Beta-i kicks off 2020 with 25 projects underway

Beta-i kicks off 2020 with 25 projects underway

25 New Projects

Recognized as one of the central agents of corporate innovation and digital transformation for companies and startups in Portugal and abroad, Beta-i kicks off 2020 with 25 open innovation, business models acceleration and innovation design projects, for customers in almost 20 countries. Besides, it ends February with one-third of its business objectives for the year fulfilled and with a clear plan for internationalization. In other words: we still have a long way to go up to December – but we’re quite happy so far.

Some of the main companies operating in key economic areas in Portugal (such as Millennium BCP, Novartis, José de Mello Group, Inmarsat, Siemens, Fosun / Fidelidade, Daimler, EDP, SIBS, Ageas, Semapa, Sonae, Galp and Nestlé, in addition to Turismo de Portugal / Visit Portugal, Câmara de Lisboa / Lisbon Municipality and Ministério do Mar / Ministry of the Sea) have been developing collaborative innovation projects with Beta-i.

Not only in Portugal: Beta-i manages the leading open innovation program for energy in the world (Free Electrons) and is currently setting up global consortiums dedicated to circular economy and airports. Check this Free Electrons summary:

Tangible impact results come up because Beta-i’s approach facilitates the convergence and exchange of expertise between corporates and a network of thousands of startups from around the world, in order to drive business models transformation based on technological solutions. Investors, public institutions and university research centres are also part of this ecosystem connected by Beta-i, which over the past decade has helped the business development of more than 900 startups.

Pedro Rocha Vieira, CEO and Co-founder of Beta-i, points out that Fintech and Banking, Circular Economy, Healthtech and Pharmaceuticals, Energy, Water and the Economy of the Sea, Smart Cities and Mobility are sectors that are currently experiencing a deeper and even more accelerated transformation, therefore counting on greater pressure to reinvent themselves.

He points out that in not only these segments, but also Retail and Mass Consumption, Tourism, Insurtech, Airports and public services face similar challenges ready to become opportunities. “Collaborating with startups in a concrete way, through the open innovation programs managed by Beta-i, is a pragmatic response to these challenges that we believe will intensify in the next three years”. Watch one more example, now regarding the health industry and our Techcare program with Novartis:

How Tech Can Change the Way We Think About Circular Economy

How Tech Can Change the Way We Think About Circular Economy

The circular economy has been gaining momentum in recent years. The urgency created by the impact of consumerism on the planet’s environment has created urgency in governments and consumers to support and make the necessary infrastructure available.

So far, the development of tech has been focused on supporting and improving the traditional solutions that already exist and enable circular economy: waste collection, sorting, and recycling.

However, new developments and advanced technologies can and will bring the next level of innovative solutions to enable an (almost) complete circular economy.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality can be useful to in several levels of the circle. This tech can help several activities performed become more efficient, reducing its costs. It’s also useful in the prototyping processes by visualizing design prototypes in 3D, and testing and redesigning manufacturing processes, reducing or eliminating entirely the use of some raw materials.

In real life:

Scope, a Canadian firm specializing in AR solutions for industry, has developed a software tool called WorkLink that can transform traditional paper-based work instructions into Smart instructions, It uses animated, intuitive, 3D computer-generated imagery that overlays on top of the real world.

Internet of Things

Internet of Things (IoT) systems can be an enabler of circularity, offering assistance in the process of resource recovery. Smart objects can give info about their location, status or need for upgrade. IoT can also be used in predictive maintenance (determining the condition of in-service equipment or machinery in order to predict when maintenance/servicing should be performed) to maximize product life span and reduce costs.

In real life:

San Francisco and London have installed solar-powered automated waste bins that alert local authorities to when they are full; creating ideal routes for trash collection and reducing operational costs by 70 percent.

Big Data

Big data play a big role in making industries and supply chains more efficient. It can be very useful for route optimizations, reducing risk, streamlining manufacturing and making supply chains more transparent, by enabling businesses to make decisions based on accurate data-driven insights.

