"Working at INESC Porto is challenging in a sense that we have to innovate constantly", Rui Diogo Rebelo

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“It would be interesting and prestigious for INESC Porto to be referenced as a place where there is a significant amount of good published articles in order to obtain a degree”, Orlando Frazão

Free Nonsense

This collaborator tells us the story of Matt, a young man who conquered the world… dancing! The four-minute video where the North-American young man can be seen dancing in 42 countries is already a phenomenon on YouTube, registering almost 10 million visits.

Gallery of the Uncommon

Among the dozens of questions and requests that we receive every month in our portal, it is not uncommon for us to find that some of them are a bit unusual or incredible. However, in 2008, no other message topped this one.

Jobs 4 the Boys & Girls

In this section, the reader may find reference to public announcements made by INESC Porto offering grants, contracts and other opportunities of the same kind.


More scenes of how life goes merrily on...


The relentless quest for scientific excellence

Scientific Advisory Board evaluates INESC Porto’s work positivelY

INESC Porto’s intervention in the industry and companies, its relevant scientific production and the quality of its human resources were some of the points that were considered on the last evaluation carried by the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Following the motto “From Knowledge Production to Knowledge Valorisation”, INESC Porto is on the right track to continue its success. However, SAB recommends that INESC Porto defines more a concrete vision, mission and goals for the institution over the next years. After the last visit that took place in 2006, last October, this international Board of experts sought to get to know the work developed by the six R&D Units and by the two autonomous groups that are an integrant part of INESC Porto LA (Associated Laboratory).


Today, INESC Porto is more mature than it was in 2006. That was the conclusion of the Scientific Advisory Board. This group of internationally acknowledged researchers is periodically invited to help in INESC Porto’s self-evaluation, as well as to contribute to the definition of a strategy for the institution on the short and medium-term. Their visit focused on the activities developed between 2003 and 2007 and the aim was to prepare the institution for the governmental assessment that determines whether the statute of Associated Laboratory is to be maintained.


Fundamental Competences and Recommendations

INESC Porto’s varied nature, which combines scientific excellence with its intervention in the industrial and entrepreneurial sectors, is a critical factor for its competitiveness. The human resources, characterised by SAB as “young and vibrant”, are another key factor for the differentiation in this institution of “cutting-edge” activity. According to SAB, INESC Porto’s scientific production has increased exponentially at a rate that is higher than the increase in the number of researchers. At the same time, this scientific production was followed by a successful technology transfer infrastructure. In fact, eight startups were launched. According to SAB, these are reasons for INESC Porto to find new ways to improve in these two fronts. As such, INESC Porto should strive to increase the number of publications in scientific journals, as well as to establish INESC Porto representatives for the Industry, Services and Community.


Today, INESC Porto’s awareness and international acknowledgement are higher than in 2006. That is confirmed by the external markets where the institution participates and by the number of international academics and doctoral students that the institution has managed to attract. Provided with financial soundness, INESC Porto should now promote the dynamic collaboration between the different R&D Units in order to increase the institution’s efficiency and swiftness. These connections should be extended to the whole Associated Laboratory and the integration of LIAAD and CRACS should be an institute wide effort.

The evaluation


UTM (Telecommunications and Multimedia Unit) – SAB identified the existence of three subareas of activity: Physics, Networks and Services/Applications. The Unit should invest in integrated projects that are capable of exploiting the complementary technicalcapacities between these three subareas.

USE (Power Systems Unit) – This Unit should establish mechanisms that will enable it to protect and expand its leadership, as well as to define its strategic expansion plan. At the level of human resources, SAB believes that USE should create the conditions to attract a strong core of scientific researchers.

UESP (Manufacturing Systems Engineering Unit) – This Unit has clear academic credentials (combinatorial and meta-heuristics). The Unit should focus its efforts on the definition of goals for its sustained growth.


UOSE (Optoelectronics and Electronic Systems Unit) – SAB highlighted the fact that this Unit has been able to incorporate all the recommendations of the last evaluation. At the same time, the Unit has a clear strategic plan for the next four years.

USIC (Information and Communication Systems Unit) – This Unit was encouraged to continue its excellent work at the levels of industry and services. The cooperation with other components of the Associated Laboratory - USE, UTM, LIAAD, CRACS, among others – should be a priority.

UITT (Innovation and Technology Transfer Unit) – INESC Porto’s most recent Unit is viewed by SAB as a relevant development for the institution. The work at the level of support to the other Units at INESC Porto and the valorisation of R&D in the entrepreneurial environment were highlighted.



LIAAD (Laboratory of Articifial Intelligence and Decision Support) and CRACS (Center for Research in Advanced Computing Systems) – These two research groups constitute large potential sources and opportunities for INESC Porto LA. However, SAB warns that some challenges should be taken into consideration, such as the geographical distance, the differences in organisational culture, or even situations of negative competition.

