Imperial has launched a major new partnership with Portugal’s national science funding agency.
The new partnership with the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) will strengthen collaborations between Imperial and Portugal in areas such as cancer research, infectious diseases, oceans and maritime research, climate change, nanotechnology, space and data science.
Imperial’s Provost, Professor Ian Walmsley (Provost) and the FCT’s Vice President Professor José Paulo Esperança, met with British and Portuguese Science Ministers and Ambassadors last week to confirm the new partnership.
Professor Ian Walmsley hailed the agreement and hoped it would ‘enable further Portuguese researchers to come to Imperial’ and continue the excellent research and innovation that Portuguese academics have already contributed.
The UK’s Ambassador to Portugal Chris Sainty said the agreement was a step in the right direction to ‘furthering UK-Portugal science and innovation collaboration’.
The UK’s Science Minister Chris Skidmore and Portugal’s Science Minister and Imperial alum, Manuel Heitor, met with the academics to discuss further collaboration between Portuguese and British researchers.
The official signing was part of the commemorations to mark 650 years of the Portuguese-British Alliance, considered to be one of the oldest political alliances in the world.
Ahead of the signing, Vice President Maggie Dallman spoke at Portugal’s National Science Summit, Ciência 2019, at the invitation of the British Embassy in Lisbon, about how Imperial and Portuguese academics were collaborating to help achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Professor Dallman said: “We know that the best science comes from international collaborations, sharing ideas and knowledge between cultures and across borders. It brings new insights, leads to new approaches and to new discoveries. And Imperial and Portugal have a long history of collaborating together.”
Professor Francisco Veloso, the Dean of Imperial College Business School, also spoke at the event on entrepreneurship and the circular economy. Professor Veloso said he was 'looking forward to many breakthrough projects' as a result of the new partnership.
Imperial and Portugal collaborations
Imperial and Portuguese academics publish more than 100 research papers together every year.
Academics from Imperial, University of Minho and the Champalimaud Foundation are partners in the Human Brain Project, one of the largest ever funded by the European Union. It brings together 100 universities to build a research infrastructure to help advance neuroscience, medicine and computing.
Imperial is also working with other Portuguese universities, the World Health Organisation and OECD on Europe’s largest project to reduce child obesity. STOP – Science and Technology in Childhood Obesity Policy, is a 10 million euro project which will observe 17 large groups of children across Europe to examine the biological changes and behaviours that lead to obesity and how these are caused by the environments in which people live.
The Data Science Institute recently initiated a collaboration with the Portuguese research institute INESC on Artificial Intelligence and its applications. Researchers from both institutions had a chance to present their work, answer questions about the biggest challenges in the sector and discuss potential collaborations in areas such as medical imaging, infrastructure maintenance, social media analytics and data privacy.
The new partnership with the FCT is the latest significant collaboration between Imperial and world leading institutions.
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