UBI – Universidade da Beira Interior. The institution started in 1973, with the creation of Instituto Politécnico da Covilhã, which would become Universidade da Beira Interior (UBI) in 1986. The university celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2021 and has, today, more than 29 undergraduate/master courses, about 40 2nd cycle/master courses, and about 25 3rd cycle/doctorate courses, distributed through five faculties: Sciences, Engineering, Social Sciences and Humanities, Arts and Letters, and Health Sciences. Its facilities and well-equipped laboratories are located in contemporary and historical buildings, recovered and readjusted to the demands of education, research, innovation and entrepreneurship. It is a portuguese academy in evident expansion, welcoming more than 7000 students from all over the country per year, as well as students from dozens of nationalities, namely from Portuguese-speaking countries and Latin America. The institution remains in the annual ranking of the 800 best universities in the world since 2017, published by Times Higher Education.
AND – Associação Nacional de Designers. Public association and a representative institution of design and designers, with the purpose to support the development of design and designers in Portugal and abroad, in different areas of social activities, cultural and economic, working with administrative, governmental, private partners and other authorities, to contribute to the reinforcement, scope and importance of the profession. AND has strengthened its mission in favor of the defense and promotion of a design culture, through the establishment of several partnerships with other design associations and institutions at a national and international level, such as READ – Red española de associaciones de diseño , ICSID – International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, iF International Forum Design, Red Dot, Design Council, ADI – Associazione per il Disegno Industriale, among other associations and institutions, as well as advisory support to its members. During the last years, it has been organizing or supporting a series of events, exhibitions, congresses, competitions, publications and other activities, with the aim to promote an effective design culture in Portugal.
APD – Associação Portuguesa de Designers. Founded in 1976, is the oldest professional Designers association representing and disseminating its work, both national and internationally. It provides information regarding projects, supportive programs, and other mechanisms and incentives to Design, innovation, and creativity. As a non-profit association, APD assumes the mission of spreading the Design culture at all levels: valuing the economic contribution to companies and economy; favour their ability to increase the well-being of populations and individuals; ensure the creation of the new, renovation of the existing and invention of the future; promote environmental preservation and protection potentials; and, above all, promote a permanent integration of Design in knowledge creation processes in cooperation with other scientific and technological disciplines.
AEBB – Associação Empresarial da Beira Baixa. Non-profit and public utility Business Association, with over 30 years of activity and an area of intervention that covers 11 municipalities, located in the NUT’s III of Beira Baixa, Beiras and Serra da Estrela and Médio Tejo. It aims to support business competitiveness and boost growth strategies, ensuring ever-increasing participation in decisive and programmatic matters, concerning the companies and the region. To this end, it works according to proximity and cooperation strategies, intending to make the business fabric and the region increasingly competitive, as well as economically and socially more sustainable. AEBB’s performance has been guided by the provision of high and distinguished quality services, affirming itself as an Association of excellence in supporting the local business fabric. Throughout its years of activity, it organizes, independently or in partnership, various regional initiatives, including the 1st Business Congress of Beira Baixa (2017) and the 1st Business Forum of Beira Baixa (2019). In March 2021, it was also honored a Gold Medal by the Municipality of Castelo Branco.
AECBP – Associação Empresarial da Covilhã, Belmonte e Penamacor. Private non-profit association of entrepreneurs, based in Covilhã and intervening in the municipalities of Covilhã, Belmonte and Penamacor. Its mission is to independently represent, defend, promote and support the businesses of its members, companies, or individual entrepreneurs, regardless of their sector of activity. The Association is guided by principles of credibility, impartiality and transparency. At the same time, it aspires to contribute to a more competitive business fabric and to function as a regional platform for economic and social interests. The Association aims to promote the development of economic activities in multiple fields – such as technical, economic, commercial, associative, among others – ensuring its members with growing participation in decisions and the programs related to those activities.
AFTEBI – Associação para a Formação Tecnológica e Profissional da Beira Interior. With activity initiated in 1997 in Covilhã, AFTEBI is a non-profit association created to embody one of the largest Technological Schools operating in Portugal, preparing intermediate staff in the industry at a post-secondary level. Its founders included entities such as INETI, CITEVE, NERCAB, ANIL and HLC, as well as the Municipalities such as Covilhã, Belmonte, Fundão and Manteigas. Its mission is to respond to the socio-economic requirements of assets and companies through high-level qualification, anticipating trends and changing needs. Holder of extensive experience in short, medium and long-term training programs and courses aligned with the Smart Specialization domains of Central and Northern Regions. The association, assumes a catalysing and generating role in sustainable development, holder of more than 1200 national and international protocols, and endows twelve other local and regional association members.
Agrupamento de escolas “A Lã e a Neve”. This group of schools adopted the toponym of Ferreira de Castro’s novel that immortalized the dichotomy between pastoral subsistence and the dream of better lives in industrial Covilhã. A wise decision, since the students from these schools are, to a large extent, the heirs of the grandparents who had hopes here, they fought for their fulfilment, here they saw them fade and here they sowed people and ways of life that justify the existence of the School in this slope of Serra da Estrela. With all teaching cycles, except for secondary education, the group integrates around 600 students from preschool to the 3rd cycle of basic education. With levels of success above the national average, it has a stable and dynamic teaching and non-teaching staff which allows the involvement in several national and European projects.
Agrupamento de escolas do Teixoso. With pre-school and basic education, this group provides quality education, with adapted rooms for limited mobility users, and programs also based on creativity and innovation. Educating for different aspects, programmatic contents, moments and methods are carefully selected to provide different experiences, with some projects such as Rest in movement; Break the paradigm of sedentary lifestyle; Urban fitness park; EnsinARTE – school theatre show; initiARTEatro – theatre groups reflecting scenic actions; School Merit Awards; Blue Lace; Friendly Health; AETeixoso ConVid@; Build Equality, Respecting Differences; Olympic School; Responsible Practices, Sustainable Lives; School well-being; Eco-Schools; Boccia; Horsemanship; Expo_Escol@s; Outdoor terraces; Different Room – a place to meet, relax or have a different class.
Agrupamento de escolas Frei Heitor Pinto. Framed in the Intermunicipal Community of Beiras and Serra da Estrela, it has its headquarters at Escola Secundária Frei Heitor Pinto, heir of Liceu Nacional da Covilhã which was also heir of the Liceu Municipal created in 1934, and designated as Liceu Frei Heitor Pinto. With education programs from preschool to high school, AEFHP currently has 1,543 students. In addition to being a member of UNESCO associated schools network since 2016, it is, after UBI, the educational and teaching institution that contributes the most to the qualified economy in the municipality of Covilhã. A school aiming at leader qualification, a recognized contributor of highly qualified students in all áreas and sectors of activity, at a local, regional, national, European and world level.
Agrupamento de escolas Pêro da Covilhã. Headquartered at Escola Básica Pêro da Covilhã, this group includes preschool education, 1st and 2nd cycles. In addition to the regular schooling offer, there are classes in the form of articulated teaching with a specialisation in music and dance, in partnership with Conservatório Regional de Música da Covilhã, and classes in Adult Education and Training (B1 and B2) and Basic Skills, through a partnership with Estabelecimento Prisional da Covilhã. Pioneer in extending the timetable for 1st cycle classes, offering a Family Support Component along with English teaching also in the 1st Cycle, before it became mandatory. Throughout its existence, it has been distinguished with national prizes for its various programs/contests, such as Fundação Ilídio Pinho, Ordem dos Psicólogos, Healthy School Seal, Escola Alerta, Eco-Schools, Cross Country School Champions, among others.
ANIL – Associação Nacional dos Industriais de Lanifícios. Nonprofit employer association, founded in 1974 and headquartered in Covilhã. Heir to the city’s first Wool association, it preserves the interests of companies of an industrial, commercial or service nature with activity in the textile and clothing sectors in Portugal. Owner of EXPOLAN – ANIL’s Exhibition and Congress Pavilion, it works for the representation and development of its associates by providing legal services or space rental. Among its national and international partnerships are entities such as IWTO, EURATEX, FITVEP, AFTEBI, CITEVE, Rude or Associação Selectiva Moda.
AASE – Associação de Artesãos da Serra da Estrela. This Association, based in Seia, was founded in 1992 by a group of artisans, to identify and organize the municipality’s offer in the Handicraft sector. Through its activities in organizing joint participation in international fairs and promoting the originality of handcrafted products, it quickly became a regional association. Support for artisans includes training and capacity building in specific areas of handicrafts or other relevant ones for their implementation, promotion and maintenance of an active and systematic presence in international markets, as well as support for issues of a formal and bureaucratic nature. A pioneer in participating in events at a European level, AASE also works to identify sources of financing that contribute to dignify the activity.
Antero Brancal e Filhos. Textile company founded in 1987, dedicated to spinning long fibres, wool and blends of synthetic fibres, for weaving, and industrial knit, for the textile industry of fabrics, knit and blankets. Two specific product brands stand out: Brancafil and ABF. It frequently presents itself at fairs such as ITMA, where it seeks to update technologically and to develop its client portfolio at events such as Première Vision, in Paris. The care and commitment to the environment and environmental policies have recently led to the gradual observance of energy efficiency projects with photovoltaic energy resources and the replacement of the lighting of its installations for low consumption Led lighting. In 2017 it was distinguished with the Top Exporta award promoted by Banco Santander Totta and, for 5 consecutive years, it was awarded the PME Líder distinction.
Associação Cultural da Beira Interior. Based in Covilhã, it has as a priority the cultural development of the entire region of the central interior. Among the various projects of the Association, where various arts are present, music takes on a preponderant place. With 30 years of existence, the Mixed Interior Choir of Beira Interior has won numerous international awards, standing out, among the most emblematic concerts, which marked the 2000 years of the birth of Christ, in Bethlehem (Palestine) and the mass in the Cathedral of St. Peter at the Vatican. The Zéthoven project, where more than 40,000 children had the opportunity to experience music, was considered by the European Community to be an example of Cultural Decentralization and Opportunity. Plant 1 Musician, 6 years old, allows children from rural and isolated areas to have contact with usic. These projects are joined by many others, such as the Beira Interior Choir Competition & Festival or the Beira Interior International Percussion Competition.
ASTA – Associação de Teatro e Outras Artes. Founded in 2000, it is from Covilhã that the professional company ASTA is dedicated to theatre and other arts. Twenty years of continued work to combat regional asymmetries in access to culture and the democratization of the arts. ASTA’s identity is based on a transdisciplinary culture, based on theatre and focusing on five main axes: Creations; Festivals / Programming; Educational Service; Circulation and Research Projects. In addition to the works directed by the ASTA team, it also includes works directed by invited creators, both national and international. Often recognized and awarded by various festival entities and juries, it develops different projects co-financed by the European Union, within the scope of artistic research and, over the years, the number of partnerships with public and private entities has increased.
