The mission of the Centre for Rapid and Sustainable Product Development (Centro para o Desenvolvimento Rápido e Sustentado de Produto – CDRSP) of the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria (IPLeiria) is to contribute to scientific and technological development, leading to new products, materials and processes that are more fitted, more effective and more efficient, contributing to a generation of added value to the industry and promoting the conscience of the importance and of the role of the rapid and sustainable product development in the society. In order to accomplish this mission, the CDRSP-IPLeiria leads scientific and technological research and promotes dissemination, training and consultancy actions in strategic areas of product development.

  1. Geometry and topology/Computer simulation
  2. Advanced materials; and
  3. Novel manufacturing processes.

The aim of the strategic research program is to consolidate and reinforce the national and international position of the CDRSP-IP Leiria as a leading research group in the field of Multiscale Direct Digital Manufacturing based on Additive Manufacturing, moving towards the fully integrated concept of added-value manufacturing. This is possible due to the multidisciplinary nature of the CDRSP Research Team, comprising researchers from different scientific backgrounds. The main Scientific Research Areas of CDRSP-IPLeiria lays on Additive Manufacturing, having a focus on 60% of applied research and 40% of basic research. To do so, the development of Additive Manufacturing is supported by 3 core interconnected scientific pillars:

CEMMPRE is an interdisciplinary R&D Unit working on fundamental and applied research in Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and other related areas. CEMMPRE team has about 200 Researchers, organized in two research groups: A) Mechanical and Intelligent Manufacturing, B) Materials and Processes.

The mission of CEMMPRE is to advance scientific and technical knowledge and capabilities, through interdisciplinary collaboration across disciplines and scientific areas that can lead to breakthroughs and innovation, in order to contribute to a more sustainable world.

The research activity of CEMMPRE is aligned with the four innovation platforms of Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) of the central region of Portugal, that interact with CEMMPRE’s areas of research on Intelligent Manufacturing; Design & Testing, Surface and Interface Engineering, Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology, Bioengineering, and Advanced Sensor Systems (CEMMPRE keywords).

CEMMPRE is committed to find solutions to some of the biggest issues of our days, such as the Green Deal and the Digital Transition, having a direct relationship with the Sustainable Development Goals, namely, (i) good health and well-being; (ii) industry, innovation and infrastructure, and (iii) responsible consumption and production.

The relationships between CEMMPRE and other institutions, such as Instituto Pedro Nunes (IPN) have led to stimulating new ideas for new mechanical processes, materials, technologies, prototypes and products to be directly transferred to enterprises, mainly through its laboratories “LED&MAT – Laboratory for Wear, Testing & Materials” and “LEC – Laboratory for Electroanalysis and Corrosion”, headed by researchers from CEMMPRE. IPN – Incubator is also a strategic partner for starting new enterprises based on strong and promising ideas.

The Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering (ISISE) is a R&D Research Centre created in 2007 involving the Civil Engineering Departments of University of Coimbra and University of Minho. The vision of ISISE is to increase the structural and functional performance of Civil Engineering Works, from a perspective of advanced technology, innovation and a knowledge based economy with a wide focus that ranges from materials to integral systems with a life cycle approach. ISISE currently comprises about 160 researchers, including a large number of PhD students. In 2014, ISISE was evaluated by FCT – the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology and graded EXCELLENT.

ISISE possesses full expertise to address the seven basic requirements needed to bring building products to the market such as Mechanical resistance and stability; Safety in the case of fire; Hygiene, health and the environment; Safety in use; Protection against noise; Energy economy and heat retention. The research activities carried out in the institute are mainly divided into four research groups: Steel and mixed construction technologies (SMCT) and Functional Performance (FP) at University of Coimbra and Historical and masonry structures (HMS) and Structural concrete (SC) at University of Minho.

