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Illities and Indwelling: emerging issues in Innovation, technology and policy research, a compilation of research essay by researchers at IN+
HISTORY: IN+ 1998-2013
The R&D activities included in the present research programme at IN+ have derived from those developed between 1986 and the mid 90´s within the scope of the Combustion Laboratory of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IST. They have been extended with the aim to integrate competencies at the level of sustainable energy systems, technology policy and advanced socio-economic research methods.
This is because the successful development and subsequent exploitation of energy and environmental technologies requires, apart from improved knowledge of basic thermofluid science, the understanding of policy issues and innovation strategies, in a context which promotes the sustainable development. The ultimate goal is to improve the process of industrial and societal assimilation of knowledge, through a stepwise and interactive approach considering the overall values chain associated with industrial, corporate and social processes.
In addition, the activities developed in last years have been planned on the basis that the most important challenges in maximising the impact of Science and Technology, S&T, on the well-being of nations, is to understand and optimise the complex processes that underlie world-class S&T research, commercialisation and management, including the protection of intellectual property and the integration of knowledge in a context of enhanced economic wealth and shared prosperity.
The concepts presented above are the result of a strong involvement of a number of researchers in a considerably large number of international R&D projects since 1986. These projects have been developed in the scope of national projects and the BRITE/EURAM, Science, STEP, Environment, Joule and Esprit Programmes of the European Commission, as well as an increasing involvement with Portuguese and European industry. Apart from the national sectors of glass and crystal, R&D links have been established for a number of years with major European aeronautical companies (Rolls Royce, SNECMA, TURBOMECA, MTU, Rolls-Royce- BMW) and process industries (Saint Gobain). Briefly, the work evolved from basic research on turbulent fluid mechanics and combustion, namely through several master and doctorates programmes.
Moreover, the research work has gained considerably from the successive organisation of the International Symposia on Applications of Laser Techniques to Fluid Mechanics, which have been held in Lisbon since 1982. The symposia have contributed significantly to promote a series of international contacts and research activities in international cooperation.
In the late 90´s and the early 2000´s, the development of competencies in the area of science, technology and innovation policy has been successfully achieved following three main lines of development, namely: i) advanced training of young researchers in leading American universities, through Ph.D. Programmes in key and emergent topics; ii) launching in IST of the Master programme on “Engineering Policy and Management of Technology” in 1998 and of the Master programme on “Engineering Design” in 2002, which has allowed to train young people in new areas of education at IST and promote new links with Portuguese companies; and iii) the organization of the International Conferences on Technology Policy and Innovation, ICTPI, which were launched in July 1997 and carried out in close collaboration with a number of leading research groups worldwide.
The Center coordinated in 2002-2003 a national initiative and exhibition on the history of engineering in Portugal in the 20th century, which won the Dibner Award of the Society for the History of Technology, SHOT. The Center was named in 2005 one of the top 50 global research centers in technology management by the International Association of Management of Technology, IAMOT.
Since 2006, the center has extended and enlarged its activities in close association with three new PhD programmes launched at IST in close national and international cooperation, namely in “Sustainable Energy Systems, SES”, in “Technical Change and Entrepreneurship, TCE” and in “Engineering and Public Policy, EPP”. These programs have gained from a number of government-driven international partnerships with the Massachusstes Institute of Technology, MIT, and Carnegie Mellon University, CMU, which has also allowed to drive a number of new industry-science relationships in Portugal and abroad.