NOVA and GALP Launch WISE to Ignite Sustainable Energy Innovations – Applications Now Open!

In a collaborative effort to drive transformative change in the realm of sustainable energies, NOVA University Lisbon and GALP are excited to launch the WISE (World-Changing Innovations for Sustainable Energies) program. This initiative aims to accelerate visionary innovation and address complex challenges in the transition to sustainable energies, specifically focusing on second-life batteries. The WISE program, scheduled to run from March to June 2024, is an innovation sprint designed to immerse five teams of NOVA students into real-world challenges. These teams will work together with mentors from NOVA ecosystem and executives from GALP, to devise solutions that could significantly impact the energy landscape. Participating students will engage in a three-month period of intensive exploration and innovation, applying life-centered innovation methodologies, collaboration, and passion-based learning. The goal is to foster disruptive solutions and tangible outcomes through the creation of a proof-of-concept, no-fi/low-fi prototypes, and proposed business models. The winning team will receive tickets to the European Innovation Academy with all expenses covered, an opportunity for job shadowing at GALP, and a LinkedIn Bagde. Applications for the WISE program are now open and will be accepted until March 4, 2024. Interested students can find more information and apply here.

Starters Academy: Here is another edition of NOVA’s biggest and oldest Entrepreneurship Academy. Registrations are open until 2nd February.

A pioneer in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship among its student community, the Starters Academy was designed to stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit of students and provide the essential tools for anyone who wants to create a startup.

In addition, the Starters Academy programme is led by a panel of expert mentors and trainers who are recognised in the field and provide invaluable guidance.

Since its inception, hundreds of students have benefited from this hands-on approach to entrepreneurship, and many have successfully launched their businesses.

Now there is another opportunity for anyone interested in developing an existing project or improving their entrepreneurial skills.

Registrations must be made through this link by 2 February 2024.

Circular InNOVA(tion) Program: Phase Two!

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Circular In(NOVA)tion is a program dedicated to attracting students with innovative projects to address specific challenges posed by Sociedade Ponto Verde (SPV).

The initiative addresses key challenges for SPV, such as creating a fair pay-as-you-throw system, establishing an "on-demand" waste management system, and encouraging society to reduce waste while promoting better separation.

During the kick-off meeting on November 17th, participants and the SPV team discussed the intricacies of packaging management, presented challenges, and addressed doubts. The teams also engaged in a session on 'How to make an impactful pitch,' aiming to captivate the jury's interest in the potential of their ideas and the chance to advance to the next phase.

Four projects have progressed to the second phase, ongoing until March 2024.

Each selected team has received €1000 to further develop their projects in collaboration with SPV partners. The teams also benefit from dedicated mentoring from NOVA and access to specialized workshops covering critical project development topics.

Stay tuned for more updates!

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Smart Recycling introduced the Smart Bin, a user-centric container incorporating AI and a delta robot for efficient waste identification and separation. Users are incentivized through the Smart App, ensuring a fast and reliable recycling experience while also encouraging education and behaviour change.

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Resíduos na Linha that aims to install mass and volume sensors with RFID technology in existing recycling bins. By collecting individual recycling data, the goal is to implement a Pay-As-You-Throw system.

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Bin it to Win it that aims to establish a recycling platform that monitors and celebrates individual and community recycling accomplishments, promoting sustainable practices and community engagement in environmental conservation.

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The Trash4Goods team is gamifying waste recycling to encourage user participation. Stay tuned for more on how they're making recycling both enjoyable and rewarding, contributing to a circular economy.