Interview with SAB

The 2008 SAB included José Principe (U. of Florida, President), Leonardo Chiariglione (Telecom Italia Lab), Faramarz Farahi, (U. of North Carolina), Tomás Gomez (U. Pontificia Comillas Madrid), Michel Schöll (CNAM), Gerald Bernard Sheblé (Portland State U.), John O’Reilly (University College of London), José A. B. Fortes (U. of Florida) and Maarten van Someren (Universiteit van Amsterdam).

BIP gathered these experts’ opinions on Portugal, Porto and, of course, on INESC Porto.

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José Carlos Príncipe (University of Florida, USA)

INESC Porto: I believe that this is a unique institution and I know plenty of them. In my opinion, this is due to the singular integration of university advantages in order solve the problems in the industry. And that is quite hard to do because it requires people to divorce their academic areas in order to focus on the problem. Then, the aim is to find the area that is required in order to solve that problem. And many people can’t make that leap.

Porto: It is the city where I was born. It’s a city I know quite well. Here I know what goes on inside people’s minds. Therefore, it’s a city I enjoy very much.

Portugal: I enjoy Portugal a lot as well. Sometimes, Portugal is like a vaccine. When I’m homesick, I come to Portugal and I’m vaccinated. Then, I can travel again.

Faramarz Farahi (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA)

INESC Porto: I think that the institution carries out many practical activities and applications in comparison with other R&D institutions.

Porto: I love Porto, its people, its national beauty and very beautiful architecture. But more than anything else, I love its people.

Portugal: Although I’ve seen other places, the impression that I have is that Portugal is Porto.


Tomás Gomez (University Pontificia Comillas Madrid, Spain)

INESC Porto: I think this is an outstanding institution here in Portugal because the technology results that they get, the contracts with the industry and the quality of the research carried out at the institution are amazing. Very good.

Porto: I think it’s a kind of a mix between old and new, houses, neighbourhoods, and, on the other hand, there is the natural side of Porto – the Douro River, the sea. The place is wonderful.

Portugal: I think Portugal is a very nice country and the people are very nice and friendly. Also, I think that the country is quickly developing.

Michel Schöll (CNAM - Le Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, France)

INESC Porto: When I think of INESC Porto, I think of the Porto branch and about the city of Porto, and not about INESC.

Porto: Growing, dynamic, kind, seducing.

Portugal: I think Porto is a good sample of Portugal.


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John O’Reilly (University College of London, United Kigndom)

INESC Porto: I believe that very good science is taken through to application at INESC Porto.

Porto: What comes to my mind is that I need more time to see the city of Porto. It should be arranged next time. Porto is a very nice city.

Portugal: I love Portugal. I’ve been here many times and I could live here, but I have a small problem – I don’t speak Portuguese. Now, seriously, what I like the most about the Portuguese people is that they are very friendly.

Gerald Bernard Sheblé, INESC Porto Fellow (Portland State University, USA).

INESC Porto: When I think of INESC Porto, I think of the excellence that Peças Lopes, Matos and others have brought to the energy industry.

Porto: Porto is fascinating, a fun place to be. It should think of itself better as a tourist attraction because it is not an ugly city as many people tell me.

Portugal: I think Portugal is very interesting because you still have history around you. It has not been hurt by war and there are too many things to go and see.


Maarten van Someren (Universiteit van Amsterdam, Netherlands)

INESC Porto: I think INESC Porto is building a very good bridge between science and industry in Portugal. Everybody has this problem of making this bridge and in evidence there is really no other institute that can be compared to this one. They are either more scientific or more applied.

Porto: I’ve been here a couple of times before. I like the centre a lot and I find it changes very fast. I’ve been here, I think, four times over the last 5 or 6 years and it is getting wealthier, more modern and busier than it was before. It’s a rapid change.

Portugal: I have only been to Porto. This is all I know about it, this is all Portugal.


José A. B. Fortes (University of Florida, USA)

INESC Porto: INESC Porto is a unique model of research and technology transfer, not only in Portugal, but also in Europe.

Porto: This is a city where people work hard, a city that has been changing dramatically over the last few years.

Portugal: I believe that this is a country in transition, a country that is more and more part of Europe.

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Leonardo Chiariglione (Digital Media Lab, Italy)

INESC Porto: When I think of INESC Porto, I think of an example of a research institution that doesn’t emerge from a very large and developed country, but still manages to achieve a high level and to cause an impact on its economy.

Porto: It’s a great city, a city I would like to visit more often.

Portugal: I’ve been here about maybe 20-30 times, so it’s one of the countries I like the most.