How did the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) respond to the challenge of bringing together the community of 400 people of 40 nationalities in this block? This year the solution of the intergovernmental scientific research organization based in Braga was a Christmas film that recalls how the life of INL “changed overnight”, but with a strong message of unity and hope.
Inspired by the film Sozinho em Casa, a Christmas classic that debuted 30 years ago, the communication department gave birth to INL Alone, in Portuguese Sozinho no INL. As a goal, the video also intends to remember that despite being physically separated, the team was always united.
Watch INL’s Christmas movie
The film tells the story of a researcher who frantically works to meet a project’s deadline and gives in to tiredness, eventually falling asleep, exhausted, in front of the keyboard. When he wakes up quickly he realizes that something very strange is happening and looks for his colleagues in the laboratory, but in vain.
The researcher thinks that all the workers have left the building and, to cheer up, decides to set up the Christmas tree and watch a video from last year, in which INL colleagues wish you happy holidays in the languages of the countries of origin. In the end, when a “strange light calls him”, he discovers that he has never been alone.
In a statement, the director general of INL, Lars Montelius, guarantees that this video “remembers how in a difficult year, which had everything not to go well, ended up becoming a year in which scientific production was one of the best ever” . This was, thus, the way that the INL found to wish happy holidays and to show how science is decisive to have a 2021 with more hope.
From combating COVID-19 to promoting business: some of INL’s projects in 2020
In a year marked by a public health crisis, INL stood out for helping to face the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization recently started to lead a European project of 6.1 million euros that aims to support the commercialization of new products that fight the coronavirus. The initiative, called INNO4COV-19, will support up to 30 projects that test and validate applications in various areas, from medical technologies, environmental surveillance systems, sensors, health worker protection, artificial intelligence and data mining.
In October, INL was also in the news for leading a project that aims to create an open innovation network to accelerate business opportunities. The project already counts on the active participation of companies such as the Amorim Group, KPN, Saint Gobain, Procter & Gamble, Aptiv and EFACEC, and aims to attract small and medium-sized companies and European startups to answer the calls that will be launched. The first call will be launched in February 2021.
In the summer, in August, the European Commission decided to support two Portuguese research projects, one of them from INL. Both bet on the areas of medical technologies, digital tools and artificial intelligence.
Inaugurated in Braga in 2008, the infrastructure resulted from the memorandum of understanding that the ministries of Science, Technology and Higher Education of Portugal and the Ministry of Education and Science of Spain signed in 2005. As objectives, INL intends, in addition to the work of joint research between the two countries – through various workshops, laboratories, library, auditoriums and a space to install short-term visitors – to bring together the best world researchers in the field of nanotechnology.