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R&D Projects


2009 Call for funding in the framework of the
MIT|Portugal Programme


1. Objectives and Priorities

Nowadays, the development and internationalization of Engineering in Portugal, in particular the emerging area of Engineering Systems, as a means to promote the research in complex systems, as well as its relationship and impact on the economic and social system, is a priority that must be stated having as reference the best international practices. It should be associated with other knowledge areas assuming an enhanced collaboration between institutions of higher education and units of the National Science and Technology System. It is intended, in this framework, to continue to catalyze a program with the objective of stimulating internationalization and cooperation among Faculties of Engineering, Economics and Science, and the main labs and research centers in these areas.

A call is open for funding of research and development projects oriented towards specific themes of the MIT-Portugal Program publicized on

Application areas include:

  • Sustainable Energy and Transportation Systems
  • Stem Cell Engineering for Regenerative Medicine
  • Materials and Design Inspired Products
  • Foundations of Engineering Systems

The specific purpose of these research projects is the application of the Engineering Systems approach to applications with high technological intensity, and with economic and social relevance. Each project must be developed by a network of different units of the National Science and Technology System, units of MIT, and companies or other non-academic institutions.

All applications must fully respect the Terms of Reference for the Call for Proposals, and will be evaluated in accordance with the selection criteria approved in the context of the Regulamento de Execução do Sistema de Apoio a Entidades do Sistema Científico e Tecnológico Nacional (SAESCTN) referred to here in number 6.

2. Supported entities

Applying teams must be composed by research groups belonging to at least two distinct national entities included in the categories list below, and with at least one company from Portugal and one research team from MIT:

  1. Higher education institutions, their Institutes and R&D Centers;;
  2. Associate Laboratories;
  3. State Laboratories;
  4. Private non-profit institutes primarily dedicated to Scientific and Technological activities;
  5. Businesses that are part of projects led by public or private non-profit R&D institutions, and which contribute to the funding of the project;
  6. Other public and private non-profit institutions that develop or participate in scientific research activities.

3. Territorial Scope and Funding

Territorial Scope

The territorial scope of these projects is determined by the NUTS II Region where the Proponent and Participant Institutions are located.


The number of funded projects is not expected to exceed 10, with a maximum total financing for each project of 200,000 € and a maximum duration of 36 months. Eligible expenses include human resources, travel, consultants, equipment, goods and services, registration of patents by Portuguese units of the national scientific and technological system, expenses with certified public accountants, and general charges. Equipment expenses are limited to 25% of eligible expenses.

This call does not fund directly the MIT teams (which will be provided by MCTES national funds in the framework of the MIT – Portugal Program), nor participating companies.

Projects with Proposing Institutions in the NUTS II Region of Lisbon, Algarve and Autonomous Regions (Madeira and Azores) are financed by national funds through MCTES. Projects with Proposing Institutions located in the NUTS II Region of “Objective Convergence” (North, Central and Alentejo) are co-financed with funds from COMPETE, as long as in these cases the Participating Institutions located outside the Objective Convergence region are financed by national funds through MCTES.

Funding from COMPETE will be comprised by non-reimbursable support up to 70% of eligible project expenses, with the remainder supported by national funds through MCTES.

4. Total funds allocated

The total funding allocated for the present competition is 2,000,000 €, with the maximum budget allocation of FEDER in the context of the COMPETE Program being 1,200,000 €.

5. Application submission

Applications, in English, are submitted online between September 7 and 5pm (Lisbon time) on November 13, 2009, through

It is highly recommended to check Application submission guide as well as the Regulations referred to on number 7 in this announcement.

Any researcher, either Principal Investigator or in any other role, may only participate in a single proposal.

Projects whose PIs exceed 100% time on FCT funded projects will not be funded.

Projects whose PIs or Proposing Institutions are not in compliance with the funding regulations of FCT, and in particular in what concerns failure to submit Scientific or Financial Reports, will not be funded.

Projects will be funded for a maximum of 36 months, subject to midterm evaluation.

6. Selection methodology

Evaluation will be carried out by international panels of independent evaluators.

Selection and ranking methodology for projects is based on an indication of Project Merit defined by the following criteria, which are detailed in the Regulation of Access to Financing of R&D Projects:

  1. Scientific merit, originality and expected results of the proposed activity,
  2. Scientific merit of the research team,
  3. Feasability of the work plan to be carried out and budget appropriateness,
  4. Contribution to the growth of knowledge and skills of the National Sci/Tech Network (effects and expected results).

The following aspects will also be considered:

  1. Relevance of project in accordance with the terms of reference defined by each application area,
  2. Originality and expected results for the proposed activity,
  3. Level of institutional involvement and co-funding external to FCT,
  4. Project management and degree of integration of students on both sides of the Atlantic,

For purposes of selection and funding decision, projects will be ranked in decreasing order based on the classification obtained in the evaluation process.

7. Publication and Complementary Information

This Announcement and other relevant materials and information, in particular the Regulamento de Execução do Sistema de Apoio a Entidades do Sistema Científico e Tecnológico Nacional (SAESCTN) and the Regulations for access to funding of research and development projects, are available respectively from the COMPETE - Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade web site and from the FCT website.

Information on the contents of the application form can be obtained from:

Information on IT questions can be referred to the FCT webmaster at:

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