Banda da Covilhã. This Public Utility Institution distinguished with a Silver Municipal Merit Medal (1998), currently with 151 years of history, maintains a considerable activity in the city, and is a regional reference in musical education. It dedicates itself to musical education, incorporating social, pedagogical, artistic, and cultural aspects. The institution directs its investments towards the promotion of creativity and innovation in its areas of action, namely through the launch of multiple projects, among which are the Férias Dó-Ré-Mi, the Orquestra dos Pais, the Brincolândia, and the Dormir com a Música. The institution’s most ambitious projects are the Academia de Música da Banda da Covilhã and the Orquestra Sinfónica da Covilhã. Parallel to its musical activity, Banda da Covilhã is also a pioneer and mentor of dozens of cultural, recreational, and gastronomic projects at a local and regional level.
Beira Serra – Associação de Desenvolvimento. Non-profit organization founded in 1994, combining in its organization parish councils, unions and social organizations from Cova da Beira. It works for and behalf of the social development of communities in the interior of the country, in particular the municipalities of Belmonte, Covilhã and Fundão. Although initially dedicated to rural development and community animation, it has been expanding the areas of intervention over the years, adapting to new realities and regional contexts. It implements projects in the social, economic, cultural and environmental areas, with the purpose of promoting a fair and equitable society, having already established more than a hundred local and national partnerships. It is an organization certified by DGERT – Direção Geral do Emprego e das Relações de Trabalho, and accredited by the Instituto de Emprego e Formação Profissional (IEFP) and the Cooperativa António Sérgio para a Economia Social (CASES).
Burel Factory. The brand was born in 2012, with Serra da Estrela in its genesis, as a heritage recovery project that continued the history of the regional wool industry. It is focused on the revitalization of Burel as a synonym of color, design, creativity and sustainability. Its activity added new chapters of innovation to this centenary endogenous product, without erasing the textile, heritage and cultural identity it represents. As a promoter of Burel, the brand is committed to its valorization, elevation, recognition and association with design, carried out by constant research, certification and internationalization actions. In addition, Burel Factory also maintains a partnership with UBI in Industrial Design and Marketing master courses, among others already established with portuguese designers, artists, architects and creatives. Covilhã and its historic and industrial pillars are a continuous inspiration, which is why the brand maintains ancestral production methods, ensuring the authenticity of Burel: the wool is carded in a 19th-century card; the spun wicks in a spinning mill, also from that time; and the Burel is woven mostly on old looms, transforming the factory into a living museum of machinery from the past. The process is witness to a knowledge maintained by loom masters, who brought it from far away and passed it onto the next generations. Its relationship with Covilhã also involves its connection to the last dyeing factory in the city, where the brand maintains the Burel finishing process. A wool narrative project, woven through generations, that continues to offer the region a futuristic vision through design and the vanguards: a testimony that is daily disseminated through its free guided tours.
CFIUTE – Centro de Formação Interação UBI Tecido Empresarial. The CFIUTE was created by UBI with the scope of stimulating the regional economy, as well as encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, offering training and lifelong updating for entrepreneurs, public and private sector workers, employees and students, and reinforcing the cooperation between the university and the companies. This Excellence Training Center promotes courses in diverse fields such as computer science, management, marketing, spa tourism, innovation, entrepreneurship, construction, health, psychology, and education.
Centro de Inclusão Social da Covilhã. Facing the constantly changing economic and social context, it urges the creation of a space that promotes innovation and social cohesion, equal opportunities, collective and collaborative participation, and learning, which are vital factors in the healthy development of a full contemporary society. Therefore, this space is a structure that aims to sensibilize citizens and society for the importance of social innovation, through the dissemination and promotion of new ideas and projects that will allow the affirmation of Covilhã as a Solidary, Inclusive, and Innovative City. This Center has work, service, and training spaces, and also serves as an incubator for socio-cultural associations, articulating the provision of social services to citizens into a single platform.
Centro de Inovação Empresarial da Covilhã. The 4-storey structure, located in the city center, was designed to create conditions that motivate professionals and students residing in the region. To this end, the infrastructure offers multifunctional spaces, prepared to house micro and small enterprises and businesses and allowing, for example, the young entrepreneurs to develop their creative projects. The building offers 6 offices, 16 coworking spaces and 2 workshop rooms. It also includes an auditorium, a meeting room, a formal and an informal living area, a bar and a reception.
Centro de Inovação Cultural e Teatro Municipal. Combining the conservation of architectural heritage with the promotion of historical and heritage values, as well as the launch of cultural initiatives, both spaces aim to return contemporary forms of cultural interaction to the region, namely through the creation, development, and promotion of projects within the scope of various art forms such as music, theater, contemporary circus, and dance. The infrastructure aims to be a local, regional and national reference, through the offer of a high-quality artistic program, facilitating the contacts between national and international creators, increasing the educational service dedicated to new audiences, creating artistic residencies that support creators, among other ambitious goals.
Tourism Innovation Center Portugal – NEST. The headquarters of the NEST, located in Covilhã, meet the objectives of the Estratégia de Turismo 2027 in aiming to create value throughout the territory. This anchor project of Turismo 4.0 – a joint initiative of the Ministry of Economy, the State Secretariat for Tourism, and the Turismo de Portugal – was created to promote the country as a global innovation hub in the tourism sector, as well as promoting the innovation and use of technologies in tourism’s value chain.
