Gonçalo Caseiro, Técnico alumnus and Chair of the Portuguese Mint and Official Printing Office (INCM), won the Portugal Digital Awards, for Best Digital Leader.
Gonçalo Caseiro felt “overwhelmed” at the award ceremony. “I felt really overwhelmed, not for the award itself, but for all the projects, public and private institutions, and professionals that I saw going on stage that day”, he highlights. “I am sure that we will be able to respond to all challenges with the agility and quality that the 21st century requires, and we have every reason to have hope for the future and believe in future leaders”, adds the alumnus.
“I am honoured to work in a multi-centenary institution and to receive this recognition, but above all to participate in this moment we are experiencing, which is decisive for the promotion of open innovation”, says the chair of INCM.
But what makes Gonçalo Caseiro the best digital leader? According to Portugal Digital Awards jury: “the work carried out in various companies and public institutes” and “the new services created at INCM that take advantage of the new digital tools”. The Técnico alumnus shares the award “with all those people who work with me every day to make the oldest manufacturing establishment in the country one of the most innovative today”. “I have the great privilege of working in a company that has gone through various periods in the history of Portugal, different political regimes and witnessed the greatest social transformations of our country”, he says.
Gonçalo Caseiro’s greatest motivation is, at the same time, his greatest concern: “to guarantee the future of INCM”. “So it was perhaps why I have associated innovation to INCM’s DNA, which runs through all our activity. Today INCM lives a true culture of open innovation”, highlights the Técnico alumnus.
Innovation without losing sight of the cultural and social role achieved over 250 years
When Gonçalo Caseiro took office as Chair, in 2017, he identified 4 essential challenges. The Técnico alumnus knew it was crucial “to create new products or produce the same products in a more efficient and sustainable way. We created the biggest innovation award in Portugal – IN3 + Award” he says.
Exporting was another challenge, which has been successfully overcome: “internationalisation is now one of the main strategic axes of INCM and we have done a great job to find strong local partners that ensure access to international reference markets”, points out the Técnico alumnus.
Another priority since INCM foundation has been the preservation of the Portuguese language and culture. “This strong public-service mission is now available in digital media for free”.
Another Gonçalo Caseiro’s priority was the strengthening of the sustainability agenda, “getting involved in collective commitments, in the circular economy, by using recycled/recyclable materials in our products”, highlights the Técnico alumnus.
A company created in the Middle Ages with a very promising future
INCM leads some of the most innovative projects worldwide, in the fileds of people identification and brand protection. Gonçalo Caseiro doesn’t know if INCM is riding on the crest of a wave, but he assures “we are far from wave breaking”. “I would say that the digital transformation is done with a longboard, it takes time, but we are in excellent conditions to ride this wave. As we have always been”.
“In 2020, the Atlas project, which aims to improve the logistics associated with the Portuguese Electronic Passport and the Citizen Card, through the use of collaborative robotics, manipulation and operation of an intelligent warehouse, integrated in the Industry 4.0. concept, received the Best Future of Operations Project Award [another category of the Portugal Digital Awards]”, shares Gonçalo Caseiro.
“Every year we invest 1% of our turnover in innovation”, says the Técnico alumnus. Many innovations result from this investment and from project monitoring. INCM monitors 20 R&D projects, involving 80 researchers from Portuguese universities and an Innovation network, comprising dozens of universities, technological and research centres, laboratories and startups, investors, suppliers and customers, among other sectorial entities considered strategic. “The INCM Lab team, as we called it, closely works with the different units of the company”, highlights Gonçalo Caseiro.
The academic training that prepared and inspired him
Gonçalo Caseiro got his BSc degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico and worked in Accenture, Government Shared Services Entity, Administrative Modernization Agency (AMA) and European Commission. Before taking office as Chair of INCM, he was a Board Member.
“Técnico teaches us to develop our leadership skills, to take care of those who stand beside us or in our group. The major engineering works and projects aren’t performed individually”, stresses the Técnico alumnus.
Besides good memories, Técnico has left him some lessons. Gonçalo Caseiro shares how the school left a mark on him: “Admiration for the research work carried out at Técnico and at institutions like INESC, world class teaching and its contribution to country’s competitiveness. I have the privilege of doing what I like and that’s why I bring all this with me every day”, he says.