In the period 2014-2016, ISISE secured important funding (about 10 M€) for the construction and equipment of additional laboratory facilities in its two major campi (Coimbra and Minho). The new facilities have been completed and include a state-of-the-art Fire Safety Experimental Laboratory (FireLAB), in Coimbra, and the Institute for Bio-Sustainability (IBS), in Minho, joining engineering and biological sciences to address integrative and complex problems in the natural and built environment.

The Institute is involved in several Advanced Educational Programs, including two Erasmus Mundus International Masters, funded by the European Commission, four PhD programs, as well as 5 advanced MSc programs.

ISR-UC is organized into seven Activity Areas with significant scientific and technological synergies: 

  • Human-Centered Mobile Robotics
  • Field Robotics
  • Medical Systems and Robotics
  • Computational Intelligence and Control
  • Artificial Perception and Cognition
  • Visual Perception 
  • Intelligent Energy Systems 

The success of the unit relies on the existing strong collaboration across disciplinary boundaries, which allows the unit to tackle highly complex scientific and technological challenges. Regular workshops stimulate collaboration that will be a key tool for addressing complex multidisciplinary problems and integrating the knowledge towards cognitive systems, as well as knowledge dissemination. Many research proposals and ongoing projects require researchers to take advantage of the complementarity of skills of the researchers and partners, resulting in high quality publications and joint supervision of PhD Thesis.

ISR has strong interaction with some of the best research centers around the World, participating in large international projects. ISR also participates in networks of excellence in the robotics area and wants to keep organizing scientific meetings at the highest level (e.g. IROS, ICRA, IEEE ITSC, ROMAN).
The activities in the unit are highly interdisciplinary by nature with strong interaction between the activity areas. Moreover, ISR actively collaborates with the Faculty of Medicine, health institutions and research centers (CNC-Center for Neuroscience, Rehabilitation Rovisco Pais Hospital, IBILI- Optical and Biomedical Imaging and Life Sciences Institute) and a variety of high technology industries. 

Training and education activities are of high importance in order to enable cross-fertilization and innovation across disciplinary boundaries. ISR plays an active role in several doctoral programmes and provides experimental and scientific guidance to a large number of MSc students. Furthermore, training and education is a key element for community building and the generation of an open and stimulating culture. The primary training and education activities will be supervision of students and mentoring of postdocs in an everyday basis but also exchange of researchers with high quality research centers in different periods of the year.
The existing cooperation with national and international industry (e.g. Google, PSA Group, Efacec power and automation equipment, Portucel paper group, CIMPOR cement group, EDP Electric Utility, National Money Authority Casa da Moeda, Brisa Motorways, Schneider Electric, ABB Corporate Research, and WEG) is planned to be increased with joint projects. ISR also wants to keep promoting technology transfer and the creation of spin-offs associated with the development of research results with a large market potential. 

The Research Center for Systems and Technologies (SYSTEC) sets forth the following key goals:

  • Undertake fundamental and applied research and development in systems, control, optimization, estimation, robotics, and their articulation in cyberphysical architectures for networked vehicles and systems, power management, with emphasis in the network integration of renewables and electrical mobility, and advanced production systems, anchored essentially in the core scientific areas of electrical engineering, applied mathematics, and computation sciences (including “data science”). The developments target not only the scientific impact but also the multiple societal challenges in the academic, nature and environment, industry, services, and entrepreneurship.
  • Contribute to the valorization and transfer of the generated knowledge and products to society.

SYSTEC is hosted at Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade, Universidade do Porto (FEUP) and in the Institute for Systems and Robotics (ISR).

Supported by FEUP in what concerns infrastructures, human (administrative and scientific) resources, and its vast collaborative research network, and by ISR in what concerns the networks of stakeholders, and of institutions addressing the societal challenges, SYSTEC advances its R&D and Innovation agenda to promote: (i) academic excellence, (ii) worldwide networking with institutions and researchers with opportune scientific affinities to ensure the critical mass, (iii) interaction with end-users and stakeholders to promote the tuning with challenge-driven innovation dynamics, (iv) emergence of actors relevant to the evolution of paradigms for the societal impact of science and technology, as well as (iv) integration with advanced formation activities.