MPP Paper recognized in the Sustainability in Energy and Buildings sector

The paper entitled “The multi-detail building archetypes in urban energy modelling” won the Georgios Kazas Award at the 8th International Conference on Sustainability in Energy and Buildings 2016, which took place last week in Turin, Italy. The article was submitted by Claudia Sousa Monteiro, PhD student in Sustainable Energy Systems of the MIT Portugal Program (MPP) and was accepted within the Conference to be published in the open access journal Energy Procedia. The work was also authored by André Pina (IST), Carlos Cerezo (MIT), Christoph Reinhart (MIT) and Paulo Ferrão (IST).

This award was created this year in honour of Georgio Kazas’ memory and distinguishes the best proposals recognising the significant contribution to research made by this paper among the Sustainability in Energy and Buildings sector. The study addresses the importance of taking into consideration different levels of detail in urban energy models through the characterization of building stocks in categories of archetypes, using a neighbourhood in Lisbon as case-study.

In Europe, buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and about 35% of the current building stock is over 50 years old. A significant part of this energy consumption is determined by the buildings’ characteristics. However, cities are complex systems with a diverse and very large number of buildings and, as a consequence, the quantification of energy consumption in the existing building stock requires the characterization of a set of buildings types that may represent most of the built urban environment. It is therefore necessary to limit the number of building types to analyse, in a compromise between feasibility and accuracy. As such, there is a need to establish methods that define sets with limited numbers of building archetypes, but that are still able to represent the entire building stock.

Within the MIT Portugal testbed project SusCity, the researchers developed a new methodology to identify and characterise building archetypes for an effective simplification of the urban built environment. The result is a set of detail dependent archetype tiers, that allow structuring the building stock for the evaluation of urban building energy modelling techniques and their uncertainty. The preliminary results show how much the building stock can be simplified and how many building types should be considered. In particular, it proves how the creation of archetypes depends highly on the level of detail of the considered parameters and the availability of reliable data.  The overall objective will be to develop a complete dataset of building archetypes for Lisbon and a complete urban building energy model in order to evaluate the current energy performance of buildings and neighbourhoods and perform urban retrofitting scenarios towards energy saving strategies.

The MIT Portugal testbed SusCity focuses on creating a data-driven urban model to allow the development of new tools and services in order to improve resource efficiency, reduce environmental impact and contribute to the economic development of urban areas. The main goal is to evaluate the general habitability features of buildings to permit a better management of urban resources and allow the society to make informed choices about the sustainability of buildings.

For more information about the SusCity project:

Georgio Kazas AwardClaudia Sousa receiving the Georgios Kazas Award

3 MPP startup companies and 19 BGI Alumni in the 2016 Web Summit in Lisbon

doDOC , Treat U and Sensei are amongst the 66 startups selected to represent Portugal at  the 2016 Web Summit in Lisbon between November 7th and 10th. In addition to these three companies funded by Professors and/or students associated with the MIT Portugal Program, other nine are on the Building Global Innovators (BGI) alumni list, a university-based venture competition in Portugal promoted by ISCTE-IUL, MIT Portugal,  Deshpande Center for Technical Innovation and the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.

Overall, the event will have the represetnation of 12 startups connected either with MPP (doDOC, Treat U and Sensei) or BGI (Fibersail, Follow Inspiration, Glexyz, Hole19, HydrUStent, Kinetikos, NU-RISE, Sensefinity and Watgrid). Furthermore, BGI saw eight other alumni companies elected for an Alpha pass (AppyFans, Casas em Movimento, eSolidar, Displr, pCPR, Plux, P3D and Veniam).

doDoc, is a Coimbra and Boston-based startup that introduces a new method of creating and managing documents. Through its web-based platform, doDOC helps highly regulated enterprises to focus on the content, import and share of highly complex documents. The project streamlines medical communications and regulatory documents for life science companies, ensuring auditability and compliance. doDoc transforms documentation systems into a fully structured set of information that empowers secure collaboration and full compliance with regulatory frameworks.

The startup was founded by Carlos Boto, Federico Cismondi and Paulo Meloin 2008 through the MIT Portugal Program. However, doDOC only gained form in February 2014 with the support of Coimbra University (ArriscaC competition) and the very early accelerator program INEO-Start, promoted by Instituto Pedro Nunes (IPN). Shortly after, doDOC won a spot among the TOP10 startups in the Lisbon Challenge, an ambitious 3-month acceleration program powered by Beta-i and sponsored by Caixa Capital, which help them reaching global markets. The project has also had the support of IAPMEI, through Passaporte para o Empreendedorismo an essential step to the business and product development which contributed to the selection of  doDOC to join the Building Global Innovators, a program sponsored by Caixa Capital, ISCTE-IUL and MIT Portugal. This accelerator, focused on innovation and with straight connections with the US market, helped doDoc to be selected in 2015 by the highly competitive Techstars Boston. doDoc was the first Portuguese startup to win a spot in the prestigious american business accelerator.

TREAT U is a biotech company dedicated to the development of novel and specific strategies for the treatment of cancer patients. It is focused on the development of targeted nanotechnology-based platforms for the specific delivery of drugs (either small drugs or siRNA) with technological advantages that outrun different products commercially available or in clinical trials, namely in the Oncology area. TREAT U’s platforms are an appealing technology for the Pharmaceutical Industry (costumer) for the reason that brings value to patients, physicians and the healthcare system (end-users).

TREAT U startup was created in 2010 by Vera Moura, a former MIT Portugal Program Phd Student in the University of Coimbra and two of her thesis supervisors João Nuno Moreira and Sérgio Simões. The company is located at Parque Industrial de Taveiro.

Sensei is a business intelligence solution for retail stores management that captures in-store data with great precision by combining sensor technology with computer vision algorithms.

This data is represented in a SaaS platform to enable retailers from fashion store chains to supermarket chains to easily analyse, manage and benchmark their business without effort while relating this information with other sales channels (e-commerce sites, POS, social networks) and third-party data (weather, calendar, logistics and human resources). This allows retail managers to access all relevant analytics about their store, staff, customers and campaigns in real-time from any location and get useful insights about their business. (edited)

Sensei startup is as a spin off from META ICG ( and was created in 2015 by MIT Portugal PhD students Vasco Portugal and Joana Rafael, and Paulo Carreira professor of Database Systems and Software Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico. The project has received pre-seed investment via the FIWARE acceleration program for Smart Cities, a joint venture between EU and European Telecom corporations. It is now integrating its first pilots in store, in Lisbon at Amoreiras Shopping Center.

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.