INESC TEC welcomed UN Seabed body to discuss deep-sea technologies

Since 1982, the potential future exploitation of the seabed for marine minerals has been legally regulated by the International Seabed Authority (ISA). Today, this international organisation with 168 member countries plays a crucial role in the management of mineral resources in the international seabed regions (known as “the Area”), promoting the exchange of ideas on the subject. This time, experts from all over the world travelled to Portugal, where they were welcomed by INESC TEC to talk about advanced technological solutions and sustainable research for the oceans.


For three days, more than 100 people representing almost 30 countries – committed to sharing their technological advances for the oceans – gathered during the event “Charting future horizons: harnessing advanced technologies for the protection and sustainable use of the international seabed area“. The workshop, led by several experts, aimed to disseminate the latest technologies and research trends and the multiple autonomous robotic solutions for seabed observation, communication, monitoring, evaluation, and exploration. It was a unique opportunity to set goals, strengthen international partnerships and shape the future, confirming the commitment of Portugal and INESC TEC to the protection of the marine environment and underlining the commitment established by INESC TEC and its partners in carrying out the Technology Monitoring Roadmap for the ISA – as indicated by the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Portuguese Delegation to the ISA.

With many renowned experts, this ISA visit favoured the sharing of essential knowledge and experience so that INESC TEC can further contribute to national public policies for the sustainable exploitation of the seabed and the formulation of more effective regulations and guidelines.

INESC TEC, holder of the largest robotics group at the national level – with consolidated innovative results in underwater robotics – is committed to positively contributing to the work carried out within the ISA, proposing innovative approaches for the monitoring and sustainable valorisation of the seabed. With different areas of research contributing to the knowledge of the deep sea, as recalled by the then Chairman of the Board of Directors of INESC TEC, José Manuel Mendonça, the institution has shown to be “able to address the challenges and opportunities in this field and create science with impact”. “Robotics, power and energy, and telecommunications: the domains where we develop deep-sea technologies while increasingly seeking to address sustainability challenges,” he said.

Michael W. Lodge, Secretary General of the ISA, stated that these meetings highlight the enormous progress in deep-sea technology and innovation in recent years. “We must improve our efforts to learn and advance our approach to the equitable use and access of the seabed”, he added.

Maria Luís Mendes, Head of the Portuguese Delegation to the ISA Council, highlighted Portugal’s active involvement and contributions to the development of marine technologies, with proven evidence – like the research carried out by INESC TEC.

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