Centro Interpretativo da Cereja. Located in Ferro, a portuguese village naturally surrounded by cherry orchards, the project was born as an innovative concept on a national level. Its purpose is to disclose the origin, the cultivation process and the production of one of the most popular seasonal fruits in the Cova da Beira region: the cherry. It started with the total recovery of an old building in disuse close to several fields of cherry cultivation, and now focuses on contemporary interactive and sensorial tourism, which includes a museum area and a space dedicated to gastronomy, allowing its visitors to taste a diversity of local and regional products, made from the fruit in question.
Centro Interpretativo das Artes Tradicionais da Boidobra. As a place that promotes the perpetuation of memories around the population of Boidobra, this space intends to communicate to its visitors, through the exposed objects, the way of life of this community, their experiences and customs, as well as providing the population with the possibility to reflect about their ancestors, maintaining the historical and cultural identity of the region. The CIATB 1 building houses an audiovisual room and a typical village house, that mirrors the way of living in the intimate sphere of the local families, and the disposal of spaces and furniture. CIATB 2 building is dedicated to working activities, exhibiting the main instruments used in agriculture, a note about cheese production, and an area dedicated to traditional toys. The building also includes an area for temporary exhibitions.
Condomínio Associativo. Covilhã presents a great associative wealth and dynamism, which are essential contributors to the movement and actions promoted in all of the municipality’s parishes. With its importance in mind, a common house was created to bring together collectivities and associations in a single space, as a rich and diversified group of entities that play a fundamental role in collective and community life, cultivating and improving synergies between different cultural structures.
Conservatório de Música da Covilhã. With a vast schooling offer, from preschool, 1st and 2nd cycles to specialized teaching of Music, Dance and Theater, the Conservatório de Música da Covilhã seeks to develop differentiated teaching with innovative methodologies. In a structured way, it prepares its students with principles, values and skills, so that they may respond to the challenges that their school, professional and personal pathways will provide throughout their lives. With pedagogical practices that have resulted in a significant number of awards and distinctions, it assumes as its main mission the training of human beings adapted to the complex requirements of future institutions, assuming the teaching motto “The Future is Built in the Present”.
Coolabora, CRL – Intervenção Social. A social intervention cooperative that mediates the promotion of equal opportunities between men and women, including preventing and combating domestic violence; in supporting people and social groups in a situation of disadvantage, namely in a situation of poverty, discrimination based on ethnicity or others; and in promoting initiatives that create ecological, democratic and socially fair societal alternatives. Promoter and partner of several projects, such as “Violência Zero. Estratégia de Territorialização para a Prevenção e Combate à Violência Doméstica e de Género”, “CUIDAdania – Cuidado e cidadania na construção da igualdade”, “Rasgar Silêncios”, “Quero Ser Mais E7G”, “CLDS – Contrato Local de Desenvolvimento Social da Covilhã, “EDxperimentar”, Troca-a-Tod@s and “IDEARIA”.
Design Factory Aveiro. The structure is incorporated into PCI · Creative Science Park – Aveiro Region (2009), a project led by the University of Aveiro (UA) that mobilized regional agents to build an infrastructure that would promote knowledge economy. Design Factory Aveiro is dedicated to collaboration and sharing. It promotes the development and materialization of innovative products and services led by Design, facilitating the implementation and exploration of methodological practices, tools, and participatory and collaborative design processes. Through its close connection with the University of Aveiro, the Factory promotes the development of multidisciplinary and collaborative projects, resulting from strategic partnerships between academia and the economic, social and cultural fabric. The space has 1,000 m² destined for creation, workshop and workspaces, equipped with equipment and technologies allowing the creation, development and rapid prototyping of products and services. Simultaneously, it provides the project teams with an environment conducive to the conceptualization and proto-materialization of new products, creative and innovative services and processes.
EIDD – Design for All Europe. Unique international platform, for different organizations, with a common goal: a more inclusive Europe for everyone, a design for human diversity, social inclusion and equality. This holistic and innovative approach constitutes a creative and ethical challenge for all planners, designers, entrepreneurs, administrators and political leaders. Design for All aims to enable all people to have equal opportunities to participate in every aspect of society. To achieve this, the built environment, everyday objects, services, culture and information – in short, everything that is designed and made by people to be used by people – must be accessible, convenient for everyone in society to use and responsive to evolving human diversity. The practice of Design for All makes conscious use of the analysis of human needs and aspirations and requires the involvement of end users at every stage in the design process.
ESCOLA PROFISSIONAL DE ARTES DA COVILHÃ – EPABI | Created in 1992, was promoted by the Municipality of Covilhã and the Conservatório Regional de Música da Covilhã. Since then, this institution dedicated specifically to music education has established itself as a regional and national reference with an educational program for the 3rd Cycle of Basic Education and Secondary Education, with specialities in a wide range of instruments. Among activities carried out, the internships, masterclasses and performances of the Orchestras and Chamber Music groups of EPABI stand out, on national and foreign stages. It encompasses a Qualification Centre with several years of activity and frequently develops institutional protocols and activities in partnership with entities such as the Municipality of Covilhã, Portuguese and foreign Higher Education institutions, specific music training institutions, associations and other cultural agents and regional and national artistic works.
