The activities at IN+ derive from those developed between 1986 and the mid 90's within the scope of the Combustion Laboratory at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Tecnico Lisboa, which have later been extended to integrate competencies at the level of sustainable energy systems, technology policy and advanced socio-economic research methods.
This is because the successful development, and subsequent exploitation, of energy and environmental solutions, requires - apart from knowledge of basic thermofluid science - the understanding of policy issues and innovation strategies, in a context that promotes Sustainability.
The Master's programme on Engineering Policy and Management of Technology was launched in Tecnico Lisboa in 1998.
In 2000, IN+ was a co-founder of the associate laboratory LARSyS - Robotics and Systems in Engineering and Science, bringing together a research network of several research centres, which was further extended in 2010 and recently re-structured and focused in 2014.
From 2000 to 2003, IN+ coordinated a national initiative and exhibition on the history of engineering in Portugal in the 20th century called Engenho e Obra, which won the Dibner Award da Society for the History of Technology in 2003. That same year, the documentary was also awarded the UNIVERSIDADES Œ03 Prize by TELEciência 2003 - V International Film Festival of Scientific Dissemination.
In 2006, IN+ extended and expanded its activities in close association with three new PhD programmes launched at IST for close national and international cooperation, namely in Sustainable Energy Systems, Technical Change and Entrepreneurship, and Engineering and Public Policy. These programs benefitted from several government-driven international partnerships with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), both of which have also driven several new industry-science relationships in Portugal and abroad.
In 2011, IN+ launched the IRGC-Portugal, as a network of research laboratories in close cooperation with the International Risk Governance Council.
From 2013, IN+ has become also involved in Innoenergy, one of the Innovation Communities (KICs) supported by the European Institute of Technology. These are partnerships that bring together businesses, research centres and universities to allow the development of innovative products and services in the energy area imaginable, the creation of new companies and the training of a new generation of entrepreneurs. Within Innoenergy, IN+ leads the PhD School in the Iberia region.
In 2014, under the re-organization of LARSyS for the national research assessment, IN+ re-focused on its initial 3 research areas. Among other international activities, the centre launched the networks Step4EU - Science, Technology, Education and Policy for Europe and OIPG - International Observatory for Global Policies for the Sustainable Exploration of Atlantic.