On 24th February 2021, FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia announced the provisional results of the Call for the Attribution of Associate Laboratory (AL) Statute. The list includes 40 institutions, research centres and consortia, 9 of which with a link to Técnico.
According to these provisional results, the following institutions renew the AL statute: Institute for Plasmas and Nuclear Fusion (IPFN), Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores, Investigação e Desenvolvimento em Lisboa (INESC-ID), Associate Laboratory of Robotics and Engineering Systems (LARSyS), Associate Laboratory for Energy, Transports and Aeronautics (LAETA) and Laboratory of Instrumentation and Experimental Particle Physics (LIP).
The list also includes new research centres with a link to Técnico, such as: Institute of Molecular Sciences (IMS), which involves Centro de Química Estrutural (CQE); Institute for Health and Bioeconomics (i4HB), whose consortium includes the Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences (iBB) and INESC-MN – Microsystems and Nanotechnologies; and the Laboratory of Physics for Materials and Emergent Technologies (LaPMET), which involves the Center of Physics and Engineering of Advanced Materials (CeFEMA).
A complementary funding of €23 843 000 per year will be allocated for specific activities, starting in 2021 and for a 5-year period.
The attribution of the Associate Laboratory Statute aims to encourage the organisation of human and material resources with the quality and dimension necessary to meet the specific objectives of the national policy on science and technology.
The process of the LA statute started in 2019 and was prepared and conducted by FCT with transparency criteria, involving the scientific community.
The application process is open on a permanent basis and with a single annual assessment. These applications were submitted between September 28 and October 29, 2020. The R&D Units funded by FCT with a rating of “Excellent” or “Very Good” were eligible to compete individually or in a Consortium, and with a minimum of 80 PhD researchers at the time of application.
In total, 45 applications were submitted in this period, comprising 118 research units and 10 088 researchers. The assessment was conducted by a national panel coordinated by Manuel Nunes da Ponte and with the collaboration of an international scientific council. The applications were submitted and discussed publicly, and the assessment reports are available here.