ESCOLA PROFISSIONAL E AGRÍCOLA QUINTA DA LAGEOSA | A school where you learn by doing and feeling, hand in hand with the rhythms, sounds, colours and textures of a nature that welcomes all its elements. From the slabs, sometimes grey and rough, now green and soft, to the stars that fill the night skies, there are stories rooted in the things that were immortalized in time and in the memories of those who preceded us and wrote in these paths, episodes of their lives. And in the spaces that fill it, there is time and place for the awakening of emotions that help to build the multiple paths of education, full of unexpected challenges. A school where science and technology try to explain and build the real, where art seeks to develop from a view capable of seeing beyond the tangible, standardized and grey circumstance of the prism of utility. And in addition to the noise inherent in youthful manifestations, silence also fills your space, inviting you to contemplate and be astonished, through the encounter of each one with himself.
ESCOLA SECUNDÁRIA CAMPOS MELO | Installed in Covilhã since 1884 under the name of Escola Industrial Campos Melo, this institution offers educational programs in 3rd Cycle of Regular Basic Education, of Education and Training Courses (Type 2, Level 2), of Professional and Regular Secondary Education, in addition to being a reference in the Arts through the Scientific-Humanistic Course of Visual Arts. It is an associated school with Estabelecimento Prisional da Covilhã and the Centro Qualifica, promoting the increase in the qualification of the adults. The centenary institution is an Honorary Member of the Order of Public Instruction (1985) and detains the Gold Medal of Municipal Merit (2004). In 2014 it was granted a Voluntary School Seal and, in the last decade, it has dedicated itself to its internationalization through visits abroad, partnerships or the participation of students and teachers in various projects, such as the Erasmus + Program or the Shell Eco-Marathon.
ESCOLA SECUNDÁRIA QUINTA DAS PALMEIRAS | This institution was created in 1987. In the 90s, it implemented the Observatório de Qualidade, as well as the OQ On-line computer application, a tool that allows the systematic and real-time monitoring of the students’ learning evolution per class and intervenes quickly if necessary. The monitoring processes of abandonment situations were intensified, for example through the Aprender Compensa project. In this context, they highlight the partnership developed with the Beira Serra, promoter of the Escolhas Program, aimed at encouraging the school and social integration of students from socioeconomically disadvantaged families, ethnic minorities and immigrants. It is an institution involved in local, national and international projects, it also seeks to develop coordination and cooperation with other schools and institutions of higher-level education.
FITECOM | Founded in 1993, it then laboured in an old and emblematic textile factory in Covilhã, dated 1905. In 1999, it moved its headquarters and equipment to a vertical factory in ZI do Tortosendo, equipped with the most up-to-date technology. Design plays a fundamental role in Fitecom’s sustainability, making it one of the most credible European companies in terms of Design. Accredited by Invista, in the Lycra Assured program and the application and sale of fabrics with Teflon finish, certified by Öko-Tex, licensed by Advansa, in the production and commercialization of Coolmax and Thermolite products, and by Australian Wool Innovation, for the production and commercialization of Woolmark products. It exports about 90% of its production to France, England, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Denmark.
GALERIA ANTÓNIO LOPES | Inaugurated in 2015, the historic building is now an exhibition gallery, aimed at the promotion of new talents, that inherits the name and legacy of a multifaceted and fascinating personality – Professor António Esteves Lopes –, which marked an important part of Covilhã’s life in the first half of the 20th century. António Lopes, born in 1900, studied at the School of Fine Arts in Lisbon, building his career as a teacher, writer, journalist, painter, and illustrator. He founded a carpet factory in Serra da Estrela and, as a sportsman, held the first ski events in the central massif of the mountains, having also integrated the Portuguese delegation that participated in the Olympic Games, held in Helsinki in 1952.
GALERIA TINTURARIA | Located near Ribeira da Degoldra, the Tinturaria Gallery serves as an important municipality infrastructure, destined to host temporary exhibitions since 2006. The space organizes several individual or collective free exhibitions of national and foreign artists every year, aiming to boost and contribute to the cultural and artistic education and sensibilization, as well as to the development of the municipality. This multifunctional space contemplates diversified skills and plays an active role in promoting local tourism, through an integrated vision of Culture, all types and forms of Art, Folklore, and Crafts.
LABCOM – Communication & Arts. Research Unit created in 2002 at the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the University of Beira Interior. Its main objective is to develop advanced research on communication and new media technologies, especially those underlying digital and online processes, assuming that there is a reciprocal relationship between communication and contemporary arts: just as mediated communication denotes aesthetics, also the theory, practice and reception of the arts imply communication strategies. This unit is organized into two research groups: Communication and Media, and Arts, which combine the work in their specific lines of research through interdisciplinary collaboration around common or transversal objects, and the organization of events and scientific publications.
Idanha-a-Nova, Municipality. Located in Castelo Branco district (Beira Baixa), is the fourth-largest portuguese municipality (1 416.34 km²) covering 13 parishes and sharing borders with Spain (East and South), as well as with the neighboring municipalities of Penamacor, Fundão, and Castelo Branco. The municipality is fertile in environmental, hunting, cultural, historical, and landscape richness, encompassing two Historic Villages (Monsanto and Idanha-a-Velha), the Naturtejo Geopark, the Tejo Internacional Natural Park, and the Monfortinho Thermal Spa. It maintains various cooperation agreements with national, cross-border, and international entities/projects, such as the Beira Interior Sul Intermunicipal Community, the PROVERE AHP – Valorization of the Jewish Heritage, the Por Terras Rayanas Project, the Oralities Project, among others. Since 2015, Idanha-a-Nova has been part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the creative field of Music, an artistic expression and pillar of economic and social development in the region.
