Critical Materials develops IT solutions for analysing structural elements of complex instruments such as aircraft and wind turbines. Based on this, it supplies proposals and diagnoses to improve performance, reduce maintenance costs and prevent accidents. Founded in 2009, the company has its head office in Guimarães, Portugal.
Recognised by the European Commission as an example of best practice in use of EU funding, Critical Materials is moving into new markets abroad. The firm, founded at Portugal’s University of Minho, already exports its IT solutions to countries in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. Its customers are in sectors such as aeronautics, aerospace, energy and infrastructure.
Critical Materials’ most recent project was carried out for the Pakistan Air Force and included the sale of its flagship product, PRODDIA.
“For companies like Critical Materials with relatively long return-on-investment cycles, that EU support is key”, explains CEO Gustavo Rodrigues Dias.
In September 2017, the value of transactions approved in Portugal under the EU’s Investment Plan for Europe totalled €1.9 billion. This sum could generate €5.4 billion in investment. Companies in Guimarães have already benefited, the most recent example being Critical Materials, which was founded by two researchers from the University of Minho.
“The EU is of unparalleled importance for the country, particularly Guimarães. European funding has played a crucial role from a research perspective by providing financing and certainty about the future,” argues Guimarães city councillor Ricardo Costa. He believes that “Guimarães is very strong in terms of businesses and offers a favourable environment for entrepreneurs, with a perfect triangle of local authorities, companies and academia.”
Critical Materials emerged as a vehicle for the transfer to the market of know-how generated at the University of Minho in northern Portugal. It is comprised of a team of researchers and engineers who develop IT solutions for sectors including aeronautics, aerospace, energy and infrastructure.
EU funding has allowed Critical Materials to consolidate and to develop new software, hardware and marketing strategies. Its main product is the structural health management system PRODDIA. This provides information on the material condition and structural integrity of critical components in aircraft, wind turbines and other complex machinery.
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