In the 2020 European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS), with data for 2019, Portugal appears in the group of countries that are rated as strong innovators.

Innovation is fundamental for business competitiveness and results from the growing generation and accumulation of scientific knowledge over time and its permanent experimentation to produce successful innovations and generate added value for organizations, processes or products, as well as for the way services are provided to consumers.
Santa Maria da Feira thus benefits from being part of a strong and recognized regional innovation ecosystem, whose core is the Porto Metropolitan Area, in the Northern Region, which is the second most innovative in Portugal, immediately after the Lisbon Metropolitan Area.

"Northern Portugal's potential has a deep connection with the industrial character and  entrepreneurial profile of a region that is undergoing a catching-up process that, on the one hand, benefits from the incorporation of technologies through diffusion and, on the other, develops innovations in products and processes, towards moving up the value chain through product differentiation and increased labour productivity.” (NORTE 2030 - Northern Development Strategy for the 2021-27 Programming Period of the European Union Policies)
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