IPCB – Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco. Public higher education institution located in Castelo Branco city, which began its activity in 1980 and remains a reliable reference in the qualification process of citizens, in the production and dissemination of knowledge, and in cultural, artistic, technological, and scientific education within a regional, national and international framework. The Institute integrates six schools, each one of them dedicated to different areas of knowledge: School of Agriculture (ESA), School of Applied Arts (ESART), School of Education (ESE), School of Health Dr. Lopes Dias (ESALD), School of Management (ESGIN) and School of Technology (EST). ESART offers a wide educational offer, covering Bachelor and Master degrees in Design, as well as in the areas of Communication and Audiovisual, Graphic Design, Interior and Equipment Design, Fashion, Clothing, and Textiles.
J. GOMES, LDA | J. Gomes Lda. is a textile spinning company, founded in 1976 and headquartered in Parque Industrial da Covilhã. It is dedicated to the commercialization of high quality carded yarns for application in fabrics and knits, in pure wool or blends with noble fibres. It sells mainly to the national market, producing a variety of carded yarns, of virgin or recycled fibres, ranging from the metric number (Nm) 4,000 to 20,000. It invested in the renovation of its machinery park in 2006, with the acquisition of the most modern carding spinning system on the market. Its production phases include carding spinning technology, carding, carded yarn spinning, winding and retorting, without chemical resources and avoiding the waste of water. It assumes a strong component of social responsibility and sustainability in its production process by sorting textile waste from the Portuguese industry, recycling and reconditioning it into new threads.
JOALPE – Indústria de Expositores, S.A. | In the market for over 35 years, this company is a national leader in the production and sale of plastic and wood articles, intended for the retail sector. Mostly, it uses plastic injection and extrusion processes, leisure cutting and manual/automatic folding of customized parts. It recognizes the investment in improving its production cycles, showing concern with the social and environmental impact of its operations, as well as with the working conditions of its employees, partners and suppliers. It has sought to reduce its carbon footprint through a circular economy model based on renewable energies and the recycling of raw materials. It maintains partnerships with companies such as Sonae, L’Oreal or REWE, as well as a close collaboration with the University of Beira Interior. The company, PME Líder and PME Excelência since 2016, has promoted its products in several international fairs and invested in markets such as North America, Europe and the Middle East, establishing a network of commercial companies, international distributors and local partners.
KAYZER BALLET | Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Covilhã, it is the only Ballet Company in the region. Formed by professional dancers, between the ages of 18 and 26, it provides curricular professional internships, giving the possibility of doing presentations with different repertoires and working with different choreographers and types of movement, allowing them to reach, through the technical and artistic skills developed, contracts paid professionals around the world. Their work highlights the creation and loyalty of audiences in the Dance area, a regular monthly program, ranging from Classic to Contemporary, and the development of artistic projects for the communities: school, involving, through Inclusive Dance, children with special educational and social needs, and involving the elderly.
LOGIK LDA | Textile company dedicated to the development, creation and manufacture of fancy yarns. The product development and design are in charge of the designer Susana Bettencourt and with the partnership established with Pé de Chumbo. It operates mainly in the national market and, indirectly, in international markets. Among the main customers and business partners, Paulo de Oliveira Group, Riopele, TMG and Polopique stand out. Logik Lda presents itself at fairs such as Mod’tissimo, Heimtextil and Première Vision. It is present in the market cohesively and dynamically and believes in the possibility of Covilhã recovering the prestige of the past through design, innovation and creative capacity.
Manteigas, Municipality. Located in the heart of Serra da Estrela, in the Guarda district, the Municipality of Manteigas is fully inserted in Serra da Estrela Natural Park (UNESCO Estrela Geopark) and is, therefore, involved in a natural, ecological and privileged landscape. Its total area covers 12.198 acres distributed throught the parishes of Sameiro, Santa Maria, São Pedro and Vale de Amoreira, and delimited by the municipalities of Guarda, Covilhã, Gouveia and Seia. Manteigas is a Portuguese municipality, particularly rich in material and immaterial heritage and complemented by a wide range of mountain activities, thermalism, gastronomy, the typical crafts and folk art from Serra da Estrela, the tradition of working with Wool and Burel, and its centenary fairs and religious celebrations. The Municipality of Manteigas maintains a Twinning Agreement with the Municipality of Santa Cruz de Cabrália in Brazil (1999) and Vila de Manteigas is a twin city of the French Village of Morlaàs (1989).
MANUEL BRANCAL & Cª LDA / TRICOTS BRANCAL | The family company Manuel Brancal & Cª, Lda., with the commercial name of Tricots Brancal, has been installed in Covilhã since 1958. Founded by Manuel Brancal, this woollen textile factory and a network of high-quality wool yarn stores. In its production and commercialization, it includes anti-allergy, anti-moth, knitting, crochet, arraiolos and threads for embroidery and sewing, in addition to all types of knitting needles, knits and wool. The Tricots Brancal brand is present throughout the Iberian Peninsula with the mission of providing different and high-quality yarns, encouraging them to develop creative and innovative projects with their wool. The brand has a network of physical stores in Portugal and Spain, also selling through Portuguese sewing and embroidery companies. It was distinguished with the Novo Banco Award and was also a PME Líder company in 2014 and 2015.
