The closing event of the 13th edition of the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge took place yesterday (26th of October). This year, and for the first time outside the FhP premises, the event occurred at the University of Aveiro. Giovanna Calvão (UTAD) won the first prize in the master’s category and, in the PhD category, the first prize was not awarded. Instead, there were two second prizes: Catarina Sousa and Inês Cunha, both from NOVA School of Science and Technology. The ideas presented by the finalists, and that won the podium this year, perfectly illustrate the concept of the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge, which seeks technology-based ideas with a focus on sustainability.
1st Prize - not assigned
Catarina Sousa (NOVA School of Science and Technology) | Bioremediation of agro-industrial effluents mediated by microalgae
Inês Cunha (NOVA School of Science and Technology) | Finding Inspiration in Nature Towards Sustainable Development
3rd Prize - Sirazul Haque (NOVA School of Science and Technology) | Optically thick but electrically thin solar cells: For portable and flexible electronic applications
1st Prize - Giovanna Calvão (UTAD) | Fluorescence-based biosensor for detection and quantification of Colletotrichum acutatum in infected olives
2nd Prize - Bárbara Tavares (IST – Universidade de Lisboa) | A Cluster-Based Trip Prediction Graph Neural Network for Bike Sharing Systems
3rd Prize - Leandro Rodrigues (FCUP) | Leveraging vegetables production with Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision
The winners of the idea contest were voted by a jury and a panel of experts from different business and research fields. The panel of experts was composed of Francisco Carvalho, Executive Board Member at Amorim Florestal, SA; Ana Palmeira de Oliveira, General manager at Labfit; Aurora Baptista, CEO / Partner at BEEVERYCREATIVE; Nelson Martins, Professor at the University of Aveiro; and João José Pinto Ferreira, Dean Master of Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FEUP) and Researcher (INESC Porto). The scientific jury, which assessed the applications throughout all the evaluation stages, was composed of Liliana Ferreira, President of the Executive Board of Fraunhofer Portugal; Waldir Júnior, President of the Scientific Board of Fraunhofer Portugal and Senior Scientist and Innovation Lead for Digital Farming at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS; and Thomas Haertling, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft's Advisor of Fraunhofer Portugal AWAM. The event also counted on the presence of the Rector and Vice-Rector of the University of Aveiro, Professor Paulo Jorge Ferreira and Professor João Veloso.
In this 13th edition, the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge kicked off with a new format, ON THE ROAD, which aims to bring the idea contest closer to universities and the academia. The University of Aveiro was the first host of a Closing Event of the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge.
Organized since 2010, the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge seeks to encourage cooperation between industry and the scientific community, motivating and rewarding research of practical utility by awarding a prize to students and researchers who best contribute to the philosophy that underpins the Fraunhofer's vision of being a force in innovation, as well as its mission to develop research of practical utility. The contest involves two categories, MSc and PhD, with three finalists being awarded in each of them (six in total).