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NOVA technology for cancer treatment licensed to BioNTech

The agreement, announced this week by Portuguese biotech company CellmAbs, a spin-off of Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, includes patented technology originating from NOVA's Faculty of Science and Technology (NOVA FCT) and developed in collaboration with the Portuguese Institute of Oncology of Porto (IPO) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) in Germany. The technology is the result of years of collaborative research with the epicentre in Professor Paula Videira's group at NOVA FCT, including contributions from the NOVA Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and is representative of the excellence in scientific and translational research produced at this university. This is the largest technology transfer agreement ever signed with a Portuguese company in the field of biotechnology and life sciences, and the most important in this field, as it could lead to the first innovative Portuguese medicine for oncology to reach the market. In this case, the production of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific to cancer cells, without affecting healthy cells, represents a fundamental advance, as it allows treatments that attack the disease more effectively, with fewer side effects, and that are personalised, i.e. adapted to the individual characteristics of each patient's cancer. "These therapies, which are effective in more than 80% of solid tumours, can be adapted to different tumour stages, ensure lower toxicity and lower risk of chemoresistance, improving patient tolerance and quality of life, and also help prevent tumour progression and escape," assures Nuno Prego Ramos, co-founder and CEO of CellmAbs. Founded in 2019 as a spin-off from the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, CellmAbs specialises in new cancer treatments and has several preclinical candidates in its portfolio based on its advanced knowledge of cancer-specific antigens. Today, it is a success story in technology transfer and value creation, an area that the University has strategically strengthened in recent years and which is beginning to bear fruit. "It is with great pride that we see a technology that was originally developed in one of NOVA's research centres being recognised for its potential to save lives with a high probability, confirming in practice the quality of the cutting-edge research carried out at the university and the impact it can have on society," emphasises Vice-Rector Isabel Rocha, who is responsible for research and innovation at Universidade NOVA de Lisboa. CellmAbs is also particularly optimistic about this agreement, as the company is expected to be the first in the life sciences sector in Portugal to surpass the one billion euro mark. Recently, the same CellmAbs was awarded twice by Portugal Ventures for work carried out throughout 2023.

NOVA CellmAbs Spin-Off awarded by Portugal Ventures

Officially launched in June 2019, CellmAbs is one of the official spin-offs recognized by NOVA and has already raised a significant first round of investment that will allow it to develop a new class of immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. The entire investment has now been acknowledged by Portugal Ventures.

"Recognition of the work done by the companies in which we invest is extremely important, as it shows that we continue to believe in their businesses and encourages the rest of the portfolio to achieve their goals," said Rui Ferreira, President of Portugal Ventures, in announcing the awards. "For us, it is also a thank you for choosing us as an investment partner who is present in good times and bad, and who believes in the success of these start-ups daily".

In total, Portugal Ventures, the venture capital company of the Banco Português de Fomento Group, awarded 11 prizes to the start-ups in its investment portfolio that stood out during 2023 - two of which went to NOVA University Lisbon spin-off CellmAbs.

In addition to the 2023 Revelation Start-up Award, for being the company that stood out the most in the portfolio of each business unit during the year, CellmAbs also received the 2023 Health Technologies Start-up Award - which recognizes its positioning and development from a global market perspective, taking into account the product, its internal capabilities, progress towards the market and the attraction of partners and investors.

To determine the winners of this edition - which you can read in full here - Portugal Ventures relied on the collaboration of a group of personalities who work every day in the entrepreneurial ecosystem: António Grilo, from the National Innovation Agency; Luís Guerreiro, from IAPMEI; Pedro Silveira, from AICEP; Carlos Abade, from Turismo de Portugal; Manuel Caldeira Cabral, from Startup Portugal; Conceição Zagalo, from the Corporate Citizenship Reflection and Support Group (GRACE); Cristina Campos, investor; Marcelo Lebre, from Remote; Isabel Neves, investor; and Vanda Jesus, from iCapital.

The NOVA Interdisciplinary Research Community on Sustainable Energy Systems has just taken off! Join us until the end of 2023!

On the 6th of December, NOVA University Lisbon held its first NOVA Interdisciplinary Research Communities (NIRC) Workshop, focusing on Sustainable Energy Systems.

This event aimed to be a kick-off in the promotion of interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation on Sustainable Energy Systems at NOVA, underlining the University's commitment to addressing the challenges of this topic.

