Innovative proposal in the wind energy sector won the Portuguese Association of Renewable Energies Award

Renewable energy was responsible for producing this year around 59% of the total amount of electricity in Portugal and it is expected that 1/3 comes from wind energy sources, according to data disclosed by APREN. It becomes more and more crucial to support alternative solutions to produce energy, a topic that was highlighted on the 2016 Portuguese Association of Renewable Energies Award which has honoured Bernardo Marques Amaral Silva, a INESCTEC researcher and a MIT Portugal Program Sustainable Energy Systems Phd doctorate at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto with the first prize for his thesis “Multi-terminal HVDC Grids: Control Strategies for Ancillary Services Provision in Interconnected Transmission Systems with Offshore Wind Farms, a pioneering approach to take the best profit of Wind farms (WF).

Wind Energy (WE) has largely contributed to the de-carbonisation of the energy sector and consequently to the definition of the European Commission (EC) targets on renewable-based electricity generation. During the last decade, massive investment has culminated in the substantial installation of Wind Farms (WF). Moreover, the ambitious plans for increasing these targets on renewable-based electricity generation demand the deployment of more WF. However, the European Union has settled the goal for the level of greenhouse gas reduction by 40% (by comparison with 1990 levels) until 2030 and the share of renewable energy to 27% in terms of energy consumption.

Simultaneously, the Fukushima incident has put pressure on European governments regarding the use of nuclear power plants which, although not considered as renewable, have reduced emission of greenhouse gases (compared to conventional power plants based on fossil fuels).

In order to meet the new goals, it is expected a significant contribution from offshore wind farms (at sea). From a technical point of view, the adoption of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) is crucial to allow the installation of high power PE and to manage high connexion distances from the mainland. Recent procedures intend to adopt direct current networks rather than connections “point-to-point” since they may also support the connection between mainland AC networks, allowing a greater integration of renewable sources and enabling the development of a European electricity market.

Pedro Arezes perspective on the new role as National Director and strategy for the future

Pedro Arezes, Professor of Ergonomics and Human Factors in the Production and Systems Department of the School of Engineering of the University of Minho, is since June the new MIT Portugal Program National Director.

In an interview to Segurança Magazine, he makes a clearly positive review of these last months and considers a privilige being part of the Portuguese Program of a renowned University thas is constantly recognized by the best World rankings such as the first place for the fifth straight year on the QS World University Rankings.

The National Director also adresses the end of the second phase of the program in 2017 and mentions a call for proposals that will take place at the beginning of the year. For the near future the main goal is to conclude the plans for this phase and work on a proposal for a potential third stage.

Full Interview

MIT Portugal PhD student wins the Road Safety Innovation Award by ACP with an alternative solution to road humps

Francisco Duarte, a PhD Student in Transportation Systems of the MIT Portugal Program at University of Coimbra, was honored today with the first prize at the initiative promoted by Automóvel Clube Portugal in a partnership with BP Portugal, National Council of Rectors and National Innovation Agency. The 10 000€ will later be invested in the venture’s prototype is currently under construction and it is expected that the laboratory tests will take place early next year and that the project pilot will be implemented in the second half of 2017. The project entitled VENEX presents a speed reduction system that induces the deceleration of vehicles without causing damage, noise or any discomfort to the passengers.

iTeams 2016 edition enabled students to build a go-to-market strategy and to develop state-of-the-art technologies

The final presentations of the 2016 edition of MIT Portugal Program (MPP) Innovation Teams took place on November 30th in a public session at Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD) in Lisbon. Seven teams from Bioengineering and EDAM MPP Phds at University of Minho, University of Coimbra, FCT - Nova University of Lisbon and Instituto Superior Técnico presented their innovative ideas and explained their market strategies. The Innovation Teams initiative is a unique experience in which PhD students work in teams during one semester with real technologies selected from Portuguese research labs and are asked to engage in a search to evaluate and exploit their market potential.

The Session was opened by two entrepreneurs and founders of Portuguese successful start-up companies, Rui Pereira from Outsystems and José Pereira Leal from both Ophiomics Precision Medicine and Healthcare City who shared their experience and gave useful advises to the iTeams members.

Starting the presentations was CarMo or TBM technology for MMS Sensors, a highly precise low noise sensor to follow up the mechanical movement of the heart that measures, without direct contact, the heart recoil, rate, beat amplitude and beat to beat time. The project was presented by Pedro Marques, Rita Ferreira and André Carvalho (Uminho).

Gonçalo Pereira addresses the impact of Donald Trump election on USA climate change policies

Gonçalo Pereira is a SES Phd Alumni who was invited to work as PostDoc at MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) after a Research period at the same Institution during his MIT Portugal Program Phd.

The opinion article was written in collaboration with IDSS Professor Jessika E. Trancik and published in Público Newspaper online. The news focuses on the effects of the recent election of the American President, Donald Trump, on the US efforts to reduce emissions, a issue that has brought up uncertainty during the Climate negotiations in Marrakech (COP22).

Online article