our story

At the service of companies and innovation

Founded in 1965 and initially dedicated to the welded construction sector, at the time an innovative and crucial technology for the development of Portuguese industry, we diversified our activity in the early 1980s to other sectors such as the environment, safety, metrology, inspections of electrical and construction installations and equipment, and safety tests of goods and equipment, always having as common denominators Innovation, Quality and Safety.

1965 -1975: From Welding to Technical Inspection

  • 1965 – Creation of IS- Instituto de Soldadura (Welding Institute), a private non-profit association dedicated to welding and related techniques.
  • 1966-1967 – Start-up preparation and commencement of the IS’s activity.
  • 1968 – Welded construction technical assistance and training activities.
  • 1969 – Increase of around 100% in technical assistance and training activities.
  • 1970 – The IS moved its facilities from its headquarters at the Marquês de Pombal School to new premises in Benfica. It also set up a branch in Porto.
    100% growth in activity.
  • 1971 – Development of welder training, technical expertise and assistance, and tank inspection and control activities.
  • 1972 – Development of technical inspection and non-destructive testing activities. IS significantly increases Vocational Training and Improvement during manufacturing.
  • 1973 – Opening of the Northern Branch, in its own premises in the city of Porto. Performing applied research work and expert analyses for industrial companies, mainly in the fields of mechanical and metallurgical behaviour.
  • 1974 – Start of participation in construction work for the SINES Refinery and Petrochemical Complex. Increase in activities relating to inspections, standardisation, labour qualification and procedures for domestic industry.
  • 1975-1976 – The IS is granted the status of a “Recognised Entity” to perform construction control scheme approval activities, construction control approval and construction approval, by the Secretariat of State for Industry. Signing of Permanent Technical Assistance contracts with industrial companies.

1975 – 1985: R&D and Quality

  • 1977 – Start of R&D activity.  Development of participation in major industrial unit construction projects at the Sines Industrial Complex and in the Porto, Lisbon and Setúbal areas. Signing of an agreement with Vinçotte International, allowing services to be extended into new fields of technology.
  • 1978 – Launch of the first Advanced Welding Engineering Traineeships. Launch of the Design and Calculation Centre.
    Consolidation of R&D activity and the establishment of a research contract-programme with the National Board for Scientific and Technological Research.
  • 1979 – Technical assistance activities with Portuguese SMEs, under a partnership plan with IAPMEI.
  • 1980 – The IS – Welding Institute is recognised as a legal entity of public utility.
    Creation of LABEL – first national laboratory for low voltage electrical testing.
    Specialisation in Welding Engineering – now part of the Master Degree in Welding at Nova University. Organisation of the 33rd Annual Meeting of the IIW- International Institute of Welding.
  • 1981 – Start of internationalisation. Organisation of the 34th Annual Meeting of the IIW – International Institute of Welding in Lisbon.
  • 1983 – Creation of LABMETRO – the first company-independent dimensional metrology laboratory
  • 1984 – Launch of the Specialisation in Quality Engineering. Design of the world’s first prototype microprocessor-controlled welding machine.
  • 1985 – Name change to ISQ – Instituto de Soldadura e Qualidade (Welding and Quality Institute).
    Major diversification of competences, new areas, increase in R&D activity and qualifications of technical staff.

1985 – 2005: Commitment to Knowledge

  • 1986 – First Course for Entrepreneurs. First Portuguese entity to participate in a European R&D project.
  • 1987 – Automation of the Autosil battery assembly line.
  • FROM 1988 – 25 de Abril Bridge – general inspection and maintenance monitoring.
  • 1988 – Launch of the Specialisation in Occupational Health and Safety Engineering.
    Launch of the Specialisation in Maintenance Engineering.
    Creation of Intersis and Lasindústria – the first laser job shop in Portugal
  • 1991 – Vehicle Inspection – the first independent Portuguese entity to carry out vehicle inspections
  • 1992 – Creation of SAF – a company pioneering the introduction of E-Learning in Portugal.
  • FROM 1992 – Founding member of the EWF – European Welding Federation, acting as its international secretariat since then.
  • 1996-1999 – 25 de Abril Bridge – widening and installation of the railway line: planning, cost control, supervision, quality control, safety and the environment. First example in the world of such a project without stopping traffic. Annual Meeting of the IIW – International Institute of Welding, in Lisbon.
  • 1997-2000 – Training of 6,000 technicians for the Natural Gas industry in Portugal. Inspection of high, medium and low pressure Natural Gas facilities.
  • 2001-2007 – New Linear Particle Accelerator for CERN – inspection and quality control
  • 2005 – ISQ Capital Fund – first European ASBL entity to set up a Venture Capital Investment Fund

