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Angra do Heroísmo ,  July 12, 2019

Never before have the Azores invested so much in science, says Gui Menezes

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology highlighted in Angra do Heroísmo the fact that, for the first time, post-doctoral research projects have been created in business context in the Azores.
Gui Menezes stated that the Regional Government "has awarded priority status to the encouragement of research and innovation in companies." In fact, it has channelled "all the resources available in the Operational Programme to this area, such as the creation of six postdoctoral grants, representing a regional investment of more than 400 thousand Euros. 
The Regional Secretary spoke at the presentation of the postdoctoral projects in business context and the signing of the agreements. On the occasion, he stressed that the Regional Government "has been strongly committed to stimulating and promoting applied research to the business fabric."
In this regard, the government official stated that the transfer of knowledge is "one of the main driving forces of innovation and development, which are essential for the competitiveness of Azorean companies and for the economy as well."
"We believe the six postdoctoral projects selected will generate knowledge transfer dynamics and will bring added value to promoters," the Regional Secretary said, congratulating entrepreneurs who "have welcomed young scientists and their projects."
The creation of postdoctoral grants in business context falls within Transfer+, an initiative created by the Regional Government in 2018, along with other measures in the field of science. This 8.3 million-Euro investment under axis 1 of the Azores 2020 Operational Programme aims at a greater interconnection between scientific production and innovation of regional research centres with companies and the economy.
In his speech, Gui Menezes assessed the situation of Transfer+. According to him, 10 projects were approved under the first call for the allocation of support under Research&Development (R&D) projects in business context, launched in 2016, corresponding to about two million Euros.
Also in the context of supporting business research, the Regional Secretary recalled that a number of measures are underway, namely the second edition for the financing of R&D projects in companies, the support for the creation of R&D centres in companies and the support for the internationalisation of companies. Overall, these measures correspond to an investment of 3.8 million Euros.
In addition to these measures, Gui Menezes stated that 2019 will mark the implementation of the R&D Vouchers financing system, an "innovative tool" intended to support small SME initiatives. It will support the acquisition of advisory services in research, development and technology activities as well as technology transfer services, including the acquisition of Intellectual and Industrial Property Rights.
The Regional Secretary pointed out that "never before have the Azores invested so much in science as we are now investing." The next Community Support Framework, currently under discussion at the European Commission, provides for a significant increase in science support, Horizon Europe, being "a key opportunity for Azorean research centres."
Gui Menezes also stated that the Regional Government is preparing new opening notices for calls to finance "mobilising research projects" in the areas of RIS3 Azores.
The event held today on Terceira Island featured the presentation of three of the six finalist postdoctoral research projects in business context. Among them, one is aimed at the production of certified milk enriched with iodine, the other is directed to the biotechnological enhancement of Azorean macroalgae for commercial purposes, while the third provides for the production of dairy products, such as cheeses and ice creams, enriched with natural bioactive substances.


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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