About the Smart City Innovation Lab at Católica-Lisbon

The Smart City Innovation Lab (SCIL), is a multi-disciplinary research group at Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics (Portugal). SCIL’s mission is to empower businesses to create wellbeing in urban areas via digital technologies, novel business models and sustainable values. The research of the group focuses on business models, entrepreneurial strategy, and digital innovation. SCIL consults companies on strategic issues related to business modelling and digitization. SCIL collaborates with 50+ companies across Europe and has ongoing research projects with leading universities around the world (e.g. MIT, St.Gallen, Manchester). The lab is lead partner in two European H2020 projects and hosts the online platform www.smartbusinessmodeler.com. SCIL was founded by René Bohnsack, PhD, Professor for Strategy and Innovation at Católica-Lisbon.

GRONEN Conference 2020

We are excited and proud to host the GRONEN Conference 2020!  

Due to the current situation around COVID-19 we are switching to virtual conferencing mode. Together with 60 amazing authors and 15 lucky PhDs, we will run the first virtual conferencing pilot of its kind! 

We will use our very own www.ichair.org platform – developed from academics for academics and available to everyone!

This year’s theme “Sustainability in the Digital Age” will be lived!

Register for GRONEN2020
Learn more about Virtual Conferencing

Recent News

All Things Virtual! 7 Tips for Online Presentations

In the light of COVID-19, companies and academic institutions face the challenge of keeping daily business, teaching and research events going. We at the Smart City Innovation Lab believe, the conversation must go on! Thanks



The Integrated Smart GRID Cross-Functional Solutions for Optimized Synergetic Energy Distribution, Utilization Storage Technologies (inteGRIDy) aims to integrate cutting-edge technologies, solutions and mechanisms in a scalable cross-functional platform connecting energy networks with diverse stakeholders, facilitating optimal and dynamic operation of the Distribution Grid (DG), fostering the stability and coordination of distributed energy resources and enabling collaborative storage schemes within an increasing share of renewables.

inteGRIDy tackles the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as the need for synergy to speed up the development process, and thus market introduction of novel digital services in the energy industry.

The Consortium, which the Smart City Innovation Lab is part of, comprises 30 partners. SCIL is responsible for the business modelling toolsets.



The Smart Business Modeler© allows for practice in business modeling. It is a business modeling tool that goes beyond existing tools. In such it guides the user to implement their business model in an online-tool that can be used as a webpage and shared right away with the world. The Smart Business Modeler© has been built on state-of-the art research about business modeling and allows the user to be innovative but also consider the foundations of sound business modeling.

The Smart Business Modeler was created due to the lack of methodological tools for smart city business modeling as well as of expert guidance through the business modeling process in the online domain and a lack of understanding of how business model innovation can help in the smart city transformation process.

The Smart Business Modeler is a project developed solely by the Smart City Innovation Lab.


The DTx Digital Transformation CoLab aims to address the new paradigms in products, services, and human machine interface and the consequent changes in industry and society, fostering collaborative research and technological development between multidisciplinary academic knowledge and a wide range of industrial competences. DTx projects will address digitalization in product design, systems development and manufacturing solutions, and will be selected according to the CoLab technological roadmaps and the partners challenges.

The DTx CoLab is a non-profit organization with 18 participating entities, including three universities and 13 companies. SCIL will mainly contribute with knowledge on Business Models applied to the prospective projects.


The research project “BMx”, Business Model xploration, is looking into the possibilities to a) predict the success of a business model based on its description and context, i.e. team members and industry, and opportunities to b) suggest patterns and similar firms based on business model configuration, both in related and unrelated industries. Understanding the link between the configuration of a business model and expected performance can add significant value to academia and practice.

In academia the business model – performance link is largely unexplored and in practice understanding configurational implications can save start-ups significant time, give insights into the industry and stimulate lateral thinking.

BMx is a joint project between the Smart City Innovation Lab and the MIT Real Estate Innovation Lab.



The ergoscan analyses postures directly at the workplace, gives feedback and coaches a healthy sitting behaviour through the combination of sensors and data analytics. To improve the sitting behaviour of workers, the concept comprises a five-day posture analysis at the workplace, an individual posture report, and online coaching to build and apply the knowledge.

This innovative concept from the analysis to tailor-made exercises and tips for correcting unhealthy postures wants to ensure a lasting change in behaviour.

The ergoscan was developed by the German startup Fitbase because 80% of German workers suffer from back pain, usually caused by unilateral postures. The Smart City Innovation Lab is testing the technology over several months to provide feedback.

