The Municipality of Penela is a small territory of approximately 135 km2 and 5 983 inhabitants, located in the Centro region of Portugal.

Since 2007, Penela has recognised the importance of defining a sustainable local strategy focused on innovation, competitiveness and entrepreneurship, able to create competitive advantages from the differentiating factors of the Municipality and establish strategic partnerships that could exploit real opportunities. With this in mind, we created the Director Programme for Innovation, Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship (DP-ICE).

In 2010, Penela joined the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) which brings together companies, researchers and public institutions,. It works to promote cooperation and creativity and create new products and services that will test in real life,  aiming to promote the integration of areas of low population density in a challenging globalised world. This is the Smart Rural Living Lab, a member of the ENoLL.

Depopulation is the most difficult challenge that we will face but the most important thing is to set a winning strategy to attract new residents and tourists to these villages. The environmental excellence, the high quality of education, the local economic resources valorisation and the continuous bet in an innovative and entrepreneurial culture need to set the path to a sustainable local economy in the future.


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