The event, organized by the Research and Innovation Support Division, featured a workshop led by Professor Guilherme Victorino and his team at the NOVA Innovation & Analytics Lab, with the active participation of 24 researchers from 6 academic units.

To foster collaboration within the NOVA community, and innovation to address emerging challenges in sustainable energy systems, participants were encouraged to form teams to develop collaborative ideas in different knowledge areas.

Highlighting the institution's commitment to dynamic and collaborative research, Professor Isabel Rocha, Vice-Rector for Research, Innovation, and Value Creation at NOVA, graced the event with her presence and emphasized the importance of the initiative for the future of impactful research at the university.

Five prominent members of Galp, NOVA’s partner in this NIRC, including João Ribeiro and Manuel Andrade from the Open Innovation team, and Inês Marques, Pedro Ferreira, and Ioana Ratiu, Galp experts in the workshop's thematic areas, played a key role in this event, by presenting some of the energetic challenges for the future, with vibrant participation of all members in the discussion rounds following the presentations.

A second workshop has already been scheduled for the 17th of January 2024, at the Innovation & Analytics Laboratory of NOVA IMS - NOVA Campolide Campus.

To know more about the NIRC on Sustainable Energy Systems, please visit our dedicated website 

Join the NIRC excitement and do not miss out on the thrilling activities coming your way!  

NOVA Research Impact Narratives Challenge: Get to know the winning stories

In 2023, NOVA University Lisbon launched the Research Impact Narratives Challenge, inviting professors and researchers affiliated to any of the university's academic units to translate the impact of their research projects into narratives.

Considering that it is imperative that society at large understands and appreciates the results of research activities, and that innovation funding agencies at both national and European level are placing increasing emphasis on measuring the impact of projects under development, the Research Impact Narratives Challenge was the format chosen to enable NOVA researchers to do so.

The winners were announced at the NOVA Science and Innovation Day, and the 6 winning projects come from a wide range of research areas:

Catarina Barreira, from the NOVA FCSH Institute of Medieval Studies, presented a reflection on the liturgical books produced at the Alcobaça Monastery. The project, which will provide new insights into the history, relationships and changes in the rituals of one of the first Cistercian monastic foundations built in Portugal, aims to contribute to the creation of training courses for tourist guides and the improvement of guided tours of the monastery.

Luís Crespo de Andrade, researcher at the NOVA FCSH Humanities Centre (CHAM), presented an analysis of the Revista Ideias e Culturas (RIC) portal, which provides universal and indexed access to influential magazines from the 20th century. The RIC has more than 100,000 users and was awarded last year in the Ler+ Awards, as proof of its importance in promoting modern cultural heritage and humanities research.

Maria de Lurdes Rosa, also a professor at the Institute of Medieval Studies at NOVA FCSH, submitted the project "Family Archives, Community Archives", in which she pointed out that, contrary to the situation in most European countries, family archives in Portugal are poorly described and studied. Considering that history suffers from this absence, the work has had an immediate impact on the availability of valuable archives that were previously unknown - and has even taken on an international dimension, winning a grant from the European Research Council.

Mauro Castelli, researcher at the NOVA Information Management School, was the author of the paper "An Artificial Intelligence (AI) system for detecting and preventing online gambling addiction". It is an AI-based system developed to identify common behavioural patterns among Portuguese online gamblers, highlighting actions that may pose a risk to the user.

Miguel de Castro Neto, currently director of the NOVA Information Management School, presented a work developed by the NOVA Cidade laboratory. Called Smart Region, it is a territorial analysis platform that aims to change the paradigm of data-based public policies. Using data science and geographic information systems, it tells how the inter-municipal community of the West is already enjoying the benefits of being a Smart Region.

Tatiana Morais, from the Centre for Research & Development on Law and Society (CEDIS) at the NOVA School of Law, is the author of "Contributing to the improvement of the legal framework for Sexual and Gender Violence in Portugal", which focuses on the introduction of legislation in the Portuguese Labour Code to combat sexual harassment in the workplace through the adoption of a code of conduct - with a consequent redefinition of what constitutes a crime in this context, and shows the positive impact on survivors of sexual harassment and rape.

