Campus and Community

Lab2Market gives the first ever António Brandão Vasconcelos Award

The competition brought together four teams that developed innovative projects in several Técnico laboratories.

The final competition of the acceleration programme Lab2Market took place on Wednesday, May 31st, in the FA3 Amphitheatre, at Alameda campus. The Testwaves project was the winner of the 9th edition of the competition. This is the first time that the António Brandão Vasconcelos Award, founder of NTT Data, was awarded.

Lab2Market aims to support researchers, professors, Master’s and PhD students in finding the best way to promote technologies developed at Técnico and to approach the market. Four projects were presented at the final event.

The Testwaves project is an AI-based solution for automated play testing developed by a group of researchers from Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores – Investigação e Desenvolvimento (INESC-ID). The team composed of Diogo Rato, Pedro M. Fernandes and Rui Prada explained that automated game testing using AI bots is faster and improves testing capacity the more games they test.

The Enhancement Lite Exoskeleton was the first project presented. Luís Quintas, Artur Machado and Jorge Martins Silva, researchers at the Mechanical Engineering Institute (IDMEC) designed and developed an ankle exoskeleton that “responds to real needs” of military operations, by reducing the metabolic cost of walking and the risk of injury, increasing human capabilities.

The sustainable production of nitrogen-based fertilisers, using microwave plasmas, is the goal of the Planet project, developed by Luís Henriques, a researcher at the Institute for Plasmas and Nuclear Fusion (IPFN). Through microwave plasmas and using natural sources of nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen, farmers will be able to produce fertiliser on-site, in real-time, eliminating the need for storage and transportation.

The Green Surfactants project aims to be an ecological and “low-cost” alternative to chemical surfactants. Joana Almeida, Frederico Alves Ferreira and Nuno Ricardo Faria, researchers at the Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences (IBB), propose the manufacture of an innovative molecule – MEL (mannosyl erythritol lipids).

During the competition, which extended from the application to the presentation of the projects before the jury, the teams had the support of i-deals. The participants received 250 hours of consultancy and training. During nine weeks the teams could learn how to build a business model, work on the final presentation and on how to approach the market, and contact companies and possible clients.

The jury of the Lab2market 2023 edition was composed of Luís Caldas de Oliveira, Deputy Director of iStartLab, Pedro Fonseca, Director of NTT Data and João Miguel Dias, Director of Armilar.

The event was attended by the Vice-President of Universidade de Lisboa, Cecília Rodrigues, the President of Instituto Superior Técnico, Rogério Colaço, the Vice-President of Técnico for Operations and Corporate Partnerships, Pedro Amaral, and Tiago Santos Barroso, CEO of NTT Data.