CERNAS is a research unit hosted by three institutions: the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra (IPC), through the Agrarian School of Coimbra (ESAC), the Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco (IPCB), through the Agrarian School of Castelo Branco (ESACB), and the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu (IPV), through the Agrarian School of Viseu (ESAV) and the School of Technology and Management of Viseu (ESTGV).
The hosting institutions have built along their history strong networks with the local agricultural enterprises and associations and this fact confers to CERNAS a very strong and active role within the production system.
All hosting institutions (IPC, IPCB and IPV) share their resources with CERNAS, allowing their staff to join the CERNAS research team, and allowing the use of their research and development equipment and infrastructures, including laboratories, pilots and field trials.
Furthermore, the hosting institutions assure the needed support structures in what concerns the administrative, financial and communication services. This includes the use of the documental management system and the financial management system, to provide the consistence required to fulfill FCT demands. In addition, the host institutions provide privileged access to the existing infrastructures devoted to the fostering of entrepreneurship, which will allow the implementation of a consequent strategy allowing the blossom of technology-based startup companies and their development towards spin-off enterprises. These symbioses have and will allow the implementation of CERNAS strategy under the scope of CERNAS aim to become a major player in the sustainable development of the Central Region.