Joana Baptista, Raquel Figueiredo and Sara Freitas won the “Best environmental impact hack Award” in the Lisbon Green Hackaton

The three MIT Portugal Sustainable Energy Systems PhD Students at Instituto Dom Luiz developed the idea of a sun umbrella capable of storing solar energy, through a series of photovoltaic cells on its surface and a battery.

The Lisbon Green Hackathon took place on the 12th and 13th of March and is an all night long marathon in which teams of up to four participants must come up with, develop, program and build a prototype for something that will hopefully make the world a greener place.

The idea of a solar umbrella withthe ability to store solar energy was considered the most innovative proposal in the competition. The device will allow users to charge their electronic devices (mobile phones, tablets, cameras, etc.) while enjoying a day outside and knowing that they are contributing to the decrease of their ecological footprint. In addition of protecting its users from the sun, the umbrella named CumuluSolar, manages through a set of sensors to monitor and provide, in real time, information regarding the consumption of the equipment. How to access this data? Each umbrella has a QR Code that allows instant access to a web page that displays this information

The Lisbon Green Hackathon is part of an international initiative that defies students and teachers, schools and universities to promote the use of cutting-edge technology to shape tomorrow into something more sustainable . 

Lisbon Green Hackatlon MPP Students Prize

MPP PhD Students Joana Baptista, Raquel Figueiredo e Sara Freitas at the Lisbon Green Hackathon 

60 MIT Portugal Program students were gathered in one intensive week of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The I&E Course is a MIT Portugal Program´s initiative designed for students to learn and experience innovation and entrepreneurship in a mix of team, individual and class work. This year´s edition took place between February 6th and 10th at the Instituto Superior Técnico and assembled over 60 MPP students from the four Program educational areas.. The event was organized this year by Frederico Ferreira, João Bigotte, Nuno Arantes-Oliveira and Douglas Hart but counted also with special keynote lectures by  Christina Chase (MIT), Ana Casaca (CUF, Director of Innovation), Rui Paiva (WeDo, CEO), João Pereira (Magnomics, CEO ), David Marçal (Associação Viver a Ciência), David Cristina (Portugal Ventures), Nuno Faria (MPP alumnus) and  Paulo Pereira Silva (Renova, CEO).

The workshop exposes students to different approaches, views and philosophies on Innovation and Entrepreneurship allowing them to foster a creative, critical, dynamic and entrepreneurial spirit.  The course is run as a boot-camp from 9.00am to 8.00pm in mix of team, individual and class work. During this week, students are expected to gather information from peers and faculty, establish contacts and finally develop a business project which will be presented and put up to discussion. The challenge launched this year by the MPP Faculty members was to develop an innovative idea and build a strategic plan for a new technology by answering to questions such as: how does the technology work, what´s the problem it solves, how can it become available, what skills must the team have, who are the consumers, buyers and competitors and how will you make money out of it. The nine groups were divided regardless of their educational area so they could take profit of their different experiences and know-how, to build an innovative project.

The event was a success and by the end of the week the participants had acquired essential skills such has:

  • Engage effectively with others to refine ideas;
  • Realize the potential of innovation beyond conventional research boundaries;
  • Use critical and systems thinking and acquired skills to devise how to engage in innovation and entrepreneurship;
  • Empower future innovators and replace a subjective ideal of innovation and entrepreneurship with an actionable approach to create something new and fun;
  • Learn how to navigate an innovation ecosystem;
  • Appreciate the value of cross-disciplinary work and different skill-sets.

It is expected that these tools serve as an important contribute for future research and ventures.

Foto grupo 2I&E Students and Professors João Bigotte, Nuno Arantes-Oliveira and Frederico Ferreira

MIT Portugal PhD alumna was awarded with the L'Oréal Portugal Medal for Women in Science

Patrícia Baptista developed the concept of an assessment tool that vulnerable users can use to choose the more accessible and sustainable routes.

Elderly, pregnant women, children and people with reduced mobility, are more susceptible to high risk events and are the groups which will benefit the most from the proposal presented by Patrícia Baptista, Researcher at Instituto Superior Técnico and MIT Portugal Program alumna in Sustainable Energy Systems, recognized with the the L'Oréal Portugal Medal for Women in Science and a 15 000€ prize.

The main objective of this work is to improve urban mobility, by developing an assessment tool to compare relevant trip indicators (such as travel time, human effort, local pollutant inhalation, energy consumption and emissions, etc.) for the same journey. This innovative approach is relevant and adequate for all types of users, but will be particularly helpful for people with reduced mobility by allowing them to choose the best route and transportation to minimize time, cost, effort or inhalation of pollutants, and also avoid risk events such as traffic hot-spots, slippery sidewalks or accentuated slopes. The use of such a planning tool will allow all users to make more informed decisions regarding trip arrangements.

In addition, the transportation sector is a major contributor to energy consumption and to air pollution, so the development of this platform will permit the correct quantification of urban trip energy, environmental and health impacts which has a crucial importance in a context of ambitious EU targets for reducing emissions in urban centers.

The 14th edition of the L'Oréal Portugal Honor Medals for Women in Science recognizes and supports the work of some of the most promising young Portuguese scientists working in national institutions, in a partnership between L´Oréal, the Portuguese National Commission for UNESCO and the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT). This year the Award Ceremony was presided by the Portuguese President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and the former First Lady, Maria Cavaco Silva who honored the four researchers with a L´Oréal Medal and a financial prize of 15 thousand euros each.