2005 – 2015: Strategic Internationalisation and Diversification

  • 2006 – Portuguese Digital Tachograph System – design and installation
  • 2008 – ISQ was awarded the title of Honorary Member of the Order of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Merit (Industrial Merit Class) by His Excellency the President of the Republic
  • 2010 – Creation of ECOTERMOLAB – an energy vocational training laboratory. Creation of the company ISQ USA, based in Ohio.
  • 2011 – Creation of the company ISQ Al Sultan International in Abu Dhabi and formal opening of the ISQ Qatar branch office.
  • 2012 – Creation of three companies, one in Spain – Labmetro – Servicios de Metrologia SL, another in Equatorial Guinea – ISQ EG and Q3A in Brazil.
  • 2013 – Creation of the company 3S Bluestabil – Stability Studies Services and the laboratory QCPharma, which operates in the pharmaceutical area.
  • 2014 – Creation of the company DBWave.i and acquisition of a stake in the company Sondar.i for the Noise Studies and Gas Emissions Analysis market.
  • 2015 – Creation of ISQ Timor. Member of the Board of Directors of the CEOC (International Confederation of Inspection and Certification Organisations).

2015 – … : Sustainability, Circular Economy. Digital Transformation

  • 2016 – Acquisition of Indika – a regulatory undertaking based in Galicia, Spain.
    Acquisition of Eurofins Portugal – a company operating in the area of gas emissions.
    Internationalisation Revelation Prize, awarded by Jornal de Negócios and Novo Banco.
  • 2017 – Integration of the Industry 4.0 strategic committee, which aims to prepare the industry for an increasingly digital world.  
    Creation of the company Grow to Green, which aims to commercialise Indoor Vertical Farming (IVF) agricultural production solutions.
    Creation of the company QART, which operates in the field of environmental monitoring and urban mapping.
    Renewal of the ITER contract for 7.5 million euros.
  • 2018 – Implementation of the Legionnaires’ disease prevention scheme.
    Accreditation of ISQ by the Portuguese State as a Technological Interface Centre.
    Participation in the E-Tijolo project, for the re-use of cigarette butts in brick production.
    Participation in a joint project with ESA for the thermal protection system for the capsule that will carry samples from Mars to be analysed on Earth. This capsule travelled with the Perseverance robot, which landed on Mars in February 2021.
  • 2018/2019 – QA/QC, Safety NDT for two Windfloat platforms, the first offshore wind power generation system in Portugal.
  • 2019 – Opening of the thermodynamic test tunnel in Castelo Branco.
    Launch of an aerial thermal imaging service using drones.
    Assembly monitoring and taking the actions necessary for the licensing of a biomass boiler at CELBI, as part of ISQ’s competences as OI under the scope of the facility’s regulations; operation, repair and replacement of pressure equipment, in a project run by the ALTRI group.
  • 2020 – QCPHARMA is recognised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US federal agency responsible for protecting and promoting public health.
    Pedro Matias was internationally selected to join the board of directors of the TIC COUNCIL
    ISQ ensures the cold chain and calibration of the refrigerated chambers that received the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
    Launch of a service for the testing of masks and other PPE in the community. Joint project with CERN for mask optimisation.
    Launch of the covid-out stamp.
    Launch of QFA, an integrated unit for chemistry, pharmaco-microbiology and the agrifood industry.
    Creation of the company ISQ Solutions
    Creation of ISQ&CTAG, a joint ISQ and CTAG joint company, with the first accredited testing laboratory for the automotive sector.
  • 2021 – New dedicated laboratory for SARS-COV2 testing in wastewater, air and surfaces, with results in 24h.
    Launch of Lab-in-a-Box, a turnkey service for the design, implementation and certification of scientific laboratories.
    Participation in Medical Cannabis production projects in Portugal
    Accreditation of ISQ for the calibration of Electric Vehicle charging stations in type B networks.
    ISQ is named as Brand of Excellence 2021 by Superbrands Portugal