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A bike with a mission

Rcicla was the first shop in Portugal devoted to building and repairing customised bicycles by recycling material from other bicycles. Now it is also the first to build a bike entirely out of parts from a disused car, everything from the bodywork to the upholstery. The challenge was set by the Leo Burnett advertising agency, which produced a promotional video of the “Karma Project” (1). The aim is to submit a moribund vehicle to karmic purification, and to demonstrate that, apart from being a sustainable and enjoyable means of transport, a bike doesn’t have to be expensive and can be …

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“Since the start of the Garbags project in 2009, we have collected 28,456 coffee packets, 21,450 milk and juice packets, 1,180 shampoo bottles and toothpaste tubes, 1,265 coffee capsules and 2,350 assorted used packages, stopping them going to land-fill,” said Tânia Sofia Moreira Anselma, the manager of Garbags. This is the equivalent of transporting all the furniture from a three-bedroom apartment. Garbags inspires people to think about their daily waste and to regard it in a different way. Garbags recycles waste, transforming it into nice fashion accessories that are durable, tough, practical, fun and make people dream. It is collected …

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Dubai in Fundão

Getting international business, innovating and creating sustainable value. Cova da Beira was on show in the Arab world in November and got everyone talking. The olive oil with its flakes of gold, rose-flavoured jelly, wine, cured meats, cheeses, jams and the famous cherries whet people’s appetites in the food market in Abu Dhabi and awoke the locals’ curiosity. To such an extent that the region welcomed a group of investors from Qatar in February who are interested in acquiring businesses for the exclusive production of certain products. “Participating in international fairs in selected markets is part of the strategy of …

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Green electronics

In 2008, the team led by Professor Elvira Fortunato of the Faculty of Science and Technology (FCT) of Lisbon’s Universidade Nova publicly announced the creation in a laboratory of the first paper transistors. Since then, they have participated in international projects with companies aiming to develop a paper with suitable properties for electronics. This discovery was regarded as being revolutionary worldwide because “for the first time it was proved that cellulose paper could be considered an electronic material. To make a transistor, you need insulating, conducting and semi-conducting materials. In this particular case, the cellulose represents the transistor’s insulating material” …

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Crowdfunding in Portugal

Imagine you wake up one fine morning with a dream in your head that won’t go away. No matter how much you try it just stays there. Now your dream begins to take shape. Your idea is joined by shapes, colours, sounds. You start to feel it crystallise in your imagination, to hear it, to see it before you, to smell it in your nose and taste it on your lips. Your idea grows. It’s time to get up. The day begins and you imagine that everything was just a nice dream. Because however good the idea was, it’s just …

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Jose Paixão


More and more buildings in Portugal are empty. Especially houses in city centres. This is something that Arrebita! Porto wants to change by adopting a social enterprise model. If the pilot project succeeds in Porto, where the problem is particularly bad, it could be a sustainable way out of the crisis for the whole country. The streets that lead down to the banks of the Douro are flanked by old buildings. They form part of Porto’s Ribeira old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There was a time when their colourful tiled façades sparkled in the sunshine and they were …

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