The tremendous critical ability that INESC TEC added to the connection between R&D and industry is a precious asset of Portugal. It helps to meet the national goal of modernising our economic activity based on the knowledge stemming from science and technology.
The densification of that ability was made apparent in the presentation of the Technological Demonstrator that ANI – Portuguese National Innovation Agency, from Portugal, promoted. The technological developments applied to the industry (and not only academic projects, with average TRL levels) are, simultaneously, a matter of pride for INESC TEC and a matter of trust for Portugal.
It must be said that the creativity and the expertise from Portuguese researchers would have not catalysed such vigorous development if Portugal wasn’t fitted with adequate tools for funding and incentive. Let us bounce back from fair critics, either occasional or from the industry, especially because criticism must always be welcomed: it is a necessary tool for improvement. What would happen to a country who turned a deaf ear, or worse, who would not have INESC TEC to create a technological prosthesis?
Let us bounce back: the proper inspiration design of the architecture and incentives from the national system have been a major factor in explaining progress.
Now, it is necessary for the country to look upon the cultural and humanities fields, cherished in universities but lacking support instruments from the technological fields.
Without any pretension to design a global policy, it is possible to conceive that FCT may launch support programmes for research projects, specifically designed and endowed with financial envelopes, aiming to fund transversal actions, in which groups from the social sciences fields will have to enter into a partnership with groups from the technological fields in order to be granted financing.
From archaeology to history, from geography to the study of historical documents, it is easy to understand how the most modern technology can fit in data collection, handling, inspection, detection, representation, formulation of hypotheses, by using sensors, computer graphics, artificial intelligence… Who knows, you can only imagine.
These social sciences are clients for technological solutions as well.
A country with a structured programme for strengthening its culture, by putting the best technologies to its good use, is definitely a conscious country. It is a country that is aware that history and memory rhyme with future glory.