Study Trip to Madeira: A Symbiosis of Nature and Local Economy
The students and the two professors experienced the breathtaking natural landscapes, including dramatic cliffs, lush forests, and impressive mountain panoramas. The island is also known for its world-famous port wine, banana exports, and its commitment to protecting the surrounding marine ecosystem.
ARDITI – Regional agency for the development of research, technology, and innovation
The first stop for the Master's students was the regional agency ARDITI, which plays a crucial role on the island in promoting scientific research, technological advancement, and innovation in all sectors. The agency also supports collaboration with the local University of Madeira and focuses on multiple research departments. One of these is the Centre for Marine and Environmental Sciences (MARE), which undertakes projects in coastal ecology, marine litter, fisheries, climate change, and human-induced stressors and their impacts on coastal ecosystems.
BAM – Banana exporting company of Madeira
The second day of the trip led the students to BAM, a company that exports high-quality bananas and banana products to the Portuguese mainland, emphasizing the island's tradition of banana cultivation. The Master's students learned about the primary historical key factors and the importance of the export situation. In 2021, the export of Madeira bananas totaled 20.2 thousand tons. BAM also produces banana cakes, banana beer, and banana liqueur, highlighting the diverse uses of the banana product. Additionally, BAM impressed the students with its well-thought-out and coherent marketing concept. In recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, Madeira has become an attractive destination for digital nomads, offering a supportive community and remote work infrastructure in an inspiring environment. The International Business Center (IBC) also attracts international companies with tax incentives, promoting business growth and economic development. The current tax regime encourages the establishment of new businesses in the International Business Center of Madeira (by the end of 2023), with significantly reduced corporate tax rates granted until the end of 2027.[YU2]
Center for Environmental Education and Conservation
Located in the island's mountains, the Madeira Nature Center is a hub for environmental education and conservation, using virtual reality to raise awareness of the island's biodiversity.
Wine and Good Company
The students also had the opportunity to visit the Barbeito winery in Madeira, one of the renowned producers of the famous Madeira wines. During a wine tasting, the study trip participants were introduced to the various aromas and the complexity of the winery's matured wines, ranging from dry to sweet varieties. A barbecue organized by the group was one of the highlights of the study trip, fostering team building and interaction. Not only were excellent dishes prepared, but the entire evening was also characterized by socializing, laughter, good conversations, and lots of fun.