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Horta ,  June 26, 2019

Gui Menezes defends that Okeanos centre has considerable research dynamics and produces results

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology congratulated today the Okeanos research centre, based in Horta, for the "Excellent" classification awarded under the evaluation process of national scientific research centres. The procedure was carried out by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and the results were known this week.
 
The Research Institute for Volcanology and Risk Assessment (IVAR), the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (cE3c) and the Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO-Açores/InBio), whose projects include regional researchers, received the "Excellent" rating. In turn, the Biotechnology Centre of Azores (CBA) and Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Research and Technology (IITAA CITA-A) received the "Very Good" rating.
 
According to Gui Menezes, these results provide a "new stimulus" and "reinforce the strategic research lines of regional research centre." Moreover, "they give a chronological insight in terms of funding, recruitment of human resources and research grants with significant financial amounts, which is quite positive for the science produced in the Azores."
 
The evaluation carried out by FCT is decisive for research centres as far as it defines the annual funding at national level between 2020 and 2023.
 
The Regional Secretary defended that Okeanos is a research centre with "a very strong research dynamics whose results meet the Regional Government's commitments and responsibilities in terms of European policies, namely the Marine Strategy Framework Directive as well as the management of marine spaces and marine protected areas. These political measures and actions require the application of knowledge."
 
The Regional Secretary spoke to journalists on the sidelines of a meeting with scientists linked to marine research on Faial Island, where research projects financed by the Azores 2020 Operational Programme were analysed.
 
Under the two calls for the allocation of support to research and development (R&D) projects under the RIS3 - Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation, launched by the Region, 43 scientific projects were approved, and 66 researchers were hired, including 33 doctorates. These initiatives represented an overall investment of 6.7 million Euros.
 
Five Okeanos research projects were selected in the first call launched in 2015. In turn, six scientific projects were selected under the second call, launched last year. They will start this year and correspond to a global funding of approximately 1.8 million Euros.
 
Gui Menezes also stressed that Okeanos participates in eight INTERREG projects, in partnership with the Regional Fund for Science and Technology, and in nine projects developed under the H2020 initiative. In this context, the government official added that 12 grants funded by the Region were awarded for research projects on Faial, four postdoctoral and eight doctoral degrees, an investment of around 850 thousand Euros.
 
The Secretary for Science also stated that the public notice for the recruitment of 10 human resources for the Okeanos Research Centre for a three-year period, an investment of 2.2 million Euros, will be launched soon. According to him, "there are prospects that these recruitment procedures will contribute to the growth and stabilisation of the research projects" conducted at this centre.
 
Gui Menezes also announced that a call under the National Roadmap of Research Infrastructures (RNIIE), amounting to 2.5 million Euros, is planned to be launched shortly and will focus on regional infrastructure nodes in the area of the Sea. The regional node of the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor Observatory - Portugal (EMSO.PT) will contribute to the establishment of an underwater observatory. In turn, the regional node of European Marine Biological Research Centre (EMBRC-ERIC) provides for the exchange of researchers and students of Universities using the laboratories of the universities that make up this network.
 
The visit of the Regional Secretary to Okeanos and the meeting with the scientists responsible for marine research projects conducted on Faial Island took place during the Regional Government's visit to this island, which began today.


GaCS/GM
 
 
 
 
 
   
 

Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

 
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