The papers are all published in detail in the magazine NOVA Science 2023, which you can read here. 

NOVA University Lisbon among the TOP 3 Entrepreneurial Portuguese Universities

Portugal's Entrepreneurial Universities Ranking'23, in partnership with Dealroom and based on the "Universities" tab of the Startup Portugal dashboard, analyses the performance of national universities in educating entrepreneurs. The evaluation includes categories such as startups founded by alumni, unicorns or potential unicorns founded by alumni, as well as the number of spin-offs or funding raised by the startups.

This year, NOVA University Lisbon shared the podium with the University of Porto (1st) and the Catholic University (2nd). Based on the figures presented by Startup Portugal and adjusting the number of founders to the university's student population, NOVA stands out as the national public university with the best ratio of alumni founders.

NOVA also stands out in the number of startups with the potential to become unicorns, and in the number of alumni who have already raised investment rounds of more than 10 million euros, which demonstrates the quality of the university's education in general and reflects its ongoing commitment to entrepreneurship education with an impact on the country's society and economy.

NOVA University Lisbon congratulates all the universities present in this ranking, especially those on the podium, and will certainly continue to work actively to train more and better entrepreneurs and to guarantee the necessary conditions for the effective valorisation of knowledge.

Aqua In Silico Featured on the Podcast ‘90 Seconds of Science’

Jorge Santos and Aqua In Silico (AIS), a spin-off company from NOVA University Lisbon, were the protagonists of episode 1666 on the podcast '90 Seconds of Science' on Antena 1. Jorge Santos is a co-founder of Aqua In Silico, which utilizes artificial intelligence tools to optimize wastewater treatment processes. The startup is developing comprehensive, data-driven solutions to accelerate the sustainable development of water recovery facilities and waste management, contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs #6, #12, and #14). The company is part of a multidisciplinary R&D team that develops solutions to help facilities: #1 enhance biological process performance #2 ensure environmental compliance #3 save resources #4 generate new revenue streams from waste management #5 support bioprocess engineering The spotlight on Aqua In Silico in the podcast is another step in promoting innovative solutions that have the potential to positively transform the global sanitation landscape. Listen to the full episode.

NOVA Science & Innovation Day 2023: “The hallmark of NOVA’s Excellence in Research and Innovation”

In the 6th edition of the NOVA Science and Innovation Day, it became inevitable to say that this is an event that is attracting increasing interest. "It has become a hallmark of NOVA's excellence in research and innovation," stressed NOVA's Rector, João Sàágua, in his welcome speech at the beginning of the event, which took place throughout the 21st of November - and which you can read in full here.

"There would be no science and innovation without scientists and entrepreneurs, so allow me to thank in particular our teachers, researchers and other talented professionals from all our schools for the incredible work they do every day", stressed the Rector.

Isabel Rocha, Vice Rector in charge of Research and Innovation at NOVA, also emphasised that, in addition to publications, it is important to take into account their impact - and in this respect, "NOVA is 30 per cent above the international average".

With a particular focus on interdisciplinarity and the impact of the excellent research carried out at NOVA, the programme began with a section dedicated to the University's researchers who have stood out over the past year, both in terms of attracting funding and the impact of the research carried out, as well as the presentation and awarding of prizes to the winners of the Impact Narratives Challenge in Research, which can be read in the recently launched NOVA Science magazine.

The afternoon session was dedicated to innovation, with the presentation of a remarkable success story in the transfer of scientific knowledge to society - an extraordinary feat told by Holger Kissel, Senior Vice President of Scientific Relations at BioNTech, which has changed our lives forever.

BioNTech, a German biotechnology company founded in 2008 by two scientists of Turkish origin, became famous in 2020 with the development of the COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with Pfizer. The same vaccine that, in December 2020, will be the first to be authorised for emergency use after phase III trials.

