Visit to MPP at MIT by Teresa Ribeiro, Portuguese Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

Teresa Ribeiro

On June 8, 2016, her Excellency Dr. Teresa Ribeiro, the Portuguese Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, his Excellency Mr. João Queirós, the Head of Cabinet of the Portuguese Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and his Excellency José Velez Caroço, the Consul General of Portugal in Boston, visited the MIT Portugal Program at MIT. Prof. Bruce Tidor, MIT, and key members of the MPP staff at MIT welcomed the secretary and her delegation, and provided an overview of the program. In addition, the secretary was engaged in an exchange with MIT faculty who have been advancing the program through their test-bed and seed projects, and current and former MPP students.

MPP PhDs recognized at Annual conference

At the 2016 MIT Portugal Annual conference, four PhD students saw their work acknowledge with the “Best Poster” award. The public vote and jury of faculty members elected the “Best Poster” at each of the four PhD programs of the partnership.


André Carvalho, PhD student at Universidade do Minho under the supervision of Paulo Sampaio (UMinho), Eric Rebentisch (MIT), was awarded for his poster Operational Excellence, Culture and Agility: Key concepts to manage Technical Industries developed within the Leaders for Technical Industries/EDAM PhD program.

AndreaidossantosAndreia dos Santos presented a work entitled Development of Thin Film Sensors for Blood Pressure Measurement: Study of Zinc Oxide Nanostructures Grown on Flexible Substrates, developed under the supervision of Rui Igreja and Hugo Águas at Faculdade de Ciência e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, where Andreia is a Bioengineering PhD student.

davidantunesDavid Antunes was awarded with the best poster at Transportation systems for the work Robust Airline Crew Scheduling. David is a PhD student at Faculdade de Ciência e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra under the supervision of António Pais Antunes (FCTUC), Vikrant Vaze (Dartmouth College), Cynthia Barnhart (MIT)

julianaMitkiewiczJuliana Mitkiewicz, Sustainable Energy Ssytems PhD student at Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto saw her work Design of a novel small scale solar-biogas hybrid system recognized at the conference. Juliana work is supervised by Armando Oliveira (FEUP), Ana Isabel Palmero (INEGI-UP).

The awards were presented by the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, a ceremony also attended by Eugénio Ferreira, conference chairman; António Cunha, Rector of Universidade do Minho; and Paulo Ferrão, President of Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia.

Building Global Innovators Announces 7th Ed. Startup Batch

BGI 7th ed

From 211 candidates, Building Global Innovators has selected 10 ventures to join the 7th Edition of the accelerator, 9 of which already have a prototype developed that is ready to pilot.  From 18-20 July, the selected teams are participating in an intensive, immersive multi-disciplinary acceleration bootcamp in Lisbon. The teams were welcomed by Gonçalo Amorim- BGI Executive Director, Pedro Arezes - MIT Portugal Program Director, Emir Sirage - Coordinator of FCT's Technology Office, and Walter Palma- Director at Caixa Capital. 

The selected ventures include talented teams from over 28 countries: Brazil, Costa Rica, Denmark, Hong Kong, United Kingdom and Portugal. They will receive support valued at 1 million Euros, including access to experienced business catalysts, expert mentors, and introductions and connections to the start-up ecosystem of Kendall Square, Cambridge / USA. Historically, over half of participating ventures succeed in financing their ventures within 18 months, with acceleration provided by BGI.

Increased international character and potential impact in the global market of application distinguished the candidates of the 7th edition of the accelerator, sponsored by this truly unique, technology-based Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative of the MIT Portugal Program. 

“Further to our differentiated positioning effort as a later stage, B2B accelerator for technology-intensive startups built on solid teams, we are happy to see that of this year’s batch, 78% are already formed companies, highlighting the maturity of teams with strong co-founders and global ambitions,” commented Gonçalo Amorim, BGI Executive Director.

The ventures accepted to BGI’s Accelerator in each market vertical are as follows:

  • AppyFans (Portugal) – A cloud-based application engaging brands and customers at the right moment and right time. It enables geolocated and enhanced interaction for efficient and hypertargeted campaigns to customers, driving foot traffic to a brick and mortar retail.
  • Atom (Hong Kong) - A portable battery with a built in wall outlet. It powers all electronics up to 150W including laptops, speakers, video transmitters and thousands of other portable devices.
  • eConscribi (Denmark) - An eRecruitment solution, ready to use, fully configurable, end to end SaaS solution to clients desiring efficient, flexible and upgradable solutions.
  • Gilvah (UK) - A global online consulting solution based on a tailor made software application, designed to be a true, “one-stop” professional online service transforming how professionals work and how people can access advice from professionals in various categories.
  • Glexyz (Portugal) - SaaS cloud platform where everyone developing a product can test and optimize their product, manufacturing, to system performance and product lifetime prediction. Glexyz cloud eliminates outdated and expensive physical prototyping, enabling 70% faster and cheaper product optimization cycle though our holistic virtual testing system.
  • Kinetikos (Portugal) – Kinetikos provides a cloud-based framework that merges patients’ biomechanical and clinical data to inform those best qualified to make medical decisions. We are poised to revolutionize clinical decision-making to objectively diagnose, analyze and support clinicians planning treatments for musculoskeletal disorders around the world.
  • Newborn Skin Age (Brazil) - A light scan for neonatal that measures skin thickness by optical reflectance combined with a mobile APP for data processing. The automated measurement of epidermal thickness allows the accurate estimation of the gestational age in newborn babies.
  • No Micro (Portugal) - Antimicrobial agents/coatings for biomedical applications using a combination of high density of Anti Microbial Particles and nanoparticle size that make them very effective and low in cytotoxicity against human cells.
  • pCPR (Portugal) - Novel medical device to assist CPR maneuvers (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). It integrates performance indicators and vital signs with physiologic feedback, in real time for the first time.
  • Smart Wireless Lab (South Africa) – An affordable, low power consumption, and easiest to deploy LTE solution, specifically designed to reach mobile subscribers. It provides connectivity to IoT and M2M devices, as well as Device-to-Device communications via LTE, and data for mission critical projects.

MIT Portugal at "Atlantic Interactions: Knowledge, climate change, space, oceans"

MIT Portugal was represented at the workshop 'Atlantic Interaction: knowledge, climate change, space and oceans ", held in the Institute of International Education in New York. The event was organized by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia in the framework of the celebrations of the Day of Portugal.

The workshop aimed to launch the discussion around the role that Azores may play as an international hub for studies related with space, climate change and ocean. The discussion between researchers from several countries was a first step to set an agenda for transatlantic research on topics such as climate change, energy and space, and on the interactions between the Earth, the atmosphere and the ocean, taking advantage of natural conditions that the Azores can offer to conduct studies in these areas. The workshop also featured the presence of the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, the General Consul of Portugal in New York and several experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), NASA and American and Portuguese universities, including the MIT Portugal representatives Bruce Tidor (MIT), Doug Hart (MIT) and Pedro Arezes (MIT Portugal).

This is the first in a series of three workshops, with the second scheduled for June 27, in Azores, while the third will be held in late September in Brussels, Belgium.

IMAG0417Doug Hart (MIT Portugal), António Cunha (Rector Universidade do Minho), Maria Manuela Bairos (Portuguese Consul at New York City), Bruce Tidor (MIT Portugal) and Pedro Arezes (MIT Portugal)

Energy storage for renewables can be a good investment today - study supported by MIT Portugal

MIT Econ Storage 0A new study by researchers at MIT shows how to evaluate the technology choices available, including batteries, pumped hydroelectric storage, and compressed air energy storage, and demonstrates that even with today’s prices for these technologies, such storage systems make good economic sense in some locations, but not yet in others. The research was just published in the journal Nature Climate Change, it was led by Jessika Trancik, the Atlantic Richfield Career Development Assistant Professor of Energy Studies at MIT and counted with the support from MIT Portugal Program.

For this study, the team examined three states: Texas, California, and Massachusetts. They found storage systems make economic sense today in Texas and California but not yet in Massachusetts. They plan to broaden the study to more locations to see if their overall conclusions apply more widely.

“Researchers and practitioners have struggled to compare the costs of different storage technologies,” Trancik explains, “because of the multiple dimensions of cost and the fact that no technology dominates along all dimensions. Storage technologies can only be compared by looking at the contexts in which they are going to be used.” But the study found that regardless of the particular circumstances at a given location, certain features of how electricity prices fluctuate are common across locations and do favor some specific types of storage solutions over others.

Surprisingly, it turned out that despite wide regional variations in the average prices and the amount of variability in demand and pricing, “the best storage technology in one location is also the best in the other,” Trancik says. “This is because of the similarity across locations in the distribution of the duration of electricity price spikes. This pattern likely emerges because of constraints imposed by the daily cycle, and similarities in when people go to work and go home, and generally how they spend their time.”

This work was supported by the MIT Portugal Program, Lockheed Martin, and the SUTD-MIT International Design Center. Jessika Trancik has been collaborating with Portuguese researchers, she has hosted Goncalo Pereira (MIT Portugal Sustainable Energy Systems PhD student in 2015) and has partnered with Carlos Silva (IST) in research soon to be published. Jessica also led a Seed project funded by MIT Portugal "Modeling the Value of Storage for Intermittent Renewable Energy".

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