Today was the inaugural event of Fraunhofer AICOS’ 10th Anniversary celebrations, that counted with the presence of the Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor.
In 2007, the governments of Portugal and Germany agreed to establish a long-term partnership to explore mutual interests in science and technology. Within this collaboration, the Association Fraunhofer Portugal Research was founded in November 2008, having as founding Associates the Fraunhofer Society (Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft) and the German-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCILA).
Fraunhofer Portugal’s R&D activity started in 2009 with the creation of Fraunhofer AICOS, the Fraunhofer Portugal Research Centre for Assistive Information and Communication Solutions (AICOS), a partnership between Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and the University of Porto (UP), located in Porto.
From our first industry research contract to our first product on the market, AICOS has evolved significantly, raising notoriety and growing its team in size as well as in diversity of competences. Starting with only 12 employees, AICOS is now employing circa 80 highly-qualified researchers, primarily engaged through permanent or fixed-term research work contracts, divided in two offices, Porto and Lisbon.
In our first 10 years of operation, we have helped disseminate Fraunhofer’s model in Portugal, trained industry professionals and researchers, and helped bring one award-winning product to the market1. AICOS has had close to 100 R&D projects and a client portfolio from a broad range of areas, including health, agriculture, retail or energy.
Since 2009, AICOS has been involved in 10 European projects and established partnerships with over 150 organisations in 31 countries, providing consolidated competencies in Human-Centered Design (People); Artificial Intelligence (Intelligence); Cyber-Physical Systems (Connected Things), AICOS’ track record in institutional and commercial collaborations has fostered a wide network of active partners.
Focusing on the 10 years of Fraunhofer in Portugal – challenges and the future – this event held at the Rectory of UTAD, counted with the presence of: Liliana Ferreira (Fraunhofer Portugal, UPorto); Pedro Almeida (Fraunhofer Portugal); Filipe Sousa (Fraunhofer AICOS); Jörg Laschke and Alexander Michaelis (Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and Fraunhofer IKTS); Thomas Härtling (Fraunhofer IKTS); Gottlieb Basch (Fraunhofer AWAM); António Augusto Fontaínhas Fernandes (Rector of UTAD); Tim Hogg (UTAD); Teresa Pinto Correia (UEvora); and João Paulo Oliveira (The Navigator Company).