Campus and Community

Professor Joana Mendonça appointed new president of the National Innovation Agency

The professor at IST’s Department of Engineering and Management (DEG) is the first woman to hold this position.

Joana Mendonça, professor at IST’s Department of Engineering and Management (DEG) and researcher at the Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research (IN +), has been appointed as the new chairman the Board of Directors of the National Innovation Agency (ANI), becoming the first woman to hold this position. The appointment of ANI’s new governing bodies for the 2021-2023 triennium took place this Tuesday, March 23 during the Agency’s General Assembly.

Paulo Ferrão, professor at IST’s Department of Mechanical Engineering (DEM) and president of IN +, will assume the positions of Vice President and Secretary.

The new Board of Directors and governing bodies will begin their functions until the beginning of May 2021. ANI aims to stimulate and promote technological and business innovation in Portugal, contributing to the consolidation of the National Innovation System (SNI) and the enhancement of competitiveness of the national economy in global markets. ANI is responsible for pursuing the guidelines for a technological and business innovation strategy for Portugal, 2018-2030, in particular through the promotion of collaboration between entities of the scientific and technological system and the business environment, and strengthening the participation in international programmes by the companies and entities of the national scientific and technological system, namely Higher Education Institutions and Interface Centres, with a view to promoting their skills, competences and results of the innovation support policy.

Professor Joana Mendonça obtained her diploma in Chemistry from the Faculty of Sciences – Universidade de Lisboa. She holds a Master’s degree in Engineering Policy and Management of Technology from IST and a PhD in Engineering and Industrial Management also from IST.

The Técnico alumna is an associate professor at DEG. She teaches courses on Entrepreneurship, Engineering Economics and Innovation Management and Design Thinking, to Undergraduates, Masters and PhDs students. Her research at IN+, Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research, where she leads the Laboratory of Technology Management and Policy, focuses on processes of new technology commercialization, industrial development and in the role of skills and human capital in these processes.

Professor Joana Mendonça is co-coordinator of the Master programme in Engineering and Management of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MEGIE) and the Doctoral programme in Engineering and Public Policy. She is a scientific director of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal partnership since 2014 and she is also a scientific coordinator at CEiiA since 2018.

In 2009/2010, she was adviser to the Secretary of State for Science, Technology and Higher Education. In 2016 she was adviser to the Minister of Economy for issues related to Innovation. She was also Deputy Director at the Directorate General of Education and Science Statistics (DGEEC), from 2010 to 2012.