In real life:

DHL has a Big Data Business Platform that supports all its activities. It uses data collected by sensors, on top of getting data from the financial industry, public authorities, retailers, SMEs, and its own research. DHL uses the technology for route optimization, strategic network planning, operational capacity planning, risk evaluation and resilience planning, customer loyalty management, and environmental intelligence (statistics on pollution, traffic density, noise, parking spot utilization, etc.)

Platform Economy

Platform Economy refers to digital marketplaces. Amazon, Alibaba, etc, already changed the way consumers buy industrial products. It’s a concept that can be applied to help implement what is called ”Industrial Ecology” – the concept that the waste of one industry can be the input of another one.

In real life:

Organix an online marketplace for organic waste. It links organic waste producers with biogas operators to facilitate energy recovery from such waste.

Product as a Service

This is a business model in which manufacturers retain control of the product throughout their lifecycles – instead of selling the products, they lease them to costumers. This means that the responsibility of disposing of the product at the end of its lifecycle shifts from the consumer to the manufacturer. It also opens the possibility of recycling or refurbishing the product to give it a longer life span.

In real life:

DriveNow is a sharing service that offers a fleet of the latest BMW and Mini vehicle models. Users can locate a car and unlock it using an app, use it, then park it again.


Famous for its use in Fintech, Blockchain represents trust in transactions, since there is no third-party intervention. It can be leveraged by the circular economy too: blockchain technology can be used to make supply chains more transparent by tracking products from the manufacturers to the shelf. This access to information can help customers be informed about how the products were made and shipped, empowering them to make environmentally friendly decisions.

In real life:

Provenance uses blockchain to make supply chains more transparent, It builds a traceability system for materials and products. It gives consumers information about suppliers by tracing the origins and histories of products.


Circular Economy is all about closing the loop, but unfortunately, not everything can be recycled back to a raw material state to be re-used. Upcycling enables creative re-use of products for different purposes (without breaking them down). Companies can find alternative inputs for their products, and customers can find ways to re-use their products once they’ve reached the end of their lifecycles.

In Real Life:

Samsung has introduced Galaxy Upcycling, which is a program that enables the embedding of IoT in old smartphones to be used in households. On their website, they suggest ideas for using the phones, and they offer the software and the hardware (sensors). For example, the device could be used to monitor fish tasks, check conditions, and give food to fish while the owner is away.

5 innovations that will transform the food supply chain

5 innovations that will transform the food supply chain

IBM Research published their predictions about the 5 innovations in the food supply chain that will change the way we consume food within the next five years.

Within the next five years, the Earth’s population will cross the eight billion mark for the first time. Our complex food supply chain—already stressed by climate change and finite water supply—will only be tested further. To meet the demands of this crowded future, IBM researchers are exploring new technologies and devices, scientific breakthroughs, and entirely new ways of thinking about food safety and security.

The 5 predictions:

  • Farming’s digital doubles will help feed a growing population using fewer resources.
  • Blockchain will prevent more food from going to waste.
  • Mapping the microbiome will protect us from bad bacteria.
  • Dinner plate detectives: AI sensors will detect foodborne pathogens at home.
  • A radical new recycling process will breathe new life into old plastic.

Explore the predictions on IBM Research’s 5 in 5 or watch their video below:

Tech startups are here to give you a perfect Valentine’s day

Tech startups are here to give you a perfect Valentine’s day

To celebrate Valentine’s day, CBInsights shared a map of the most romantic tech startups. We’ve taken a look at the list and we’ll show how to create a perfect Valentine’s day!

Start the day with a surprise

Flowers are a staple of romance! Surprise your significant other with a lovely bouquet in the morning, even if you’re not with them (that’s even better)! Go for a romantic (and sustainably sourced) design with Urbanstems or go all in with a Bloomon subscription.

