BioBIP, Bioenergy and business incubator BioBIP, Bioenergy and business incubator

PORTUGAL, Alentejo

by: Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre (Public authority and High Education Organism)

S3 domain:    Critical Technologies, Energy and Smart Mobility

Energy topics:    Smart cities

Energy topics:    Bioenergy    /    Hydrogen & Fuel Cell    /    Energy storage    /    other Energy Efficiency (in Industry, Transport, Services...)

Innovation type:    Technological

Level of Good Practice implementation:     Regional   /   Interregional-international


The BioBIP – Bioenergy Business Incubator Portalegre is a structure dedicated to incubating technology-based companies and projects focused on the field of bio-energy, in particular, the development of 2nd generation biofuels and energy recovery from wastes. The incubator has a high level of pilot scale demonstration facilities that allow incubating companies to develop new processes and projects.

The ultimate challenge addressed is to position the region as a producer of renewable energy technology.

BioBip is a structure for the development of technology-based spin offs in the field of bioenergy in order to foster the formation of new companies in this area based on Research and Technological Development activities. BioBip is thus an incubator of technological companies, having, besides a corporate hosting structure, a set of equipment on a pre-industrial scale for demonstration of technology that allows the start-up of companies and the dimensioning of industrial production units at higher scales.

BioBip intends to contribute, with its material and human resources, to the development of economically viable technologies that allow the efficient conversion of biomass into solid, liquid or gaseous fuels, electric energy and thermal energy, with the final goal to develop efficient and sustainable environmental remediation methodologies.
This project arises from the need for strategic of development in the Alto Alentejo region seeking to capture productive investment: the ultimate goal is to generate wealth in the region. Since Alentejo is a region of the country where agriculture and agro-industry are one of the strategic areas for development, targeting R & D in bioenergy in this region and the installation of a reference infrastructure in this domain is an appropriate goal for sustainable development.

In this context of strategic development of a region, the Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre takes the lead of the project. The Institute participates in projects in partnership with companies from within and outside the region, at national and international levels. Its mission is to develop biomass transformation technologies in solid, liquid or gaseous fuels, electric energy and thermal energy and to transfer these to the market. Its stakeholders are companies in need of receiving these technologies, researchers and start-ups that develop these technologies using the infrastructures.

Stakeholders involved in implementation

  • Public authority
  • Economic and/or innovation agency
  • Energy agency
  • Research actors
  • Industry
  • SME


  • Economic and/or innovation agency
  • Industry
  • SMEs
  • Start-ups


For the development of its activity, BioBIP provides technological infrastructures and equipment on a pre-industrial scale. The students of the Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre are encouraged to find technological development needs in the market and to develop research in these areas. It also carries out dissemination and communication activities in order to attract technological start-ups that need the infrastructures to develop innovative products and services in these areas. For the implementation of projects, physical infrastructure is offered, as well as various support services that allow the projects to be transformed into business or transferred to the market.

The operation of the entire infrastructure is supported by the Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre. In the case of business projects there is a payment for incubation and development services. The infrastructure and equipment were financed by Community funds and the institution's own revenue.

Public funding sources

  • ESIF T01 (research and innovation)

Results achieved

Several services have already been provided to companies in the region as well as support for research projects in the scope of doctoral, master's and bachelor's degrees. Practical examples are: a study of the granulometry of materials for introduction in cement kilns, a study of the effluent from the Sousel slaughterhouse, a study for Portuguese Environment Agency on burning of residues, several works involving the gasification of residues, gasification works Biomass and other combustion.

Future perspectives

The great future prospect of this project is to act as an instrument for the development of innovative projects in the region and in the country in the bioenergy area. For this, the incubator is positioning itself in the capture of this type of investment based on campaigns with the companies that operate in the sector, both in terms of process development and in terms of the development of equipment. On the other hand, it is working with students of master and doctorate levels in national and international higher education institutions in order to foster the installation of spin-off and start-up projects.



The most successful element of BioBIP’s activities is the thermal gasification and anaerobic biodigestion. Regarding business incubation, the latest data from 2016 show the presence of 24 business projects, 46 people at the service of business projects and an aggregate turnover of 1.5 million Euros.

Most important difficulties

The establishment of infrastructure capacity and of excellent conditions for the development of new projects has been one of the main difficulties experienced, but is also the area where some resources have been invested.

Lessons learned

The establishment of infrastructure capacity and of excellent conditions for the development of new projects has been one of the main difficulties experienced, but is also the area where some resources have been invested.

The creation of technological poles in specific areas should be encouraged as it leads to the excellence of the results, as experienced with BioBIP.


  • Infrastructure
  • Interregional or International cooperation


  • Relevance to national and/or regional energy strategy
  • Inter-regional cooperation
  • Leading to private investments

References: (in Portuguese)

Contact person:

Joaquim Mourato, Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre,, (+351) 245 330 353