Advanced Course brought together world experts in innovation with fibrous materials
The international platform Fibrenamics of the University of Minho organized on the 13th, 14th and 15th of June the Advanced Course on Fiber-based Materials and Products, which took place at the University of Minho, on the Azurém campus, in Guimarães. With around 60 participants from different parts of the globe, this initiative aimed to promote the sharing and transfer of knowledge, having therefore brought together global experts from both academia and business.
Three days with lots of fiber
The first day and the morning of the second were dedicated to “scientific lectures” (lectures of a predominantly scientific nature), which featured presentations by renowned scientists such as: Seeram Ramakrishna of the National University of Singapore (Singapore), Orlando Rojas of the University of Aalto ( Finland), Sohel Rana from the University of Minho (Portugal), Hong Hu from the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong (China), and Karl Schulte from the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg (Germany). In order to make a transition from research to the market, Raul Fangueiro, coordinator of the Fibrenamics platform at the University of Minho, revealed some concrete examples of how scientific research based on fibers can be transferred and implemented in the market through the development of value-added products, and Patricia López Vicente from EDA - European Defense Agency (Belgium) showed the trends of innovation and development of these materials in the defense sector and the opportunities, for companies and universities, to collaborate directly with the Agency of Defense and the National Ministries of Defense of the Member States of the European Union.
On the afternoon of the second day and on the third day, market lectures (lectures aimed at placing this science on the market) took place, where experts such as Sofiane Amziane from RILEM - International Union of Laboratories and specialists in Construction Materials , Systems and Structures (France), João Paulo Vilas-Boas from LABIOMEP - Porto Biomechanical Laboratory (Portugal), Albino Martins from 3B's Biomaterials, Biodegradable and Biomimetics Research Group (Portugal), Marijke Mollaert from Tensinet (Belgium), Alexandre da Silva Teixeira from CEiiA - Center for Excellence and Innovation in Industry (Portugal) and Jose Manuel Ramos from AITEX - Association for Research in Industry (Spain) were able to share all their experience in transferring knowledge to the market, whether using presentation trends and innovation opportunities, as well as practical examples of innovative product development, based on whether in fibers, already implemented in the market, it also wants good practices of sustainable procedures for knowledge transfer, networking, innovation and development.
An international reference
The balance of the event was very positive and, in the words of Raul Fangueiro, coordinator of the Fibrenamics platform and organizer of the event, “fulfilled what we had planned as objectives for this event, both in terms of the speakers and the themes that were addressed as well as at the level of the participants. In the scope of fibers, we approach themes that are transversal and that relate to many disciplines. We had both textile engineers and product designers here, as well as materials and polymers engineers, architects, among others. So here we have created an amalgamation of competencies that gave more strength to the event that was organized. ”
The perspective of the invited speakers for this Advanced Course was also in line with the opinion of Raul Fangueiro, with most of them highlighting the great importance that events of this nature have for society, by encouraging the exchange of experiences regarding the different areas of application of the fibers. Alexandre Teixeira, for example, emphasized the fact that this type of activity promotes an excellent interaction between the scientific aspect and the market: “There is one thing that one has to do right away, which is to congratulate the universities, who are often accused of turning only inwards and never outwards, and when they turn outwards it is because they are going to ask companies for anything, and today we have an example here that managed to fill an auditorium with more than 50 people in an advanced course with people of different nationalities who come to the university to learn to enhance the knowledge that exists here, making that knowledge a business out there in each of their activities. ” In turn, Seeram Ramakrishna stressed the importance that this type of courses can bring to issues such as sustainability: “The conference brought together topics that are very important for global sustainability, giving more information to those interested in deepening these topics related to sustainability. fibrous materials and, eventually, develop products that can improve people's lives”.
Considered an international reference, this was another event of great impact organized by Fibrenamics, always with the aim of promoting the exchange and sharing of knowledge based on fibers and with the objective of affirming Fibrenamics, at international level, as a network which shows the market and research institutions what is best done internationally. According to the platform coordinator, there is an opportunity to replicate this course model in other countries, “because the model is really well set up, it works well. It is a matter of transferring it, doing a kind of 'franchising' and taking it to other countries”.