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Innovation Day reflects on continuity and disruption inside and outside the Municipality

The fourth edition of the Innovation Day in the Municipality took place at the Porto Innovation Hub (PIH), which this year followed the theme “Innovation: Continuity x Disruption” as a provocation on how a culture and continuous practice of innovation should serve as pillars to identify and manage disruption.
An audience of around 100 leaders of municipal teams listened attentively to the different guests, and the topics ranged from the internal reality of the Municipality to the latest technological advances that have changed the way organisations and society itself work.

The event kicked off with a conversation between the Vice Mayor of Porto, Filipe Araújo, who also oversees Porto’s Innovation and Digital Transition, and José Manuel Mendonça, who chairs INESC TEC’s Board of Directors. In this first moment, there was time to address innovation in a systemic context with José Manuel Mendonça, whose experience and knowledge of the industrial universe is undeniable, highlighting the potential of analysing industrial processes to identify and trigger opportunities to innovate.

Next, the continuous practice of innovation among municipal teams was analysed in greater detail. On the one hand, in a more macro view given by the municipal director of People and Organisation Management, Salomé Ferreira, who presented and characterised the training journey of the teams in this matter. And, on the other hand, the specific case of the Municipal Data Protection Department was explored, by the voice of its director Ana Leite. The director addressed the challenges and tools found to develop the municipal data valorisation strategy, with the support of Porto Digital, as a toolbox for innovation and digital transition of the Municipality.

Moving on to the external reality, guest João Ribeiro spoke about open innovation practised at Galp, with practical and very simple examples of the impact of this component on the different business areas and on the multinational’s own culture.

Challenged for a conversation around artificial intelligence and the trends that can be anticipated for the near future, Inês Sousa, from Fraunhofer Portugal, and Luís Sarmento, from Inductiva Research Labs, gave us valuable insights into how this type of technology should be integrated into organisational operations and strategies. Faced with such a sensitive topic and with such potential for change, the two speakers also addressed the importance of balancing new technologies with maintaining the stability and reliability of operations and institutions, advancing some strategies to mitigate risks and bet on a smooth transition.

Finally, the session ended with another example of the application of technology and innovation in the city of Porto, under the Municipality’s remit, regarding the project dedicated to the urban dynamics index, a collaboration between Porto Digital and NOVA IMS. Aligned with the national and local strategy for smart cities, this project makes clear the relevance of urban indicators for the implementation of sustainable local interventions, since they allow informed decision-making and monitoring of the socio-economic impact of transformations in public infrastructures and services and in the behaviour of citizens.

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