Science and Technology

Técnico celebrates the World Intellectual Property Day with six innovative projects

World IP Day 2023 is focused on the theme "Women and Intellectual Property". We share six innovative projects of female Técnico researchers.

The World Intellectual Property Organization celebrates, on 26 April 2023, the ground-breaking work of women inventors, creators and entrepreneurs around the world, on World Intellectual Property Day. As a response to this year’s theme – “Women and Intellectual Property: Accelerating Innovation and Creativity” – Instituto Superior Técnico presents six women-led innovative projects, which represent the diversity and quality of inventions created in Portugal. These projects can also be discovered on Técnico’s social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn).

Ana Clara Marques: Microscafs

Ana Clara Marques is an Assistant Professor at Técnico, Department of Chemical Engineering, since 2017, and a researcher at the Centro de Recursos Naturais e Ambiente (CERENA). She graduated and obtained a PhD in Materials Engineering from Técnico, and then began a research path highly recognised internally. She returned to Técnico in 2014, and focused her research interest on customised solutions for enabling active materials and advanced products.

And so, the MICROSCAFS were born, hybrid and inorganic microspheres, with interconnected macroporosity and controlled morphology and composition, whose application is being explored in several areas such as environmental remediation (solar photocatalysis), microcapsules containing isocyanates applied in sustainable and high-performance adhesives, or microcapsules that allow self-regeneration of laminated composite materials for aeronautical applications.

Other inventors: Barbara Surowskae, Jarosław Bieniaś and Monika Ostapiuk.

Fátima Montemor: Electrodeposition process of nickel-cobalt coatings with dendritic structure

Fátima Montemor is a Full Professor at Técnico, Department of Chemical Engineering and Vice-President of Técnico for Research and International Affairs. In 2011 she launched a new invention describing the formation, by electrodeposition, of a nickel and cobalt-based coating with a dendritic structure. This material is intended to be used in the manufacture of electrodes for energy storage in supercapacitors. The technology has key performance parameters such as high power, fast charging, extended life cycle, non-flammability, and low operating cost. It is a sustainable energy storage device that works safely and efficiently even in harsh environments.

Fátima Montemor is also a former Chemical Engineering undergraduate and PhD student, having started her teaching career in 2011. She is a member of the scientific committee of the Master Programme in Energy Engineering and Management and coordinates the “Energy Storage” International Master Programme. She is a researcher at Centro de Química Estrutural (CQE), and has received several distinctions at international level, such as the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Mons and the European Corrosion Medal awarded by the European Federation of Corrosion.

Other inventors: Maria João Carmezim, Rui Silva, Sónia Eugenio and Maria Teresa Silva.

Katharina Lorenz: Production process of Ga2O3 sub-micrometer roll and membrane by ion implantation

Katharina Lorenz is Head of the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Engineering at Técnico since 2023, and deputy director of the Laboratory of Accelerators and Radiation Technologies (LATR) located at Técnico – CTN Campus. She also leads the Wide Bandgap Semiconductors group at Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores – Microsistemas e Nanotecnologias (INESC MN).

As part of a collaboration between INESC MN and the Institute for Plasmas and Nuclear Fusion (IPFN), a technology was born at LATR that surprised Katharina and her team: they found that when the surface of a gallium oxide crystal is irradiated with energetic ions, a micrometer roll formation occurs. This innovative process produces ultra-thin membranes of gallium oxide, which is an emerging semiconductor with the potential for high-power electronic applications and photonic devices. These membranes have a high crystalline quality, and are transferable and flexible. The research team is currently investigating how to incorporate these nanomembranes in transistors and sensors for UV or ionizing radiation.

Other inventors: Marco Peres, Eduardo Alves and Jorge Rocha.

Sandra Pinto: Cationic Core-Shell Polymers

Sandra Pinto is a researcher at the Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences (iBB), Técnico, and her research interests focus on the development of innovative therapies, based on polymeric particles, liposomes and extracellular vesicles, against drug-resistant infectious diseases. She is principal investigator of two projects funded by FCT and co-supervises two PhD students and two MSc students.

The Cationic Core-Shell Polymers patent was born from the challenge to study new nanoparticles that mimic cationic antimicrobial peptides, thus creating the polyurea dendrimers developed at Técnico, in professor Vasco Bonifácio’s laboratory. This new invention describes the synthesis and the antibacterial and antifungal activity of the pharmadendrimers (a new class of antibiotics and antifungals), validated in vitro and in vivo, against multidrug-resistant strains. Anti-cancer activity of the compound has also been observed, and is currently being studied.

Other inventors: Ana Isabel Ricardo, Arsénio Fialho, Dalila Mil-Homens, Nuno Bernardes, Rita Pires and Vasco Bonifácio.

Rosário Macário: Hybrid seat for people with reduced mobility in air transport and Modular, Adaptive and Multifunctional Hybrid Airship

Rosário Macário is an Associate Professor with Habilitation in Transport Systems and a researcher at the Civil Engineering Research and Innovation for Sustainability (CERIS). She is also the Director of the MSc programme in Transportation Planning and Operations at Técnico, and a member of the Scientific Council of several MSc and PhD programmes at Técnico.

Originally designed to respond to problems related to the transport of passengers with reduced mobility in air transport, the “Hybrid seat for people with reduced mobility in air transport” enables, simultaneously, a wheelchair-dependent aircraft passenger to board an aircraft. The back of this mobile seat fits into the back of the aircraft’s fixed seating structure, which comprises rotating rear handles, liftable armrests, four swivel wheels including locking and braking systems, and footrest systems. This type of inclusive technology aims to meet the needs of all passengers with reduced mobility.
Another invention of Rosário Macário is the “Modular, Adaptive and Multifunctional Hybrid Airship”, which consists of an air transport system that includes a manoeuvrable modular hybrid airship, a berthing tower, and the related mooring mechanism. It can be a solution for specific transport services, such as to hard-to-reach places or special and oversized transports for medium and long-distance travel. Aerial surveillance (forest, coastal, borders) and search and rescue are two other possible applications for this technology.

Rosário Macário has led more than 70 international consortia in research projects. She has been a consultant in several areas, with a special focus on Policy, Transport System Planning and Operation. She coordinated several European and International projects, for institutions such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, European Parliament and European Commission. She is a member of the Scientific Committee of the BNP Paribas Fortis Chair on Transport, Logistics and Ports, at the University of Antwerp, coordinator of EIT Urban Mobility (EIT UM) at Universidade de Lisboa and a member of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee of EIT UM. She is the founder and President of IASA Association – Institute for Advanced Studies and Awareness. She is a Board member and a member of the Scientific Committee of WCTRS – World Conference on Transport Research Society. She is also editor-in-chief of Elsevier’s scientific journal “Case Studies on Transport Policy”.

Name of the invention: “Hybrid seat for people with reduced mobility in air transport”.

Other inventors: Jorge Silva and Sara Zorro.

Name of the invention: ““Modular, Adaptive and Multifunctional Hybrid Airship””.

Other inventors: João Neves, Jorge Silva, Pedro Gamboa and Vasco Reis.

Intellectual property covers both industrial property rights and copyrights, and related rights. Members of the Técnico academic community who wish to communicate an invention can find detailed information about the procedures and the Intellectual Property Policy at Técnico on the Technology Transfer Area webpage.