Campus and Community

Técnico hosted the first session on PhDs in a corporate environment

The event brought together experts at Técnico - Alameda Campus, on 7th March. It is the first session of a series of debates to be held in the country, which will focus on PhD degrees in a non-academic environment.

Técnico hosted, on March 7, the first session of a series of debates on PhDs in a non-academic environment, promoted by COTEC – Portuguese Business Association for the Promotion of Business Innovation and Technological Cooperation and the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). The Vice-President of the Scientific Council and Director of Graduate Studies, professor Miguel Ayala Botto presented the speakers’ panel at Alameda Campus, in the Congress Centre.

After “we had created the Técnico engineer brand more than 100 years ago “, it’s time “to create the Técnico doctorate brand“, said the President of Técnico at the opening of the session. Rogério Colaço explained that this will involve a “very significant paradigm change” and recalled, “without innovation, products lose their value”.

“Portugal’s great natural resource is talent”, said Jorge Portugal, Director of COTEC, who also highlighted “we have a talent retention problem”. “We are competing with the rest of the world”, he added. “It is vital for a company to retain talent”.

According to Marco Ferraz, Head of Innovation at GALP, pursuing a PhD in a non-academic environment will allow to  combine both “practical and theoretical components”. As an advantage, Ferraz pointed out the fact that companies can “capitalise on knowledge” and that this one “has a tangible value”.

The Técnico professor and IT researcher Mário Figueiredo shared “the aim of a PhD is to train students to be critical and innovative thinkers”. “PhD students are much more trained in asking questions and finding problems than in solving them”, he added.

According to professor Francisco Santos, Vice-president of FCT, “pursuing a PhD in non-academic entities does not mean that the academia is left out”. “Science will always come first”, he stressed.

Carlos Neto, Director General at RAIZ – Forest and Paper Research Institute, The Navigator Company, supported what he called “sabbaticals in a corporate environment” and called for the need to “bring back the concept of visiting professor in its essence”.

These sessions mark the first announcement of 2023 for Studentships in a non-academic environment, whose applications are running until 31st March.

Video of the session: