International partnership with the University of Texas at Austin receives € 21.9M to fund projects with applications in health, environment and in the automotive, textile and aerospace industries

April 27, 2020. There are 11 projects led by Portuguese companies supported by the “Go Portugal – Global Science and Technology Partnerships Portugal” Program, from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education.

The UT Austin Portugal Program will receive € 21.9M to support the development of projects and new technologies in the field of the automotive and space industries, advanced computing, health and the environment, among others. The 11 R&TD projects led by Portuguese companies in partnership with entities from the National Scientific and Technological System and research teams from the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) will be funded under the “Go Portugal – Global Science and Technology Partnerships Portugal” Program.

“The UT Austin Portugal partnership has the largest number of supported projects, which also represents the largest slice of the allocated funding. This shows that we have managed to assemble a set of structuring projects for the country, with strong transatlantic support for business-based research and innovation, thus boosting the national economy”, said the National Director of the UT Austin Portugal Program, José Manuel Mendonça. “We believe that this effort will contribute to accelerate and guide the return to activity of an important part of the national production sector – which we all want, and the country needs very urgently”, he concluded.

Among the selected projects are the development of nano satellites for earth observation; the application of nano sensors for the rehabilitation of muscle injuries in older members of the population; monitoring climate change; the development of new coating systems to significantly improve the life cycle and performance of cutting tools for the automotive and aerospace industries; tools for the advanced management of HPC infrastructures and Big Data applications for the monitoring of cancer patients. The complete list of projects is available here.

The funded projects mobilize 30 entities in Portugal, corresponding to 10 R&D institutions, 14 companies and six universities or polytechnics. Most of the projects are led by national scientific and technological SMEs.

The 22 head researchers from different departments at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) will partake in the coordination of the projects. The majority of researchers involved are from the Cockrell School of Engineering, where the Program is based, but also from internationally renowned research laboratories and R&D centers such as Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and also one of the biggest centers for research and advanced treatment of cancer diseases worldwide – MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), from the University of Texas.

The allocated funding is valid for the next three years. Of the total of €21.9M, UT Austin contributes with €7.8M. The national participation is co-financed by European funds, within the scope of the COMPETE 2020 Program, PO Norte, PO Centro and PO Lisboa, with an additional contribution by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).

About UT Austin Portugal: established in 2007, the UT Austin Portugal Program is a partnership program in Science and Technology between the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) and the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), supported by the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Higher Education. The partnership was renewed in 2018, towards a new decade until 2030. After ten years of joint collaboration, UT Austin Portugal and the Portuguese institutions continue to develop a cooperative effort to promote a prosperous research agenda, strongly aligned with the country’s national strategy, in five major areas: Advanced Computing; Nanotechnologies; Space-Earth Interactions; Medical Physics and Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

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Eunice Oliveira
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