Science and technology in Portugal

Science and technology in Portugal

Science and technology in Portugal is mainly conducted within a network of research and development (R&D) units belonging to public universities and state-managed autonomous research institutions. There are also non-state-run research institutions and some private R&D projects developed by companies.

Research and development

A network of research and development units belonging to public universities and state-managed autonomous research institutions like the INETI - Instituto Nacional de Engenharia, Tecnologia e Inovação, the Instituto Nacional dos Recursos Biológicos and the LNEC - Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil, makes the core of Portugal's science and technology research output. The funding of this research system is mainly conducted under the authority of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, namely through its foundation for science and technology, the FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia. The largest R&D units of the public universities (over 380 units in total which are distributed across 14 public universities) by number of publications, include the IPATIMUP and the Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, both at the University of Porto, the Instituto de Medicina Molecular at the University of Lisbon, or the Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology at the University of Coimbra, among others. Private universities have a lower research output, however, there are a number of research units accredited by the Ministry and the FCT, these include the Facial Emotion Expression Lab at the University Fernando Pessoa. Several other scientific fields are covered by specialized research organizations which are noted for their role as technology business incubators, like the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, the Instituto Pedro Nunes and Taguspark, a science park. The largest non-state-run research institutions in Portugal, include the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência and the Champalimaud Foundation which recognises outstanding contributions to research in vision and associated areas through a major annual award. The Champalimaud Foundation's research center at the mouth of the River Tagus in Lisbon, was scheduled to open in 2010 with diagnostic and treatment units for cancer patients on the lower floors and research labs above. [ [,0,840624.story Portugal foundation aims for a cutting edge] , Los Angeles Times] The Bial Foundation ("Fundação Bial"), named after a Portuguese phramaceutical company, awards one of Portugal's most noted prizes for scientific research in the area of health. A number of both national and multinational high-tech and industrial companies present in Portugal, are also responsible for research and development projects in different fields. The Academia das Ciências de Lisboa (Academy of Sciences of Lisbon), created in 1779, is one of the oldest learned societies in Portugal.

Research output

In 2001 Portugal was, for the first time in its history, one of the countries of excellence that contributed to the top 1% of the world's highly-cited publications. Spain was responsible for 2.08%, while Ireland and Greece accounted for 0.36% and 0.3%, respectively, also in 2001. [See the analysis of King, D.A., The scientific Impact of Nations – What difference countries for their research spending, Nature, vol. 430, 15 July 2004]

Accredited R&D centers belonging to higher learning institutions

Research centers belonging to higher learning institutions accredited by "FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia", as of 2004 [ [ "FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia"] ] :

Portugal's European integration in science and technology

Within Europe and the European Union, Portugal has full membership into several pan-European scientific organizations like the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), ITER, and the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

cience museums, exhibits and divulgation

Notable organizations focused on science-related exhibits and divulgation, include the state agency "Ciência Viva", a programme of the Portuguese Ministry of Science and Technology to the promotion of a scientific and technological culture among the Portuguese population, [ [ Ciência Viva] ] the Science Museum of the University of Coimbra, the Museum of Natural History at the University of Lisbon, and the Visionarium.

cience parks

With the emergence and growth of several science parks throughout the world which helped create many thousands of scientific, technological and knowledge-based businesses, Portugal started to develop several [ [ Tecparques - Associação Portuguesa de Parques de Ciência e Tecnologia] ] science parks across the country. These include the Taguspark (in Oeiras), the Coimbra inovação Parque (in Coimbra), the Madeira Tecnopolo [ [ Madeira Tecnopolo] ] (in Funchal), Sines Tecnopolo [ [ Sines Tecnopolo] ] (in Sines) and Parkurbis [ [ Parque de Ciência e Tecnologia da Covilhã (Parkurbis)] ] (in Covilhã). Companies locate in the Portuguese science parks to take advantage of a variety of services ranging from financial and legal advice through to marketing and technological support.

Noted contributors to science and technology

Some examples of notable Portuguese people who had made important contributions to science and technology, becoming in their time internationally known within their respective field, include:
*Corino Andrade - 20th century researcher who first described the familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy
*António Damásio - 20th/21th century researcher in several areas of the neurology, and a best-selling author of books which describe his scientific thinking
*Amato Lusitano - 16th century physician, discovered the circulation of the blood, was one of the first to observe and speculate about the venous valves found in the Azigos vein
*Egas Moniz - 20th century Nobel Prize in Medicine "for his discovery of the therapeutic value of leucotomy in certain psychoses", he also was a pioneer in the development of cerebral angiography
*Pedro Nunes - 16th century mathematician, one of the greatest of his time, he is best known for his contributions in the technical field of navigation
*Garcia de Orta - 16th century physician and naturalist, he was a pioneer of tropical medicine


ee also

*Agência de Inovação
*Higher education in Portugal

External links

* [ FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia]

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