in Portugal for a little over three years, but recently delivered to the Government a Commitment Letter agreeing to recruit 50 new entrepreneurs, business executives, and domain experts to invest in new projects within the next 12 months, and then to grow the program further each year thereafter. The Commitment Letter was presented to the Minister of Territorial Cohesion, Ana Abrunhosa in a session at the Alentejo Science and Technology Park, on February 8, 2023.
Empowered Startups has already established partnerships with the universities of the Algarve, Aveiro, Évora, Beira Interior and with the polytechnic institutes of Bragança, Guarda, Leiria, Santarém, Viana do Castelo and Portalegre. With the addition of Polytechnic Institute of Beja, Empowered Startups will further its commitment to expand the program to universities and polytechnics throughout the interior regions and bring foreign investment to the country.
“With this program, we bring direct foreign investment to universities and polytechnics in the form of research funding and commercialization expertise. Our program also brings broader economic stimuli, particularly to the interior regions, by creating and establishing new companies, commercializing new technology, and bringing international talent to local economies,” says Chris Lennon, President of Empowered Startups.
The HQA Visa Program aims to recruit highly qualified foreign professionals, with domain expertise, business leadership, and entrepreneurial experience, to start and finance research projects at Universities and Polytechnics and to spin out new startup companies to commercialize Portuguese innovation resulting from those projects.