MODATEX | The Centro de Formação Profissional da Indústria Têxtil, Vestuário, Confecção e Lanifícios was created in 2011, based on a protocol between the Institute of Employment and Professional Training (IEFP), the Textile and Clothing Association of Portugal (ATP), the National Association of Clothing and Apparel Industries (ANIVEC/APIV) and the National Association of Wool Industries (ANIL). It is, currently, a national center with headquarters in Porto, delegations in Lisbon and Covilhã, and centers in Vila das Aves and Barcelos. MODATEX’s mission is to promote the qualification of human resources and to value the agents of the Textile and Clothing industries, contributing to the development of economic activities and the competitiveness of the sector. Its activity covers professional training, business services, tailor-made training, technical interventions, processes of recognition, validation and certification of skills, and participation in national and international projects.
MUSÉE MAISON | Dedicated to contemporary art, this multipurpose cultural space, under construction in Covilhã, was idealized by Luís da Cruz and conceived as a nest of work, education, and art exhibition. It was designed around the idea that it can be a focus of Arts and cultural expression, encompassing not only an exhibition function but also a creative space with an atelier, an art academy, a play area, and a garden. An ambitious factory, a big loft, a great gallery. A Musée Maison.
MUSEU DE ARTE SACRA | Installed in Covilhã, on a historical building from 1921 designed by renowned portuguese architect Raul Lino, this museum houses a collection of more than 600 pieces of catholic sacred art collected from public and private entities, covering a period from the 12th to the 20th century. Inside the museological space, the visitors can appreciate collections of painting, sculpture, jewelry, vestments and fabrics (liturgical and ceremonial), as well as traditional portuguese roca sculptures, sacred images, altarpieces, reliquaries, altars, crucifixes, rare books and documents, furniture and other curious objects used in the religious worship. The museum contains a proud collection of several iconic art pieces with considerable dimensions, which size uncommon to find in European museums. One of the main attractions of the space is the recreation of a chapel within the Museum area, which recreates the religious environment common to this type of structure.
MUSEU DA COVILHÃ | Opening soon in the city center, the museum is dedicated to explore the territory’s vast periods of occupation, with the purpose of unveiling and teaching the history of Covilhã through different and sensorial ways. The space presents its contents over 500 m2, chronologically organized over 5 floors through an accessible and inclusive way, starting in Pre-History and Romanization (3rd Floor), passing through Middle and Modern Ages (2nd Floor) and Contemporaneity (1st Floor), and finalizing with a global view over the city’s history and a reflection about its future, with the help of interactive and didactive materials (Floor 0). Floor -1 translates into a multi-purpose area, destined to host temporary exhibitions, lectures, and concerts.
MUSEU DE LANIFÍCIOS | Opened in 1992, the museum is an organism with administrative and financial autonomy under the supervision of the Ministry Science, Technology and Higher Education. Located in UBI’s facilities, the space was established with the purpose of safeguarding the area of dry cleaners of the Real Fábrica de Panos (Royal Rags Factory), a manufacture of the State founded by Marquês de Pombal in 1764 and classified as Building of Public Interest. It is currently a polynucleated museum, divided into three different spaces: the Core of the Real Fábrica de Panos, the Core of the Sun Tenters and the Core of Real Fábrica Veiga/ Interpretation Wool Center. Integrated into the Portuguese Museum Network since 2002, its mission is to safeguard and conserve the wool industry heritage, one of the oldest human industries, in a territory witch extensive and diverse natural resources: the Serra da Estrela.
MUSEU DO QUEIJO | Located in the civil parish of Peraboa, 14 km from Covilhã, the museum is unique in the region and allows its visitors to learn about the art and manufacturing process of one of the best cheeses in the world – Queijo da Serra -, denoting the influence of fauna, flora, climate, utensils, and culture in the process of obtaining its characteristic flavor. The museum is dedicated to the dissemination of this delicacy, appreciated and recognized internationally, both in terms of tourism and gastronomy, as well as the tradition and stories associated with it. The space opened in 2011, and has a gross area of 634 m2, aiming to provide the visitors with a sensory and immersive experience, achieved not only through museum content, but also through the use of multimedia and the tasting of local cuisine. It is also possible to learn the characteristics of the Kosher sheep cheese, produced in Peraboa according to the precepts of the Jewish religion.
NEW HAND LAB | Located in an old Wool Factory in Covilhã, it has been a cultural association since 2013. It promotes creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship through the realization of ideas, products and initiatives. Hosting authors and artists of various strands, such as textile and footwear design, painting, photography, architecture and writing, New Hand Lab is a space for the promotion, upgrade and dissemination of the most creative endogenous resources. It produces and hosts cultural activities, such as shows, exhibitions and festivals. The guided tour of the building allows visitors to get to know the reality of textile factories in the peak era. It is the only Portuguese partner of the Open Up project, a consortium that integrates associations from 7 countries, created under the Creative Europe program, to create synergies in the artistic area, along with underprivileged communities.
ORLINDO SARAIVA – SOCIEDADE TÊXTIL DA COVILHÃ, LDA. | Operating for over 25 years in Mainland and Insular Portugal, the company has taken its first steps with the sale of all-over embroidered linens and English embroidery. Over the years, it has pursued to develop itself, introducing new products that stand out for their diversity and quality: linens, printed fabrics, ecological, breathable, organic, embroidery, plasticized and anti-allergic. It is dedicated to the retail market of haberdashery and home textile products, offering varied solutions, whether in the latest trends in textile design or in the most classic and timeless patterns. Creates and sells baby collections, home textiles, clothing and decoration for small and medium-sized companies in Portugal. It is present at events such as Modtissimo and establishes national and international partnerships, such as Le Tissu by Domotex (since 2015).