Selected Partners


René Bohnsack, PhD
René Bohnsack, PhDDirector SCIL
René Bohnsack is Professor of Strategy and Innovation at Católica-Lisbon and International Faculty Fellow at MIT Sloan School of Management. He studies the diffusion of technologies as well as how business models can accelerate this process. Dr. Bohnsack has published his research in the best international innovation and management journals such as Research Policy, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Product Innovation Management, California Management Review or Technovation. Next to the academic accomplishments, René co-founded several start-ups.
Alina Margolina
Alina MargolinaProject Manager
Alina Margolina is a Project Manager at the Smart City Innovation Lab at Católica Lisbon. She has a Master’s degree in Innovation and Product Management from the University of Applied Sciences-Upper Austria (Wels, Austria) and a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Communications from the Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russia). Her work in the Lab is dedicated to business model development for sustainability and the energy sector. In addition, she is interested in such fields as management of the fuzzy front end of innovation, customer co-creation and open innovation. Alina also has international experience in the fields of strategic foresight, product marketing management and marketing communications.
Cláudia Antunes Marante
Cláudia Antunes MaranteResearcher
Cláudia Antunes Marante is a Research Fellow at the Smart City Innovation Lab at Católica Lisbon, she has a Master’s degree in Research on Business and Administration from Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville. She has some research experience and has been a visiting scholar at the University of Glasgow. Cláudia is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program focused on International Strategy. She also has non-academic work experience, being her last position as a Data Analyst at Cisco Systems Portugal.
Christina Bidmon
Christina BidmonPostdoctoral Fellow
Christina M. Bidmon is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smart City Innovation Lab at Católica Lisbon. Her research is positioned at the interface between corporate strategy, sustainability, and digital innovation. Before joining SCIL, Christina was a Ph.D. Student at Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences in Denmark. She studied International Business Administration and Management in Hamburg, Copenhagen, and Guadalajara. Christina has worked in management consulting and corporate strategy functions for companies in Germany, the US, and Chile.
Mariana Morais Sarmento
Mariana Morais SarmentoResearch Fellow
Mariana Morais Sarmento is a Research Fellow at the Smart City Innovation Lab at Católica Lisbon. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Management from Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics. Her role in the Lab is dedicated to content development for business model innovation and smart city innovation projects. Mariana is passionate about the sustainable economic development of developing economies and she is deeply interested in social innovation as well as impact ventures.
Tiago Antunes
Tiago AntunesSoftware Developer
Tiago Antunes is a Software Developer at the Smart City Innovation Lab at Católica Lisbon. Tiago has a Master’s Degree in Information Systems and Computer Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico – Lisbon, with a major specialisation in Software Engineering and minor specialisation in Enterprise Information Systems. He is skilled in web & mobile applications, and serious games development. He has been working mainly as a freelancer, collaborating with companies and organizations from different countries, in several areas of software engineering. In the Lab, Tiago is responsible for the analysis, design, and implementation of the applications that support SCIL projects on sustainability and the energy sector.
Melissa Gutberlet
Melissa GutberletResearch Fellow
Melissa is a Research Fellow at the Smart City Innovation Lab at Católica Lisbon. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Management from the University of Amsterdam and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics from the Goethe-University Frankfurt. Throughout her studies she also spent time at the Toulouse School of Economics as well as the University of New South Wales in Sydney. In addition, she has gained practical experience in finance, international strategy and business development while working in Brussels and Frankfurt. Her research interests focus on sustainable business models, environmental management and social innovation, reflecting her passion for the environment and social equality.
Mariana Nunes
Mariana NunesResearch Fellow
Mariana Nunes is a Católica Lisbon student of the Master’s in Management with Specialisation in Strategy and Entrepreneurship. Her work in the lab is currently dedicated to a research project on Business Models & Smart Cities. Mariana is passionate about (sustainable) business model innovation and gaining insights from data. She is eager for new realities and challenges.


We want to share our knowledge with you and therefore make case studies, worksheets and reports available.

Learn more about our resources here!


We consult companies, start-ups and organizations, offer workshops as well as business model design with the Smart Business Modeler in the areas

  • Business Modeling,
  • Digital Transformation,
  • Smart Cities.

Learn more here!


We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Smart City Innovation Lab
Católica Lisbon School of Business & Economics
Palma de Cima, Travessa de Cima dos Quartéis, 1649-023 Lisboa