Patricia BaptistaAna Rita Marques, Patrícia Baptista, the former First lady Maria Cavaco Silva, the Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Isabel Veiga and Maria Inês Almeida

MIT Portugal Program 2017 Call for Exploratory Proposals

Purpose and overview

[Informação em Português: Programa MIT Portugal - 2017 Concurso para Projetos de Investigação ExploratóriaConcurso para Projetos de Investigação Exploratória]

The MIT Portugal Program is a partnership between Portuguese Universities, Research Centers, Industry and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to promote the investment in science, technology and higher education as a catalyser for social and economic development in Portugal.

The Program celebrated in 2016 its 10th anniversary and has been, throughout this decade, strengthening and developing a research platform for cutting-edge concepts in emerging areas of science and technology such as Bioengineering, Sustainable Energy and Transportation Systems and Integrated Product Design.

A Call for Proposals for Exploratory Research is opened within the MIT Portugal Program framework. This call is guided towards research projects with the potential to contribute towards the long-term objective of developing innovative products and services, demonstrating international competitiveness and innovative capacity in science and technology amongst public and private sectors and the entities of the National Scientific and Technology System (SCTN) under the following themes:

1. Integrative research based in the context of the Atlantic International Research Center (AIR Center);
2. Sustainable and data driven urban systems;
3. New industrial concepts and smart factories;
4. Bio & Medical Devices;
5. Sustainable Transportation Systems.

These projects will be also used to assess emergent scientific domains that could be considered in the design of a potential 3rd phase of the MIT Portugal Program. The projects developed should also contribute to the Azores International Research Center (AIR Center) scientific developments and objectives, as stated in the document “Towards a Science and Technology agenda for an integrative approach to the Atlantic: Climate Change and Energy Systems, Space and Ocean Sciences, through North-South cooperation”, available at FCT website.

What’s included

Under this call, a maximum of 18 (eighteen) exploratory projects are expected to receive funding. The actual number of exploratory projects funded will depend on the scale and scope of the proposed Initiatives and the quality of the proposals submitted.

The total amount available for Portuguese research institutions, as part of this research call, will be up to €1,800,000 (one million, eight hundred thousand euros), depending on proposal design and budget justifications.

Eligibility

Only the following entities are eligible to receive funding from FCT through the present call for proposals: Higher Education Institutions, their institutes and R&D centers; State or international Laboratories with headquarters in Portugal; Private non-profit institutions whose main objective is to carry out R&D activities; other private or public non-profit institutions that develop or participate in scientific research activities.

This call is for funding of research and development projects applied to Exploratory Research proposals by entities of the National Scientific and Technology System (NSTS), public and private partners.

The proposals submitted should include:

  • "projects in co-operation" carried out in a consortium, with the participation of two research teams from different entities as identified in section 2 of the  Announcement of the Call. One of them must be an entity referenced on Point 2.1 – “Higher Education Institutions, their institutes and R&D units”. The consortium may also include any other public or private entities, profit or not for profit, that may also invest in the exploratory research project and that may bring relevant competencies to the project;
  • A MIT researcher, who can be any person from the MIT research staff (faculty or research scientist). This participation should be confirmed by a “letter of collaboration”, to be submitted with the proposal.

How and when to apply

Applications must be submitted online, from January 18th, 2017 until March 8th, 2017 at 17:00 (Lisbon time), through the FCT website following the Announcement of the Call for Proposals.

Applicants should fill in the on-line FCT form according to the guidelines provided in the MIT Portugal Program: 2017 – Terms of Reference for the Call Proposals and after also reading carefully the Proposal submission Guide and the Announcement of the Call.

Evaluation

The selection and ranking of the applications will be as described at the MIT Portugal Program: 2017 – Terms of Reference for the Call Proposals, namely based on the following criteria:

  1. Scientific merit and innovative nature of the project, preferably within the scope of the priorities developed by the Atlantic International Research Center (AIR Center) initiative;
  2. Scientific merit of the research team;
  3. Feasibility of the work plan and reasonability of the budget;
  4. Contribution to the body of knowledge and competence of the National Science and Technology System;
  5. Potential economic value of the technology.

Contacts

Information on the scientific matters of the application form can be obtained from: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Information on the contents of the application form can be obtained from: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The information on this page does not replace or override any requirements set forth in the Regulations or the Announcement of the Call for Proposals.

StartMIT, an initiative to inspire Students to become Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship and Innovation are once more the main focus of StartMIT, a two-and-a-half-week workshop at the MsMIT Boston, which exposes undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdocs to various entrepreneurial pathways. Between January 9th and 23rd, MIT Students will learn from leaders in innovation, participate in activities to refine their projects, and attend events with alumni and other leaders in the Boston entrepreneurial ecosystem. The MIT Portugal National Director, Pedro Arezes and Nuno Arantes Oliveira, Assistant Professor of the MIT-Portugal Program, attended as guests the first week of the workshop and engaged with entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors to explore and discuss the future of innovation.

How to launch a startup, make a good pitch, develop a funding strategy, contribute to a successful team or company, are some of the themes that will be under discussion. The event program includes nearly 70 high-profile speakers including Robert Langer, the MIT’s professor and MIT Portugal Faculty Member, who holds 1,100 issued and pending patents, being the most patented engineer in history. Professor Langer has also a h-index of 228, the highest of any engineer in history and his patents have licensed or sublicensed to over 300 companies.

StartMIT is a unique opportunity to work closely with MIT team of entrepreneurs and innovators, develop ideas and approach problems that need solving. Throughout the workshop students will be able to work alongside mentors to seek for advice and ideas and travel to several field trips to experience the startup culture. The initiative gives students an understanding of the resources and opportunities available to them during their time at MIT and beyond.  

StartMITDoug Hart (Professor at MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering and E&I Faculty Lead for the MIT Portugal Program), Pedro Arezes and Nuno Arantes Oliveira (MIT Portugal) and Christina Chase (MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor)