UT Austin Portugal organizes workshop at the 2021 National Science Summit

International scientific cooperation was at the heart of this year’s agenda.

The UT Austin Portugal Program was once more invited to host a workshop at Portugal’s most important national science encounter, Ciência 2021. This year, and very much like last year’s edition, the summit took a hybrid format, with more people joining remotely than in person due to the pandemic evolution in Portugal.

With the summit’s underlying theme “The Science that makes tomorrow and transforms the economy” in mind, the Program invited attendees to reflect on the role of international scientific collaboration in the empowerment and strengthening of societies to respond to future challenges and crises. From the stage of the Pavilion of Knowledge’s main auditorium, Rui Oliveira, National co-Director of UT Austin Portugal, opened the Program’s session, on the 30th of June, reminding that “today’s major challenges are borderless and must be solved at a transnational level,” and that is why the Program’s mission is so relevant.

The workshop offered the right setting to present some of the exploratory and industry-driven research projects supported by the Program since 2020. João Paulo (PAStor), Joana Dias (AT@PT), Vasco Granadeiro (MAGAL Constellation) and Sérgio Silva (NanoCatRed) explained how international scientific cooperation, through a Program such as UT Austin Portugal,  is paving the way for new solutions aimed at helping us take full advantage of supercomputers by addressing the storage bottleneck of AI-oriented HPC services (PAStor project);  improving the quality of radiotherapy treatments, namely of Proton Therapy, by developing treatment plans that are scalable, reliable, fast, cost-effective and tailored to individual patients;  monitoring climate and ocean variations through a constellation of small/cube satellites; and stopping chemical contamination of drinking water through catalytic hydrogenation technology. All the projects showcased are spearheaded by PT-US consortia, evidencing that innovative approaches to problem solving benefit from collaborative research work beyond national boundaries.

As José Manuel Mendonça, UT Austin Portugal’s National Director, stated at the end of the session, “international partnerships are much more than finances; it is about the international standing – the access to world-class information, partners, ideas, markets, and potential clients. It is much more than money. It is science with impact, which is what the UT Austin Portugal Program pursues and is offering.”

You may watch the recording of the session below: