The IPBN is Fostering New Connections in Education Between Ireland and Portugal

Following up on the IPBN's Gateway to Global Connections Conference in Braga

At the recent IPBN Braga Conference, Professor Raul Fangueiro, Vice Dean of the School of Engineering from the University of Minho was a keynote speaker and expressed his interest in partnering with Irish Universities. 

IPBN General Manager Arnold Delville therefore introduced Raul to Professor Brian Norton from the Technological University in Dublin who was a keynote speaker at our first Sustainability Conference in Lisbon in 2019.  

This introduction shows the work that the IPBN is doing by opening opportunities for bilateral collaboration and a great example of a follow-up of the Braga Conference “The Gateway to Global Connections” and introductions made there thanks to IPBN member Silvia Correia of  

During the introduction, Raul said, “This association has several partners and associates. The main one is the University of Minho, then we have the Municipality of Guimarães, where the University is located as part of the School of Engineering. And then we have more than 30 companies that are associated with the association, not only Portuguese companies, but also Brazilian companies, and now, a company from Luxembourg that will join us in the field of aeronautics.  

Fifteen years back, I was the mentor of this interface, and now I'm the President of the board and I'm running it. When I met with Arnold at the Braga Conference and he mentioned the possibility of creating relationships with Irish Universities, I was excited. As Vice President of the School of Engineering, when it comes to our teaching programs, our research centers, and so on, I would like to look for opportunities for collaboration. Also in fiber dynamics and the interface where we are closer to companies and innovation processes, this would be a great thing.” 

Meanwhile, Brian Norton, who was president for 16 years at the Technological University in Dublin, said, “Four years ago, I headed up energy research in our National Research organization to the National Institute and was part of the management of that. I'm now an emeritus professor at the University College of Dublin and the University College Cork while simultaneously acting as Vice President of the European Academies Science Advisory Council and President of the European Sustainable Energy Innovation Alliance...I can facilitate any kind of links into Irish universities. Very direct links.” 

He continued, “Currently we've just formed a spin-out company for a particular technology patented some years ago called Pyre Up which does high-temperature waste heat recovery from the cement glass steel industry. So I'm interested in that area as well so a lot of interests. I find with collaborations, it depends on what you want to do.” 

Brian recommended putting together a list of possibilities to produce some introductions with the relevant people. He offered to do a bit of proprietary work with them to see where they could go. Industry connections might be quite an umbrella due to the existing Irish-Portuguese connections in terms of industries that might be interested in Portugal, Irish markets, or vice versa. 

Raul proposed sending over presentations from the School of Engineering with information about the research centers and the topics these research centers are addressing as well as a presentation about the fiber dynamics and the skills and competencies of the Institute to move things along more quickly.  

We look forward to seeing where this new connection takes us! 

Executive Partners