Express your love

Valentine’s day is not the day to be shy. Say what you feel with a surprising pop-up card from LovePop, a unique artistic design from Minted, or go digital with a customized card from Paperless Post.  

Sweeten the deal

If your loved one has a sweet tooth this is a must! Go with ethically sourced chocolate from SweetRiot or a perfect gift truffle from Love Cocoa.

Get ready in style

If you want to look your best, accessorize! Get a sweet deal on a pre-owned luxury watch in Chronext or rent your dream jewelry at Flont.

Have a fantastic meal

Nothing makes a date like a wonderful meal with your significant other. Make a reservation with Resy, or find the best restaurant recommendations from your friends with Misk.

Open up a bottle of wine

Don’t know much about wines? No problem, Vivino app will let you know what you need about that bottle. And if you’re a connoisseur, VinFolio will get you access to curated collections.

Spice it up

Create exciting moments in bed with Vibease’s app-controlled vibrator, or get an Unbound subscription to keep the passion (and experimentation) alive.

Ready to take the next step?

Start planning your wedding with Zola, and build your wedding website with Joy.

In a Long-distance relationship?

Work on feeling closer with tech: Watch a romantic movie together in real-time with Rabbit and fall asleep listening to each other’s heartbeat with Little Riot.


Meet your next Valentine with a dating app: look for meaningful conversations via Coffee Meets Bagel or just the closest person, with Happn.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Smart Open Lisboa brings a new light of Innovation to Lisbon

Smart Open Lisboa brings a new light of Innovation to Lisbon

Smart Open Lisboa is the open-innovation programme of the Lisbon Municipality that is bringing innovation to the city in several different verticals. The last edition was focused on the mobility vertical, and brought several startups who are successfully working with programme partners to implement pilots in Lisbon. Let’s get to know some of the on-going projects!

Eccocar wants to make your fleet more efficient

One of the programme’s startups, Eccocar, is implementing a pilot in partnership with Ferrovial and Lisbon’s Municipality to help increase the efficiency of their fleet with a car sharing principle. They hope to show their success by measuring KPI’s like management time (the time spent by the user booking the vehicle), fleet usage time, driver per car and fuel consumption. By digitizing the fleet, they hope to reduce costs, make better use of the cars and maintain the same level of service while reducing the fleet.

See the video below for a full explanation of the project:

Wall-i is creating sensors for better experiences

In partnership with Metro de Lisboa, Wall-i is installing visual sensors in key locations inside Metro stations around Lisbon.

The sensors create a heatmap to get more accurate data about the flow of users in the station, helping managers make better decisions. The sensors are also installed in entrances to detect and reduce fraud in the ticket validation gates.

This startup is also testing weather sensors all over the city, this time in partnership with Lisbon’s Municipality, to collect better environmental data in key points of the city: measuring things like CO2 level, humidity, temperature, noise level, etc.

This product is just one of many developed by this innovative startup. Get to know them here:

Shotl is changing the shuttle business

Another startup featured in this open-innovation programme is Shotl, who is trying to modernize the shuttle service.

Their mobility platform matches multiple passengers headed in the same direction with a moving vehicle. This service is especially thought out for suburban areas with less public transportation connections, and for passengers with reduced mobility, who are often confronted with fewer solutions and access.

In SOL Mobility, they have partnered up with Carris, the main bus provider in Lisbon, to implement their model in order to create an on-demand bus service for people with reduced mobility.

Get to know their model in this video:

But Smart Open Lisboa is not done innovating in the city of Lisbon. They are now accepting applications for the SOL Housing vertical, looking for startups with solutions that can be applied to solve these challenges:

  • Urban Management & Smart Infrastructure
  • Construtech
  • Proptech
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Smart Homes, Buildings & Retail Properties
  • Home Care & Assisted Living
  • Customer & Community Experience
  • Financial Services

If your startup has a new innovative solution that could upgrade city living and you want to test it with industry-leading partners in Lisbon, apply now to SOL Housing.

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