INESC Porto and the Portuguese Navy sign partnership agreement at the Fair of the Sea
The Fair of the Sea that took place between 16th and 19th June at the Exponor (Matosinhos) was chosen for the signing of the partnership agreement between INESC Porto and the Naval Research Centre of the Portuguese Navy. This partnership between the two institutions will aim to join synergies to become leaders in the maritime economy.
INESC Porto and the Portuguese Navy will develop autonomous marine systems to support search and rescue missions in disasters. These systems will have a high level of autonomy and they will be able to find survivors in disasters and thus relieve rescue teams from the more difficult and dangerous tasks.
This work between INESC Porto and the Portuguese Navy is part of the maritime component of the European project, ICARUS, and the first marine vehicles should be completed by 2013. Project ICARUS will bring together 23 partners and has a budget of 17 million Euros.
As part of ICARUS, INESC Porto and the Portuguese Navy will strengthen competencies to develop a range of autonomous search and rescue marine vehicles. They will be equipped with sensors to detect humans and will be able to communicate with rescue teams. These systems will have a high level of autonomy in order to be able to meet the requirements of various complex scenarios.
Ideally they will be able to take on the role of automatic vehicles to aid first responders in disasters. These autonomous robotic vehicles will help in search missions, supporting the rescue teams and taking on the most difficult and dangerous tasks, such as finding survivors and helping to save lives. The work will begin in January 2012 and the first robotic maritime tools developed as part of ICARUS should be ready by 2013.
In addition to participating in this European project, the Naval Research Centre for the Portuguese Navy and INESC Porto have collaborated in many areas that range from the development of autonomous sailboats to maritime protection systems.
In addition to the signing of the partnership agreement with the Portuguese Navy, INESC Porto, as a member of the sea cluster, OCEANO XXI, displayed their portfolio of technology for the maritime economy. The portfolio included sub aquatic robotics (from the Robotics and Intelligent Systems Unit - ROBIS), the Electronic Port Community (from the Information and Computer Graphic Systems Unit - USIG) and Fibre Optics (from the Optoelectronics and Electronic Systems Unit - UOSE) and highlighted the Lajeado project that was recently exported to Brazil.
Photo Gallery – the Fair of the Sea
The Voice of the People
Guilherme Amaral, ROBIS
The experience was very positive. INESC Porto’s participation in the Fair of the Sea was important because it placed the institution alongside other entities involved in the maritime economy.
Often, due to the lack of interest from the press, a lot of the technology developed in Portugal is ignored which devalues the work of researchers and institutions nationwide.
Alfredo Martins, ROBIS
INESC TEC was in a strong position at the fair and the stand had a great impact, with high visibility and attracted the invited guests and individuals that are linked to the maritime economy.
The event is directly aimed at professionals, thus INESC Porto’s presence helped confirm the institution’s status as a leading partner in this area.
As with other events, we will only be able to assess the results in the medium and long term. However, in terms of the number of contacts and the amount of interest generated by our R&D projects on display along with the institute’s capacities, I am confident that our participation was a success.
From a personal point of view I am content with how the event went and I would like to highlight the professionalism and effort from everyone that participated and helped make it a success for us.
During these difficult times, I am sure that we are capable of making the most of the opportunities on offer and applying them in this area, in particular to the sea and we can prove INESC TEC to be a driving force of development that applies knowledge and innovation that has a relevant impact on the economy and Portuguese society.