Um olhar sobre nós na voz dos nossos parceiros - Testemunho da Nautilus, S.A., pela voz de Filipe Lopes.

Fora de Série

"...aqui tenho mais possibilidades de continuar a melhorar as minhas competências profissionais e a alargar as minhas áreas de conhecimento.", Pedro Ribeiro

A Vós a Razão

"If there is a desire, even if just among a few students and researchers at INESC Porto, to bridge the fictional gap across units (...) then I have every confidence that these bright, motivated people will do so", Ross Collins

Asneira Livre

"Estes jovens aprendizes e com pretensão a cientistas, nossos representantes no futuro, querem “mergulhar” nas origens da ciência e aprofundar as infinitas possibilidades de transferir esses mesmos conhecimentos para a realidade.", Raquel Pestana

Galeria do Insólito

Depois do caso da imagem pública da intervenção do INESC Porto na indústria do calçado, que motivou telefonemas para a nossa Direção a pedir uns sapatos especiais por causa dos joanetes... Agora, aborda-nos um pescador (e empresário) que descobre no BIP a nossa atividade em robótica submarina.


BIP tira Raio X a colaboradores do INESC Porto...

Novos Doutorados

Venha conhecer os novos doutorados do INESC Porto...

Jobs 4 the Boys & Girls

Referência a anúncios publicados pelo INESC Porto, oferecendo bolsas, contratos de trabalho e outras oportunidades do mesmo género...


Mais cenas de como bamos indo porreiros...


A Vós a Razão

Peering inside INESC Porto, my professional getaway for the summer

Por Ross Collins*

It’s not often that I get the chance to write an opinion piece on, well, anything. I was never part of a school newspaper, never had much inclination toward journalism, and yet when given the opportunity to report on people, a place, or a thing, I rather relish the occasion. As an engineer, by definition I’m not a good writer. But last summer I spent three months in China and gave blogging a try, which is nice because diction and grammar can go out the window, making room for good old-fashioned story telling. It was an experiment, that’s for sure, but it certainly reinforced my aforementioned desire to report, particularly when topics were at the intersection of different cultures and institutions.

And this summer my work brings me to Porto, housed in a nice little office on the 1st (or what I would call the 2nd) floor of INESC Porto. The Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering is a curious machine. A large, stone fortress, the front of which resembles the filter of an air conditioner, INESC Porto engages in cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research across seven “units”, each specializing in different application domains. Yet despite a thrust toward integrated, multidiscipline research, each unit may as well be its own separate fortress, heavily guarded against intruders from the neighboring units. This medieval metaphor is not without its intended hyperbole, but the general gist remains, and I’ve had fellow students and researchers corroborate my observation, many of whom have been at INESC Porto a lot longer than I have.

And why is this? Wouldn’t Student A from Unit 1 benefit from knowing what Student B from Unit 2 is doing, and would the converse not also be true given that such an exchange is free (I assume zero cost of time required to retrieve such information if you want to get all technical on me)? I’m somewhat regurgitating the opinion of a guest lecturer who recently spoke at the weekly seminar of “my” unit (Innovation and Technology Transfer, even though I do forest fire research, odd huh?), but I share the view that within an organization with so much diverse talent and background there exists untapped synergies with enormous potential. Yes that sounds trite, perhaps out of a business administration self-help manual, and institutionalizing the mechanisms for actual multidisciplinary collaboration comes with a host of obstacles, but why not take the first step and simply create an online database of research activity at INESC Porto that all affiliates can access?

Put student faces (gasp!) next to concise, but informative descriptions of their research work, and then maybe some contact information as well! I find that such a simple display of information is immensely helpful to prospective students and researchers, as well as current workers, who like myself, may just be interested in what their “colleagues” two floors up are doing. But to be honest, there’s only so much that can be done at the top of a hulking, established organization like INESC Porto. Managers and administrators are constantly pulled in twenty different directions, professors have half a dozen, or maybe a dozen different students to advise, and as long as the money keeps coming from industry, why change? In my experience, albeit limited, such organizations ebb and flow to the demands of its workers, in this case, the students and researchers.

Now I’m not saying the students and researchers at INESC Porto should be, need to be, or may even want to be involved, however superficially, with the research of their peers. But, I have witnessed at FEUP a desire amongst the student body to revive and create new industry in Portugal, solve pressing national problems, and in general ameliorate the numerous inefficiencies that the Portuguese somewhat solemnly jest about when referring to government bureaucracy. I’ve also seen students at various universities rally behind some pretty remarkable causes, be they research projects, high-tech startups, or non-profit philanthropies. Sometimes these things begin simply as informal group meetings, maybe they become sanctioned groups by the university, maybe they don’t, but all are started through student initiative alone. If there is a desire, even if just among a few students and researchers at INESC Porto, to bridge the fictional gap across units, bounce some ideas off each other, or maybe just develop professional relationships, then I have every confidence that these bright, motivated people will do so. However, I’m also a terrible idealist.


*Aluno do Programa Doutoral do MIT que esteve na Unidade de Inovação e Transferência de Tecnologia (UITT) do INESC Porto nos meses de Junho e Julho.