From a system monitoring space debris to VR brain training, discover exciting innovations from Portugal
Reflecting our global Springwise readership, we explore the innovation landscape and freshest thinking from a new country each week. This week, we’ve headed to the Iberian peninsula…
Portugal Innovation Facts
Global Innovation Index ranking: 31st
Climate targets: at least 40 per cent domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990, carbon neutral by 2050.
Air pollution – levels of the pollutant nitrogen dioxide are so high in three of Portugal’s air quality zones, that the European Commission has decided to sue the country. Emissions of the noxious gas come mostly from road traffic – especially diesel vehicles.
Energy poverty – Portugal has one of the highest proportions of people living in fuel poverty in the EU. This is because the country has some of Europe’s highest electricity and natural gas prices, as well as a high proportion of poorly insulated homes.
Drought – There has been little rain anywhere in Portugal in 2022, with 95 per cent of the country facing severe or extreme drought conditions. This is making the growing season extremely difficult for farmers. Climatologists believe that climate change is playing a part in the current drought.
Hardware and internet of things
Energy and environment
Three Exciting Innovations From Portugal
Historically, the race to space has focused on getting teams and countries into orbit, with far fewer resources dedicated to cleaning up after missions. But with space traffic growing rapidly, there is a growing need to track the rubbish left behind in order to prevent dangerous collisions. Portugal’s Neuraspace, part of the European Space Agency’s Business Incubator programme, recently raised €2.5 million to bring its intelligent monitoring platform to market. Read more.
Current wind turbine monitoring systems are not built to track the full length of the world’s largest blades, and updated materials technologies are also adding complexity to such oversight. Porto and Rotterdam-based Fibersail is piloting a shape-sensing wind turbine blade monitoring system that tracks the full shape and curvature of each blade – even the newest, longest blades. Such monitoring helps to identify the most efficient positions for each turbine. and also provides owners and maintenance managers with the means to detect when a part is working below capacity – much earlier than is currently possible. Read more.
Lisbon-based Virtuleap is a health and education startup using artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) to elevate the cognitive assessment and training industry. The company believes that VR brain training can add value to any healthy lifestyle as a frequent activity taking up less than 10 minutes per session. Virtuleap’s core product, Enhance, is a VR app with a library of brain training games that test and train various cognitive skills like memory, problem-solving, spatial orientation, and motor control. Read more.
Words: Matthew Hempstead
29th April 2022