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UMinho in 9 out of FCT’s 40 associate laboratories

Friday, 2/26/2021
Braga & Guimarães
The Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) approved the funding for seven of the eight applications to the status of associate laboratory submitted by the University of Minho, which acts as coordinator to half of these. Five applications were rated as Excellent, two as Very good, and one was not approved for funding but received a recommendation for resubmission. Two associate laboratories with indirect participation of this academy also saw their status renewed.

The provisional results of the FCT call, now released, strengthen UMinho’s growing commitment to research and are a testament to the continuous work developed by its members and collaboration networks in multiple areas, according to the Vice-Rector for Research, Eugénio Campos Ferreira. A total of 40 applications were approved at national level, amounting to an annual global budget of around 23.7 million euros.

UMinho’s associate laboratories are divided as follows by major scientific areas: Exact and Engineering Sciences (6), Life and Health Sciences (1), Natural and Environmental Sciences (1) and Social Sciences and Humanities (1), involving six of the University’s twelve organic units (Engineering, Science, Medicine, I3Bs, Social Sciences and Architecture).

UMinho is at the helm of the ICVS/3B’s Associate Laboratory (Life and Health Sciences Research Institute/Research Group in Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics) and is a partner at INESC TEC – Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science (through HASLab – High-Assurance Software Laboratory) and LIP – Laboratory of Instrumentation and Experimental Particle Physics (through a group from the Physics Centre). All three have had their status renewed and have now been joined by six others.

The Associate Laboratory in Bio/Chemical/Micro-Nano/Electromechanical Technology (AL4TECH) combines the know-how of the Centre of Biological Engineering (CEB) and of the Centre for Microelectromechanical Systems (CMEMS) and is entirely based at UMinho, as is ICVS/3B’s. The Associate Laboratory of Intelligent Systems (LASI) is led by the Algoritmi Centre, involving the Institute for Polymers and Composites (IPC) along with 11 research centres in Portugal.

The Landscape, Heritage and Territory Laboratory (Lab2PT) and the Centre for Research in Anthropology (CRIA) are now part of the Associate Laboratory for Research and Innovation in Heritage, Arts, Sustainability and Territory (IN2PAST), which brings together seven R&D centres. As for the Centre of Molecular and Environmental Biology (CBMA), it has become a member of the Infrastructure Network in Aquatic Research (ARINET), with nine centres, while the Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering (ISISE) has joined the Advanced Production and Intelligent Systems Associated Laboratory (ARISE), with five entities, and the Centre of Physics is now one of the three partners of the Physics Laboratory for Emerging Materials and Technologies (LaPMET). The application of the Communication and Society Laboratory: Cultures, Arts and Territories (Communitas), led by the Communication and Society Research Centre (CECS), received a recommendation for resubmission.

The associate laboratories involve one or more research units, which join efforts to pursue certain national scientific and technological policy objectives defined by the Government. These laboratories must ensure a certain level of human resources and scientific infrastructure that allows them to promote, in a sustained manner, scientific and technical careers for doctorate holders. Their status is granted for a period of up to ten years, which can be renewed, but subject to interim evaluations.