Challenge 2021 - The ideas pushing towards a sustainable future



An innovative system of energy harvesting and “greener” electronic devices were the ideas awarded at the final of the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge, pushing towards a more sustainable future


The ideas that better answered the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge’s call for “Innovative Technologies for Sustainability” were awarded, last week, at the final event of 12th edition of the Challenge. Pedro Rolo and Emanuel Carlos won, respectively, the 1st prize in the category of MSc and PhD with an innovative system for energy harvesting and a proposal for “greener” electronic devices.

With the number of electronic devices getting exponentially higher, Emanuel Carlos, from the NOVA School of Science and Technology, won the 1st place in the PhD category with a proposal to re-think the life cycle of these devices. Emanuel explores the path for a new Era of ‘green’ electronics resorting to ecological materials and thinking of a production process that is more sustainable.

In the MSc category, the big winner was Pedro Rolo from the University of Aveiro with a project that proposes an innovative system for electromagnetic energy harvesting. The energy released by machines, structures, natural resources, and even human beings, can then be transformed into electric energy that will power, in real time and autonomously, different devices.

The 12th edition of the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge awarded last Wednesday 27th of October, the ideas based on MSc and PhD thesis that better answered the theme “Innovative Technologies for Sustainability”.

In addition to the scientific areas of the Fraunhofer Portugal research centre for Assistive Information and Communication Solutions (AICOS), the 12th edition of the Challenge has broadened the range of scientific areas to include the ones from Fraunhofer Portugal’s most recent research centre - Fraunhofer Portugal Centre for Smart Agriculture and Water Management (AWAM).

The jury of the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge awarded the technological ideas that were most in line with the vision and mission of the Fraunhofer Portugal of developing “Research of Practical Utility”, that answered to the “Sustainable Development Goals” proposed by the United Nations, the applicability and market potential of the ideas, as well as their technical viability.

Once again, the Portuguese students were challenged to present their ideas for a more sustainable future, and the applications received prove that Portugal is a country with a huge capital of technological innovation with practical utility.


Winners of the PhD category:

1st place - Emanuel Carlos (FCT NOVA) – “Printed Metal Oxides: A New Era for Sustainable Electronics”

2nd place - Luís Pádua (UTAD) – “Automated Monitoring system for a sustainable agriculture”

3rd place - Mario Salgado (UA) – “Development and implementation of devices for the conversion of agroresidues into energy and biochar in farmers cooperatives of the north Ecuadorian Amazon.”


Winners of the MSc category:

1st place - Pedro Rolo (UA) – “Instrumented and adaptive electromagnetic generators: a new concept of harvesting”

2nd place - Maria Morais (FCT NOVA) – “Wearable non-enzymatic glucose sensor”

3rd place - Helena Montenegro (FEUP) – “Privacy-Preserving visual case-based explanations”