25.10.2017

The 2017 edition of the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge, an idea contest promoted by Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS with the objective of motivating and rewarding research of practical utility, ended today. The Closing Event featured a presentation by the finalists, followed by the jury’s assessment and the announcement of the winners.

With presentations covering several topics, from health literacy to the use of drones in car crash sites, there were numerous innovative ideas on display this Wednesday (25th of October), at the Closing Event of the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge 2017. The event marked the close of the 8th edition of the contest, where the best ideas born in Portuguese Higher Education institutions were publicly recognized.

After the presentations of the six finalists, the jury selected the three placements (1st, 2nd and 3rd) in each category. In the PhD category, the 1st place winner was Nuno Almeida, of the Institute of Electronics and Informatics Engineering of Aveiro, whose idea aims to bring the development of interaction for rich multidevice ecosystems into a new level, by facilitating the development of interactive applications that are multidevice, multiplatform, multilingual, and that allow multimodal interaction.

The 2nd place in the PhD category went to Nuno Moniz, whose idea is based on a new predictive strategy to rank web content based on social media popularity. In 3rd place was José Sousa who proposes the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), commonly known as drones, to aid in the investigation of car crashes.

In the MSc category, the 1st place winner was Rafael Simões, a student of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, who is developing an automated measurement of lesion charge and cerebral volume in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans of patients with Multiple Sclerosis.

The 2nd place was awarded to João Monteiro, who is developing an app, by the name of HealthTalks that functions as a management system of personal medical information and aims to improve the communication between doctor and patient by providing information about medical terms. João Ferrão, and his paper-based biosensor for glucose sensing, won the 3rd place.

This was the 8th edition of the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge. Every year, Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS boosts new scientific knowledge by awarding the students and researchers in Portuguese Universities that present the best ideas, based on thesis concluded and graded in the current or previous academic year. The contest welcomes ideas born out of MSc or PhD thesis, in the fields of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Multimedia and other related sciences. This edition received 44 applications. The applicants came from 21 different Higher Education institutions, from all over mainland Portugal, as well the islands of Madeira and Azores.

The ideas submitted were assessed according to criteria such as innovation and originality, technical feasibility, practical applicability, and market potential. The ideas were assessed by a jury composed by members of Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS, namely Liliana Ferreira (Director), Pedro Almeida (Member of the Executive Board) and Filipe Soares (Acting President of the Scientific Board), as well as a panel of invited experts that included João José Pinto Ferreira (Dean Master of Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto), Clara Gonçalves (Executive Manager at UPTEC – Science and Technology Park of University of Porto), Pedro Aguiar (CEO of Ah Business) and Nuno Carvalho (CEO of Healthcare City).