FCT approves Collaborative Laboratory (CoLABOR) in the area of Labour, Employment and Social Protection

July 2018

The Collaborative Laboratory for Labour, Employment and Social Protection (CoLABOR) was approved by the International Evaluation Committee of the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). This Laboratory aims to produce knowledge that supports the elaboration of social policies, especially in the areas of labour, employment, social security and protection and social and solidarity economy.

The application submitted the Centre of Social Studies (CES) of the University of Coimbra as proponent institution and Manuel Carvalho da Silva as its coordinator. It resulted from the shared initiative of nine entities: the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra; the Institute for Economic, Fiscal and Tax Law of the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon; the ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa; the National Confederation of Solidarity Institutions; the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa, Delta Cafés Sociedade Gestora de Participações Sociais, SA, Mota-Engil, SGPS, S.A. SONAE CENTER SERVIÇOS II, S.A, and the Office of Strategy and Planning of the Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security

CoLABOR will mobilise and organise resources from academia, companies, Public Administration and social and solidarity economy organisations, with the following objectives: (1) To mobilise and expand knowledge to design policy responses (public and organisational) to current and emergent issues in the areas of labour, employment and social protection; (2) To enable the Public Administration and social and solidarity economy companies and organisations, reinforcing instruments of analysis and intervention, anticipation of technological and socioeconomic changes and decision support, at the micro-level - on technological reconfigurations, management and organization models - and at the macro level - on institutions that frame adoption of new technologies, industrial relations, as well as those that regulate social protection; (3) To qualify employment through the training of cadres and the creation of scientific employment, directly, in the activities of CoLABOR and indirectly in the organizations in which it is called upon.

CoLABOR will soon start the four activities foreseen in its work plan for the first five years, namely: (1) Assessment of the impact of technologies on labour and employment; (2) Evaluation of social responses; (3) Data-Labor (data platform); (4) Assessment of the adequacy of social security models.

The Collaborative Laboratories is a new R&D institution launched in 2017 by FCT. «Their main goal is to create skilled and scientific jobs in Portugal, both directly and indirectly, by implementing research and innovation agendas geared at creating economic and social value» and «fostering the consolidation of collaborative practices between scientific, technological or higher education institutions and the social and economic fabric, namely businesses, the hospital and health care system, cultural institutions, and social organizations».

CES also integrates the structure of another selected collaborative laboratory, called ProChild - CoLab Against Poverty and Social Exclusion. Led by Isabel Soares, from the University of Minho, it integrates more than two dozen partner entities between research centres, public entities and companies. Its main guideline is to promote effective social change in the country, placing children at the centre of research and innovation through the use of Social Technology and operating based on the concept of experimental living lab as an open and collaborative context of innovation.

It should be noted that, in the area of social policies, CoLABOR and ProChild are the only two collaborative laboratories approved so far.
Photo © rawpixel on Unsplash


 Photo© rawpixel on Unsplash