Challenges and Opportunities in Design and Technology: a look into the next decade by MIT Portugal

The increasing growth of the automotive industry demands the development of groundbreaking solutions, innovative technologies and disruptive products, services and business models. New industrial players must constantly invest in R&D and look one step forward into the future, which was in fact the main objective of the International Industry Roundtable (IIR) promoted by the MIT Portugal Program, which took place on Monday, May 15th, at the RÓMULO - Centro Ciência Viva from the University of Coimbra.

The auto industry has some of the largest industrial R&D investors in the world. Typically, the annual investment in R&D surpasses 30 billion in Europe only. The automotive industry is also one of the most important industries in Portugal, being a top contributor for value creation and generation of jobs. It represents around 8% of the country’s GDP, 11% of the country exports and more than 30.000 direct jobs.

This Roundtable brought together more than 80 industry leaders, entrepreneurs, expert researchers and graduate students in a look ahead to the next 5-10 years of the industry. The Session allowed participants to discuss common objectives, share new technologies and ideas, and promoted networking and potential collaborations between participants from academia and industry.

The initiative counted on the participation of speakers from emerging companies based in Portugal such as the Fraunhofer Institute, Magnum Cap, AFIA, Brisa, Ceiia, TU Delft, Bosch, Caetano Bus, Uber, BMWi and Ubiwhere, and representatives of MIT Portugal, University of Coimbra, University of Minho, and University of Lisbon.

The International Industry Roundtables (IIR) are an ongoing initiative of the MIT Portugal Program in collaboration with multiple academic and business entities and this is the second edition dedicated to Cities, Energy and Transportation. The IIR aim is to use the neutral grounds of academia to bring together entrepreneurs, company executives, policy makers, scientists, engineers and graduate students around topics where cutting-edge technology is put at the service of sustainable economic and social development. The focus is to bridge views and find common objectives between industry and academia, as well as within industry and within academia. 

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