It has been nearly two years since the new ARDITI Board of Directors took office. Although most of the members from earlier terms were reappointed, some exemplary policies could soon have been continued, and much still needed to be done to professionalize STI in Madeira. ARDITI’s modernization focused mainly on three aspects: i) administrative reform; b) Digitization. c) Defining strategic lines.
administrative reforms. We started by amending the statute, and reshaping the agency’s organizational structure by establishing a scientific council, a scientific and commercial oversight committee, a legal office, and a communications office. Current times also require the appointment of a data protection officer as well as the establishment of a conflict of interest management office. It was also necessary to create organizational and operational regulations to clarify how the bodies and functional units of the enterprise should be organized and governed. All information and documents are now available on the Agency’s official website: https://www.arditi.pt. With the aim of internationalization, ARDITI has an English version of the page.
Digitization. To support scientific research, we have joined the B-ON (Online Knowledge Library) service of the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), so that our researchers can consult scientific information as well as publish articles for free in major international journals and publishers. We also subscribed, for the first time, to the Network Services of Science, Technology and Society (RCTS), a digital infrastructure that gives access to various services available in the main universities and national institutes, such as “eduroam” (free WiFi in any part of the academic world), “Colibri (Unlimited Video Conferencing), scientific computing, among others. RCTS also ensures that teaching and research entities are connected to the global Internet at high speed (1-10 Gbps). Finally, we are on par with national universities and research and development institutions.
A Digital Document Management System (SIGEST) has recently been implemented in order to streamline project management and streamline public procurement administrative procedures, reducing costs and waiting times. The system also provides project coordinators with all information and procedures for each stage of the process. For management, SIGEST provides an integrated view of ongoing operations and projects.
strategic lines. Together with several partners (UMa, ACIF and StartUP-Madeira), we have created a interface platform that we call “SIH – Smart Islands Hub”. The main objective is to provide an enabling environment to promote academic proximity to regional companies. Complementing the “free thinking” of the classical academies (universities), ARDITI proposes to streamline the fields of knowledge (complementary to the UMa), of great importance to the region: technologies, health and the sea.
In terms of technologies, the most symbolic project is the development of small and low-cost aerial vehicles (UAVs), both for civil and military purposes. As part of the “Atlantic Sentinel” project, the General Staff of the Armed Forces (EMGFA) is involved in the initiative. Other technology projects include the development of software (software) to help digitize corporate management processes, among others.
In the field of health, among the various projects developed in ARDITI that have an impact on the territory, the project that refers to the development of interactive technologies for the rehabilitation of comorbidities resulting from strokes, dementia and / or lack of movement, stands out. Interactive game tables and virtual reality (VR) systems installed on tablets and/or displayed on the floor and/or walls and/or visible through virtual reality glasses developed by the company “NeuroReHabLab”, have been successfully used in homes, people’s homes, regional and national health centers . There are also projects using artificial intelligence (AI) systems to promote cognitive rehabilitation that are being tested by the Health Service of the Autonomous Region of Madeira (SESARAM), among others.
Sea design a new world. internationally with the proclamation by the United Nations (UN) of the Decade of Oceans (2021-30), and the creation of the European Mission “Reclaim Oceans 2030”; at the national level, with the publication of the (new) National Strategy for the Seas (2021-2030); Regionally, with the establishment (for the first time in history) of a regional secretariat for the sea.
Also within the scope of the “Atlantic Sentinel” protocol, the regional government has challenged ARDITI to acquire, operate and develop robotic technologies capable of monitoring our vast marine environment. In addition to the acquisition of several “sea drones,” pioneering operating protocols are being developed, as well as low-cost technologies being built by Mar-Madera researchers.
The existing infrastructure limits the growth and intensification of research and development activities in Madeira. An architectural project, ready for implementation, envisages the construction of the Madeira Technopolo Prototyping Laboratory not only to serve the scientific community but also some courses in the University of Madeira and companies. As announced, a building with two towers, on Campus da Penteada, with about eight floors, will be built between 2025-26, to house the human resources of ARDITI, StartUP-Madeira and possibly AREAM, whose activity also assumes a technical-scientific nature in the area. The renovation of the Madeira Technopolo building will make it possible to continue to use the rooms originally built for organizing conferences and workshops (floor -1), and floor -2, currently occupied by ARDITI researchers, will be able to house laboratories with the necessary parity for the scientific community, university students and men Business (neo), serving as the modern ‘Technological Pole of Madeira’.
Assuming the Public Utilities Statute awarded by the Regional Government in August 2022, the vision for the future of ARDITI is an institution open to society, of a multidisciplinary nature, focused on developing research and innovative solutions for areas of great and current interest. Impact on the region: technologies, health and the sea.
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