There was also time for a round table with various representatives of the NOVA innovation ecosystem and its partners - at the same time as the Innovation Fair was taking place in the atrium of the presbytery, with the presence of various patented technologies, specialised services, CoLabs, Spi-offs and other companies from the university ecosystem.

NOVA University Lisbon Present At The Web Summit 2023

An international event that brought together the largest technology companies in the world, highlighting the importance of innovation and start-ups in the development of society and the economy. (more…)

NOVA Spin-Off is a Start-Up selected for funding by the highly competitive European Innovation Council

Sea4Us, a marine resources biotechnology company based in Sagres and a spin-off of Nova Medical School, has just received the news that it has been approved for funding of 5.96 million euros, awarded by the European Innovation Council (EIC), to advance clinical trials that will allow us to bring an innovative analgesic to the market.

It is a non-opioid, marine-inspired, highly effective treatment for chronic pain, a problem that affects 1.6 billion people worldwide. The therapy developed by Sea4Us eliminates the side effects of current opioid-based drugs without compromising their efficacy.

The European Innovation Council (EIC) is Europe's leading innovation programme for identifying, developing and scaling up innovative technologies.

Created under the Horizon Europe programme, the EIC has a budget of €10.1 billion to support innovations throughout their life cycle.

All information on this funding here

The NOVA Academia de Empreendedorismo is accessible to everyone and its applications are open

Applications for the second edition of the "Academia de Empreendedorismo" (Entrepreneurship Academy) organized by NOVA University, are now open. Available on the national e-learning platform NAU, this online and free course offers everyone the opportunity to acquire essential management and innovation skills. Applications close on December 14, and the course can be completed by December 21, 2023. It is a short-duration, self-paced, free course taught in Portuguese with English subtitles, and it is aimed not only at university students but at anyone who wants to learn more about managing their own professional projects. At the end, students may receive an academic credit (ECTS). The "Academia de Empreendedorismo" is structured into six modules with multiple lessons, covering topics such as creating a business plan and/or a suitable pitch for different audiences, engaging with customers and partners, market sizing, identifying funding opportunities for your project, protecting copyright and intellectual property rights, understanding team profiles for different project types, and grasping the legal principles for starting a company. Each lesson has a duration of five to ten minutes, totaling 18 lessons. The course is co-financed by the European Union's Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP). NOVA's knowledge is once again accessible to all those who want to learn more about entrepreneurship and take a new step in their lives. The first edition, in 2022, had over six thousand applicants from 33 countries. Applications are open in the following site: Curso Academia de Empreendedorismo Deadline for application - December 14. Course can be completed until December 21, 2023

CaixaImpulse Programme: Half of the portuguese projects selected by the “la Caixa” Foundation are by NOVA Researchers

Projects by Ana Pina from NOVA FCT, Mónica Serrano, from ITQB NOVA and Maria de Guadalupe Cabral, from NOVA Medical School, have been selected by CaixaImpulse, an intensive 18-month accelerator programme for the creation of new products and companies in the health and life sciences sectors.

Specifically, the CaixaImpulse programme aims to support universities and research projects that want to transfer a proprietary or protected innovation from research to the market, either as a spin-off or as a transfer agreement, and whose value proposition needs to be validated and developed.

The proposals include:

  • The development of bio-batteries inspired by collagen as a source of energy for electronic devices for the skin, such as the project led by Ana Pina, with the participation of researchers Felipe Conzuelo (ITQB NOVA), Catarina Baptista and Leonor Morgado from NOVA FCT, and also researcher Erin Tranfield from the Gulbenkian Science Institute.
  • A cheaper, faster and more versatile alternative to PCR for pathogen detection; this is the case of the project led by Mónica Serrano, resulting from the collaboration between the Microbial Development Laboratory, led by Adriano Henriques, and the Yeast Molecular Biology Laboratory, led by Catarina Pimentel, also from ITQB NOVA.
  • and the identification of a new type of biomarker and therapeutic target to combat breast cancer, a project led by Maria Guadalupe Cabral, who heads a multidisciplinary team that includes doctors Sofia Braga and Telma Martins, from the Prof. Dr. Fernando Fonseca Hospital and CUF Descobertas.

NOVA FCT’s chatbot wins 1st prize in the Alexa Prize Taskbot Challenge 2, Assigned by Amazon

Amazon has just announced the winners of the Alexa Prize TaskBot Challenge 2, and the result couldn't be more encouraging, as the first place was won by the team from the Department of Informatics/NOVA LINCS of the Faculty of Science and Technology of NOVA University Lisbon.

The competition, which has a cash prize of 500,000 dollars (circa 475 000 euros), rewards university teams from around the world that develop solutions to one of the most challenging problems in conversational artificial intelligence (AI): creating conversational AI experiences that respond to users' ever-changing needs while performing complex tasks.

The expectation is that TaskBot, Alexa's conversational agent - the virtual assistant developed by Amazon - will be able to communicate effectively and guide the user through manual tasks, from cooking to making origami. This year, the competing teams were challenged to find solutions that incorporated more visuals into each conversation.

The NOVA FCT team, known as "TWIZ", developed a solution that works on two fronts, integrating voice and video. For example, the agent can teach a user how to perform a complex manual task, such as cooking, painting, arranging objects, etc., and even dialogue in detail about the instructions with video support.

Read more on the NOVA FCT website.

NOVA Awarded Best Technological Portfolio by ANI

NOVA University Lisbon renowned for its strong international focus, commitment to sustainable development, and collaborative research culture has been honoured by the Technological Scouting Program (more…)

NOVA impACT! Challenges 2023 Demo Day Unveils Winning Project

On July 14th, was the eagerly awaited Demo Day of the NOVA impACT! Challenges 2023, an innovative programme created by the NOVA Impact office in partnership with Santander Universities. (more…)

Circular inNOVA(tion) is the latest partnership with Sociedade Ponto Verde

SDG-aligned university is looking for candidates with the most innovative ideas in the field of sustainability, recycling and waste management. Applications open until September 16th, 2023. (more…)

NOVA and Galp will develop new solutions for clean and renewable energies

NOVA University Lisbon and Galp will promote, over the next three years, the development of new solutions in the field of clean and renewable energies by students, faculty and researchers gathered in the first interdisciplinary community of the University, called "Zero Carbon Energy". Through a protocol signed this Thursday by the two institutions, NOVA places all its know-how and its community at the service of the industry to find alternatives that can help to mitigate the effects of climate change, through a process of decarbonization, meeting the European Union's goals of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. In this domain, research projects will be developed in areas such as Renewable Energies, Mobility and Batteries. In the area of innovation and entrepreneurship, the multidisciplinary community of NOVA students and researchers will be called to participate in idea competitions, hackathons and in the development of proofs of concept, in response to challenges launched by Galp aligned with the sustainable development goals. The protocol signing ceremony was attended, on the side of NOVA, by the Rector, João Sàágua, and the Vice-Rector, Isabel Rocha, and, on the side of Galp, by Georgios Papadimitriou, Member of the Board of Directors and of the Executive Committee, COO Renewables & New Businesses, and by Ana Casaca, Global Head of Innovation. Isabel Rocha, Vice-Rector for Research, Innovation and Value Creation, said that "Sustainability is one of the central pillars of NOVA and being able to contribute with our research excellence to find greener alternatives in the energy field is the certainty that we are creating value for our community. It is time for us to act with solutions based on the best science and technology. This is also the role of academia and NOVA in particular". In turn, Ana Casaca, Global Head of Innovation at Galp, added that "Half of the technologies that will help us decarbonise the world and make the energy transition are not yet known or tested. Collaboration with universities and the expansion of our innovation ecosystem is essential for Galp to overcome these technological challenges, thus being closer to the goal of carbon neutrality in 2050 and the democratisation of sustainable and inclusive energy solutions demanded by society." In addition to areas related to research and innovation, this protocol will enable the development of joint initiatives in the area of education, as well as the promotion of talent and employment in the energy sector.