Campus and Community

Técnico talent on the first day of the Web Summit

Several members of Técnico community are attending the Web Summit 2020.

It’s quite easy to find members of Técnico community at the Web Summit: in panels, interviews, presentations or even as members of the jury in startup competition. The afternoon of the first day has proven precisely that.

According to Nuno Cunha, Computer Science and Engineering alumnus and co-founder of AAVANZ, this event is a good opportunity to find potential partners. “We are here to support some of our clients but above all we are here to present our company to potential clients and partners for research and development projects, which is our main activity”.

AAVANZ was created in 2009, as a result of Nuno Cunha’s experience and knowledge in Computer Science and Engineering. The company has more than 100 national and international clients and provides consultancy services to small and medium-sized companies involved in the creation of innovative projects, helping them to obtain funding through European Research & Development programmes.

This is the fourth time that Nuno Cunha attends the Web Summit, and he confesses that he finds this digital edition a little bit odd. “It’s much less interesting and motivating, it’s almost like participating in the event after the event has happened. The experience is totally different”.

Portugal’s tech potential

There are those who choose to spend a great deal of time on the main channel – a replica of the Web Summit Centre Stage in previous years – and there are those who frequently try to catch different speakers and topics of interest. The Portugal channel is one of the innovations of this year’s edition, which includes the presence of several members of the government and some of the most reputable CEOs of Portuguese startups, such as Vasco Pedro, co founder and CEO of Unbabel.

In just 5 minutes, the entrepreneur who has become a regular presence at the Web Summit, explained how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can overcome language barriers. According to the CEO of Unbabel, the answer to this problem is a hybrid model that combines the values of AI and human beings.

During an interview to Rádio Renascença, the Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, highlighted Portugal’s technological progress in recent years and the active participation of Portugal in European efforts for innovation.

“Innovative digital systems will play an important role in creating new jobs, especially to make people happier at the end of the day, contributing to our economic recovery”, stressed the Minister.

Manuel Heitor also praised the way technological centers responded to the pandemic situation, and stressed the increasing link between the technological development in Portugal and sustainability.

Stephan Morais, founder and Managing General Partner at Indico Capital Partners, and also Técnico alumnus, is a regular presence at the Web Summit. This Wednesday, he was member of the jury in startup pitches and, together with Sofia Santos, from Faber, led a debate on how companies can prepare for a successful 2021.

Francisco Freitas, Técnico alumnus and engineer at Siemens Mobility, was one of the experts who led the MasterClass titled “Making our roads safer with AI”. The Técnico alumnus presented a project in which he is directly involved – the 5G-MOBIX project – which will offer the mobility sector the opportunity to examine the implications of 5G and its role in the future of autonomous driving through trial and testing in cross-border corridors throughout Europe, China and Korea.