PARKURBIS, Parque de Ciência e Tecnologia da Covilhã | Support structure for the promotion of entrepreneurship, creation of new technology-based companies, enhancement of research projects of knowledge centres for the market and support for technology transfer. It offers pre-incubation, incubation (physical and virtual) and business acceleration services, as well as a wide range of support consulting services, also acting as an instrument for dynamizing and innovating the local business ecosystem. It has demonstrated its impact through the creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem that has resulted in the creation of new competitive and innovative technology-based startups; attracting R&D centres and product development from some of the largest national technological companies; fixing highly qualified human resources and attracting strategic investment, such as the ALTICE Data Center. In 2015 he was recognized by UBI Global, ranking 10th in the University Associated Business Incubator Award.
PAULO DE OLIVEIRA, GROUP | Constituted by the companies Paulo de Oliveira, Penteadora and Tessimax, the group has become one of the largest fabric producers in all of Europe. Its competitive production results from the commitment to high quality, comfort, design and innovation, and are also the result of investment in cutting-edge technology and modern production equipment. It is a supplier of the best and most reputable brands of men’s clothing worldwide. It also produces technical fabrics for the security, fire-fighting and industrial markets. A benchmark in sustainable production, it has invested in solar energy, in wastewater treatment plants and the treatment of residues and waste destined for recycled textile products. With its team of designers, it also has partnerships with foreign designers. The exclusive design and product development also result, in some cases, from partnerships and personalized cooperation established with customers.
P RUNA HOUSE | The space was founded under the motto of privileging the feminine, as well as empowering and elevating women with an attitude through fashion. It opened its doors in 2019 in the center of Covilhã, in the form of a women’s fashion and clothing store, with a unique and representative offer that mirrors the original brand of the creator and stylist Paulo Runa. In this space of excellence, elegance, and originality, the star is the Woman in all her splendor, either through the creation of specific models or through the offer of several options of various brands represented in the space.
NATIONAL PLAN FOR THE ARTS | An initiative of the portuguese governmental areas of Culture and Education, created with the aim of giving a central place to arts and heritage in our daily lives, especially for children and young citizens, as well as promoting cultural participation, fruition, and creation, in a logic of inclusion and lifelong learning. It intends to encourage the cultural commitment of communities and organizations and to develop collaboration networks and partnerships with public and private entities, namely through working in conjunction with pre-existing plans, programs, and networks.
QUARTA PAREDE | Professional performative and interdisciplinary creation and production structure, supported by the Ministry of Culture / DGArtes, contributes significantly to the presence of contemporary art in Beira Interior. Between Festival Y – performing arts festival, the 1st Floor – a showcase of emerging creators and artistic creation itself, counts a total of more than 1,200 actions. Publisher of 2 photography books and hosted the exhibitions “Candeeiros de Emoções” and “Joan Brossa-Cartells 1975-99”. It co-produced Planshister – creative encounters with industrial archaeology. Betting on the mediation of audiences, such as the Laboratório de Artes Performativas Sénior and contemporary art and photography formations. It promotes the “Nós-projeto de ação social e artística”, performs the artistic coordination of the “Veleda” project and integrates the “Rasgar Silêncios” project. Founding member of IRIS – Associação Sul Europeia para a Criação Contemporânea and co-producer of the Jovens Artistas Jovens project.
MUNICIPAL CULTURAL SPACES NETWORK
Casa da Cultura José Marmelo e Silva [Paul]; Casa-Museu Monsenhor Alves Brás [Casegas]; Casa-Museu do Rancho Folclórico e Etnográfico do Refúgio; Casa-Museu do Rancho Folclórico Infantil e Juvenil de Unhais da Serra; Casa-Museu Taberna Típica [Paul]; Museu do Conto [Biblioteca Municipal]; Museu Mineiro [Minas da Panasqueira]; Museu de São Jorge da Beira
TEATRO DAS BEIRAS | Created in 1974 in Covilhã, Teatro das Beiras has been a professional company since 1994. Their statistical data, despite being frankly positive in artistic creation numbers (106), shows carried out (+ 2,500) and the very significant increase in the public of all ages, do not translate everything that has been the Company’s action as a contributor to the training plan of publics and their cultural awareness. Over the years, it has co-produced with Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, CENDREV, ACERT, Teatro do Montemuro and Quarta Parede. Since 1980, it has organized the Festival Teatro das Beiras, in which the majority of Portuguese and many foreign theatre companies have participated. At the international level, besides Spain and France, since 2015 the company has participated in the Iberian Performing Arts Circuit, of which it is a founding member.
WOOL – COVILHÃ ARTE URBANA | The WOOL Festival, with 7 editions held in Covilhã until 2020, is the result a passion shared by Lara Seixo Rodrigues, Pedro Seixo Rodrigues and Elisabet Carceller: Urban Art / Graffiti and Covilhã, with all its legacy within the textile industry. A ground-breaking event with these characteristics in the Portugal, paying a valuable tribute to the city’s history and its identity, promoting, at the same time, the rehabilitation of urban areas. Since its foundation (2011), WOOL has used the walls of the historic centre of Covilhã to carry out urban art interventions counting with the cooperation of national and foreign artists. It also promotes parallel awareness actions, aimed at different age groups, confirming the value of Urban Art as an instrument of rehabilitation, enhancement of citizenship and social transformation. The festival has been part of the GOOGLE Arts & Culture project since 2015 and has established numerous national and international partnerships, in countries such as Spain, France, Brazil, USA, Scotland and Tunisia.