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Ponta Delgada ,  July 26, 2018

New call for postdoctoral grants in business context opens in September, says Gui Menezes

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology announced today in Ponta Delgada the opening of a call in early September for six postdoctoral grants in business context, representing an investment of 400 thousand Euros.
Gui Menezes stated that the grants will be awarded for a three-year period and provide the annual amount of 22,600 Euros per grant. They are directed to doctorates who have completed the doctorate degree less than five years.
The Regional Secretary spoke during a visit to the "Functionalisation of Natural Fibres for Advanced Applications," a project developed by a doctoral fellow at the University in the Azores. He stressed that this call will "strengthen the interconnection between the regional scientific system and companies."
The Secretary for Science and Technology stressed that "the inclusion of postdoctorates in companies can strengthen their capacity with the introduction of innovation," pointing out that "companies have to be innovation in order to stay in the market and be more prepared for competition."
"Economy has to be based on knowledge," said the government official.
The call for postdoctoral grants falls within the Transfer+, an initiative launched this year by the Azorean Government with an estimated investment of 8.3 million Euros by 2020. It aims to reinforce the interconnection between scientific production and innovation of research centres with companies and the economy.
According to Gui Menezes, this initiative provides for "measures to support intellectual protection, such as the project presented today needs, as it is an innovative product."
"We are strengthening the innovation of our companies so that may be able to conduct more internal research and use research centres to assist them in the creation of their products," defended the Regional Secretary.
Regarding the "Functionalisation of Natural Fibres for Advanced Applications" project, developed by researcher Telmo Euleutério from the University of the Azores, Gui Menezes said it is a "very interesting project that focuses on many aspects and establishes the link between the research conducted at research centres with the economy, namely with companies," said the government official.
This project is based on the use of natural fibres from plants in the Azores, namely the Kahili ginger, and their application in areas ranging from health to construction.
"The possible use of fibres removed from Kahili ginger has great potential for various types of applications and may solve a problem that we have in the Azores since this plant is an invasive species and, consequently, an environmental problem," noted the Regional Secretary. In this regard, he added that we may also "contribute to replacing the use of plastics, which we acknowledge as a major problem we face today."
Gui Menezes also states that this project "falls under the European logic of circular economy," praising the "outstanding work carried out by researchers at the University of the Azores as it congregates many aspects that the Regional Government aims to foster and enhance in the Region."
According to various studies, Khalili ginger fibres may replace steel, wood and plastic. In fact, they have a huge potential for reducing the consumption of non-renewable and energy-consuming materials that are aggressive for the environment.
The "Functionalisation of Natural Fibres for Advanced Applications" project is being developed in partnership with the companies Fibrenamics and 1001 Serviços as well as with São Miguel Agricultural Association.
This project has already boosted the emergence of three new research projects applying for different financial support mechanisms, namely the 1.1 and 1.2 funding lines under the Azores 2020 Operational Programme, and the European "M-ERA" consortium; the latter is based on the ERA-NET typology.


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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