The Polytechnic Institute of Bragança (IPB) is a Portuguese Polytechnic Higher Education Institution, founded in 1979. IPB is currently divided into five schools, embracing a wide area of knowledge, including agricultural sciences, arts and sports, social sciences, engineering, administration and management, health and tourism. As a result of a strategy to encourage further advanced studies undertaken by its members, IPB has presently the most qualified academic staff of the Portuguese Polytechnic System (the highest number of professors holding a PhD degree per total number of staff), and an external recognition of its research activities, including a wide number of research projects and the existence of three research units of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology hosted at IPB.
IPB belongs to the group of Universities of Applied Sciences in Europe, focused on the transferability of professional skills and the integration of applied research in their professional and technological education mission.
IPB works closely with the Regional Businesses Associations and the Local Authorities. As an example mention can be made to the "Open Days" initiative. These events aim at promoting the involvement of IPB with the community by identifying problems and opportunities that need an inter-organizational approach. Another example is the “AgroAli@EU” project that dealt with promoting the participation of research centers, industry, SMEs and other relevant regional stakeholders in the 2012 FP7 calls (specifically in the agri-food sector). As major results it can be pointed out that IPB promoted the submission of 17 FP7 proposals, involving 12 regional Portuguese entities (mainly SMEs), with a total budget of ca. 5.8 million euros. Five proposals were approved, which represents a success rate of 29.4%, and the total approved budget was of ca. 1.9 million euros.
Furthermore, IPB is strongly engaged in the development of the Regional Science and Technology Park “Brigantia EcoPark”. Its main objective is the promotion of innovation and competitiveness in the region of Douro and Alto Trás-os-Montes (part of the North Region). Its founding associates are the Municipality of Bragança, the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, the Municipality of Vila Real, the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro and Portuspark (the Association of Science and Technology Parks of Porto region). In Bragança its field of action is mainly directed to sustainable products (including food products), renewable energy, eco-construction, and environment.
IPB has a dedicated Knowledge and Technology Transfer Unit with the mission of promoting applied research and the development and transfer of knowledge and technology to the community. IPB has also a business incubation unit, giving support to ideas developed within the academic community. Its main role is to support ideas developed within the academic community but it is also open to the general public. The incubated companies have access to different resources and technical support in areas, such as strategy, management, marketing, innovation, market research, etc. In the IPB business incubator the academic community can find support on the following services: development of business plans; support and consulting activities to business projects already installed; elaboration of draft proposals of business activities for funding; physical space for installation.