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R&D Projects

MIT Portugal Program
2017 Call for Exploratory Proposals



  • Application deadline: from January 18th, 2017 until March 8th, 2017 at 17:00 (Lisbon time)

Announcement of the Call (Read here)

Purpose and overview

The MIT Portugal Program is a partnership between Portuguese Universities, Research Centers, Industry and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to promote the investment in science, technology and higher education as a catalyser for social and economic development in Portugal.

The Program celebrated in 2016 its 10th anniversary and has been, throughout this decade, strengthening and developing a research platform for cutting-edge concepts in emerging areas of science and technology such as Bioengineering, Sustainable Energy and Transportation Systems and Integrated Product Design.

A Call for Proposals for Exploratory Research is opened within the MIT Portugal Program framework. This call is guided towards research projects with the potential to contribute towards the long-term objective of developing innovative products and services, demonstrating international competitiveness and innovative capacity in science and technology amongst public and private sectors and the entities of the National Scientific and Technology System (SCTN) under the following themes:

1. Integrative research based in the context of the Atlantic International Research Center (AIR Center);
2. Sustainable and data driven urban systems;
3. New industrial concepts and smart factories;
4. Bio & Medical Devices;
5. Sustainable Transportation Systems.

These projects will be also used to assess emergent scientific domains that could be considered in the design of a potential 3rd phase of the MIT Portugal Program. The projects developed should also contribute to the Atlantic International Research Center (AIR Center) scientific developments and objectives, as stated in the document “Towards a Science and Technology agenda for an integrative approach to the Atlantic: Climate Change and Energy Systems, Space and Ocean Sciences, through North-South cooperation”, available at FCT website.

What’s included

Under this call, a maximum of 18 (eighteen) exploratory projects are expected to receive funding. The actual number of exploratory projects funded will depend on the scale and scope of the proposed Initiatives and the quality of the proposals submitted.

The total amount available for Portuguese research institutions, as part of this research call, will be up to €1,800,000 (one million, eight hundred thousand euros), depending on proposal design and budget justifications.


Only the following entities are eligible to receive funding from FCT through the present call for proposals: Higher Education Institutions, their institutes and R&D centers; State or international Laboratories with headquarters in Portugal; Private non-profit institutions whose main objective is to carry out R&D activities; other private or public non-profit institutions that develop or participate in scientific research activities.

This call is for funding of research and development projects applied to Exploratory Research proposals by entities of the National Scientific and Technology System (NSTS), public and private partners.

The proposals submitted should include:

  • "projects in co-operation" carried out in a consortium, with the participation of two research teams from different entities as identified in section 2 of the ACP. One of them must be an entity referenced on Point 2.1 – “Higher Education Institutions, their institutes and R&D units”. The consortium may also include any other public or private entities, profit or not for profit, that may also invest in the exploratory research project and that may bring relevant competencies to the project;
  • A MIT researcher, who can be any person from the MIT research staff (faculty or research scientist). This participation should be confirmed by a “letter of collaboration”, to be submitted with the proposal.

How and when to apply

Applications must be submitted online, from January 18th, 2017 until March 8th, 2017 at 17:00 (Lisbon time), through the FCT website following the Announcement of the Call for Proposals.

Applicants should fill in the on-line FCT form according to the guidelines provided in the MIT Portugal Program: 2017 – Terms of Reference for the Call Proposals and after also reading carefully the Proposal submission Guide, the Guide for Peer Reviewers and the Announcement of the Call.


The selection and ranking of the applications will be as described at the MIT Portugal Program: 2017 – Terms of Reference for the Call Proposals, namely based on the following criteria:

  1. Scientific merit and innovative nature of the project, preferably within the scope of the priorities developed by the Atlantic International Research Center (AIR Center) initiative;
  2. Scientific merit of the research team;
  3. Feasibility of the work plan and reasonability of the budget;
  4. Contribution to the body of knowledge and competence of the National Science and Technology System;
  5. Potential economic value of the technology.


Information on the scientific matters of the application form can be obtained from:

Information on the contents of the application form can be obtained from:

The information on this page does not replace or override any requirements set forth in the Regulations or the Announcement of the Call for Proposals.