Campus and Community

Técnico coordinates a project that promotes civic engagement through technology

Instituto Superior Técnico coordinates the DCitizens project starting in January, whose work plan will focus on using new technologies to promote the civic engagement of Lisbon citizens. The European consortium is financed with EUR 1.4 million.

The project aims to modify the paradigm of scientific research that is currently focused on universities. “DCitizens is a project that aims to give voice and decision-making power to the citizens of Lisbon so that they can define our research agenda according to what they consider important”, reveals Hugo Nicolau, Técnico professor, a researcher at the Interactive Technologies Institute (ITI) and coordinator of the project.

The technological innovation profile of Instituto Superior Técnico in DCitizens is supported by the Italian Institute of Technology, the University of Siegen (Germany) and the University of Northumbria (United Kingdom). In addition, and considering its proximity strategy, collaborations are carried out with Lisbon institutions working on social cohesion, inclusion and sustainability.

As a Twinning project, DCitizens has a strong strand of networking and training, planning to increase the visibility of research practiced at the Instituto Superior Técnico. “This project will allow us to develop the research profile of the Institute of Interactive Technologies, as well as our innovation competence in the area of digital civics,” adds Hugo Nicolau.

The work plan will start during the first kick-off meeting to take place from January 23 to 25 at Creative Hub Criativo do Beato. “We will welcome our international partners and various local institutions collaborating with us throughout the project. The Portuguese Refugee Council, the Association Bengala Mágica, the European Intercultural Club, the Portuguese Association of Neurofibromatosis and the Rizoma Cooperative are some examples of the organizations that will be present. Many other community organisations in the Lisbon area and local government representatives will also be present.”

DCitizens, which is expected to be completed in 2025, aims to foster a long-term co-creation relationship between the scientific community and citizens so that it extends in time even after the end of the project.

ITI is a partner research institution of LARSyS.