Science and Technology

Another ERC grant awarded to a Técnico researcher

André Martins was awarded an ERC Starting Grant to pursue his work on statistical learning methods combined with artificial neural networks.

Professor André Martins, researcher at Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), will join the several Técnico professors and researchers who have already received ERC grants. The invited assistant professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will receive about 1,4 million euros to develop his research, which puts together statistical learning methods and artificial neural networks. “It’s gratifying to see my work recognised abroad”, says professor André Martins, but “above all this is a unique opportunity to create a solid research team able to develop a line of work with a great impact on science”, he adds.

The winning project is titled “DeepSPIN” and aims to bring together deep learning and structured prediction to solve challenging tasks in natural language processing, including machine translation, quality estimation, and syntactic parsing. “This will be done by combining deep learning techniques (neural networks) and methods for structured classification”. Unbabel, Instituto de Telecomunicações and Técnico will be the partners of this project.

Professor André Martins joins professors Luís Oliveira e Silva (two Advanced Grants), Vítor Cardoso, (one Starting Grant and one Consolidator Grant), Patrícia Gonçalves (Starting Grant) and Rodrigo Rodrigues (Starting Grant). According to the researcher this is “an encouraging number showing that Técnico is on the right path and has outstanding researchers”. “But there is still a long way to go to keep up the top institutions at international level”, points out the professor.

The ERC Starting Grants are awarded at the early stages of a researcher’s career and enable them to set up their own research teams and pursue ground-breaking ideas. Besides André Martins, seven other Portuguese researchers received ERC grants.