Research and technology for the valorization of natural resources and of those not effectively recovered by economic activity
The Centre of Technology and Innovation (CTI) is an internationally recognized excellence research and technological intensification centre. CTI aims to find solutions to a set of problems through a team of young, multidisciplinary, proactive and highly innovative people. It incorporates the technological infrastructure Bio Centre: Bio Industries, Biorefineries and Bioproducts.
CTI is composed of four departments with specific goals:
This department aims to develop solutions to problems relating to population decline through the settling of critical mass in the region and the development of project activities which promote welfare, gender equality and the conditions to counteract rural exodus.
It also focuses on research for sustainable education, using new educational models of scientific literacy, such as playful activities of innovation and technology focused on skill models and the stimulation of creativity in younger generations (from 4 to 18 years old), aligned with the guidelines of the School and "Agenda Local 21".
It is a pioneer department in the implementation, promotion and development of policies for the establishment of economic activities in Portugal, with heavy reliance on technology and innovation, fostering youth entrepreneurship.
Energy and Territory is a department with research activities and technological development in the following sectors:
- Energy, energetic systems and intelligent mobility;
- Protection, valorisation and sustainable management of regional resources, preventing the risk of large-scale forest fires;
- Valorisation and exploitation of the potential for energy generation and production of bioproducts and biofuels based on lignocellulosic and hydrocarbon resources, as a parallel activity to the food and agroforestry sectors, focusing on the development of 2nd and 3rd generation biorefineries, according to the Circular Economy concept.
The environment and quality of life department develops research and technological activities regarding:
- Systems optimization and solutions for serious environmental problems, promoting environmental exploration from a business perspective, with focus on wastes, industrial and regional symbioses and Circular Economy;
- Development of treatment solutions of effluents and microalgae usage and their valorisation;
- Research and development of biomaterials with innovative and efficient features, based on dematerialization and valorisation of regional resources, integrating eco-innovation and eco-design;
- Life cycle integrated optimization, using multi-criteria analysis models and Life Cycle Assessment; and
- Research aimed at promoting healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle.
Research and technological development in the food sector regarding the concepts of "Super Food", "Natural Food", "Pleasure Food" and fruit-based products, using endogenous resources, and the development of new agricultural products with a major food innovation component.
In this sense, particular attention was given to Serra da Estrela cheese, S. Bartolomeu pear, apples of regional varieties, mushrooms native to the region and truffle farming.
Application of techniques which contribute to the promotion of agricultural production, using high quality products with distinctive features, through technology implementation, productivity improvement and systems quality.
Mycology, both in the food and biomolecular context, is an important pillar or research for this department.