Yesterday was a day full of emotions as we were dividing our attention between the end of another edition of Web Summit and the celebration of 30 years of National Innovation Agencies in Portugal, which brought together the community of Technology Transfer Offices, Colabs, and Technology and Innovation Centers, as well as the teams of participants of the Born from Knowledge Ideas (BfK) program.
BfK is a program that aims to promote a knowledge valorization culture in Portugal and involves national Higher Education Institutions and Research Centers that reference projects/teams of students and researchers that have innovative projects in hand. Then, if selected, they have access to a training phase and to participate in a pitch competition where a big winner is selected by category. At Ciências ULisboa we decided to reference the project “Block-Based Accessible Tangible System” developed by Filipa Rocha, PhD student from Ciências ULisboa and participant of our Impact Program from ScienceIN2Business, which we are supporting at Tec Labs. The project makes digital learning more accessible to visually impaired children using toys and educational systems that make digital literacy accessible through fun and play.
Credits – Tec Labs
Not only was the project selected but it was also the big winner of this year’s edition of the competition on the Digital Transition category, bringing to Ciências ULisboa for the second time an Award in this competition which, of course, makes us very proud. The first distinction we got was in 2019 when our spin-off Delox was also a recipient of the BfK Award on Empreende XXI initiative.
Credits – BATS Project Team
In the words of Filipa Rocha “our participation in BfK allowed our team to take a next step with our inclusive programming project. In addition to the training opportunity in this area of entrepreneurship, the mentors challenged us to better understand our objectives and our solution. Reaching the final and the category prize is a great source of motivation to continue working to bring inclusion to all children”.
We know the future will be bright for such a purposeful project that not only had a great participation in our Impact Program, but was also awarded previously this year with the Young Inventors Prize 2023 from the European Patent Office (EPO).
As for us, the event that Agência Nacional de Inovação organized was also very valuable not only because it made it possible to network with peers from other national institutions, but also because of the richness of the sessions organized, namely on success cases of knowledge transfer processes connected to the Sustainable Development Goals, and on the international TTO networks and their importance in today’s context. We also enjoyed getting involved in a Productization workshop conducted by André Marquet and the International Keynote by Jerry Sheehan, Director for Science, Technology, and Innovation from OECD.
Credits – Tec Labs