On May 11, NOVA University Lisbon, welcomed the Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, at CEDOC-NOVA Medical School, to present the NOVA's research projects and start-ups which are developing innovative solutions to respond to COVID-19 pandemic.
At the opening of the session, the Rector of NOVA, João Sàágua, referred that “this is a moment for fundamental research and innovation, with direct and rapid impact, to join hands”, encouraging researchers and start-ups to work together searching for solutions.
The nine research projects from NOVA recently funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia under scope of “RESEARCH 4 COVID-19” call were presented in a session chaired by NOVA's Vice-Rector, Elvira Fortunato. Followed by a panel on the role of “Bio Start-ups”, Private Associations, and R&D platforms in combating the new coronavirus, moderated by Pro-Rector of NOVA Isabel Rocha.
The role of Universities in the global response to the pandemic, as well as the phased return of classroom activities and face-to-face research, were also discussed during the visit.
In his speech, the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, highlighted the scientific and academic activities of universities and announced the launch of 'Skills 4 post-COVID - Competencies for the Future', an initiative promoted with the General Directorate Higher Education (DGES), along with higher education institutions and public and private employers.
The session also included interventions by José Fragata, Vice-Rector of NOVA; Paulo Pereira, President of CEDOC-NMS Executive Committee; Guy Villax, CEO of Hovione, and Carlos Moedas, Director of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
During the session, in the presence of the Minister of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security, Ana Mendes Godinho, NOVA Medical School signed a protocol with Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa regarding the diagnostic tests of SARS-CoV-2 conducted by CEDOC-NMS to the users of the Homes of Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa.
To close the session, which coincided with the day when the 2000 diagnostic test mark was exceeded, the participants paid a tribute to the 70 volunteers from CEDOC-NMS that are dedicating their efforts for the CEDOC response to the COVID-19 pandemic.