The headquarters of the Associated Laboratory of Intelligent Systems (LASI) – the largest in the country, with more than 500 scientists from 13 R&D centres in seven academies and led by Paulo Novais, from UMinho’s School of Engineering – was inaugurated on October 19 at the Guimarães Business and Innovation Centre (formerly the Cybercentre).
The session was attended by the president of the National Innovation Agency (ANI), António Grilo, the mayor of Guimarães, Domingos Bragança, the vice-rector for Research and Innovation at UMinho, Eugénio Campos Ferreira, and the LASI coordinator, Paulo Novais.
At the ceremony, recent advances in LASI’s five thematic lines were presented, namely Innovative and Sustainable Industries, Smart Cities, Health and Well-being, Infrastructures and Highly Connected Societies and Public Administration. This associated laboratory wants to support researchers and associations working in the different areas.
Paulo Novais assured that there are no sectors of human life, be it welfare, industry or services, where the incorporation of artificial intelligence technology is not seen as the determining factor in adding value, improving productivity, product design and services in a huge range of applications. He added that LASI works as a collaborative network that adjusts to the needs of projects and institutions, matching the necessary skills. It is the largest national laboratory in artificial intelligence and data science, a key area in human life worldwide.
Paulo Novais found it interesting that LASI’s offices are in the Guimarães Business and Innovation Centre, where other businesses and institutions linked to various sectors are located, such as the Minho Region Business Confederation, the Minho Business, Home From Portugal and Vimaranense Hotel associations and the Portuguese Foundation “A Comunidade Contra a Sida”.
“Science doesn’t live in isolation, it must be observed from different angles and contact with these organisations helps to enrich research.” The project coordinator noted that the space is not a headquarters with several laboratories, but rather a gateway and “a bridge between LASI and civil society”, he concluded.
LASI has partners from the universities of Aveiro, Coimbra, Minho, Nova de Lisboa, Porto and the polytechnics of Porto and Cávado e Ave. UMinho is represented by the ALGORITMI Centre (engineering) and the Institute for Polymers and Composites (intelligent materials).
Photo Credits: Mais Guimarães