FCT

R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Economia e Gestão

Unidade de I&D

Unidade de Investigação para o Desenvolvimento do Interior (UDI/IPG) [ECO-Centro-Guarda-4056] visitada em 04/12/2008

Classificação: Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
The Tourism and Health schools of Guarda have been integrated in the local Polytechnic Institute (IPG) and, since UDI is the research unit of this Institute, it is essentially multidisciplinary. Now, the unit coordinator believes that this situation offers the opportunity, or rather imposes the obligation, to implement in all occasions interdisciplinary research. And he complains that research has been individual for many years, that interconnections are modest and that a collective spirit is still lacking. He has repeatedly suggested during our visit that, by putting together all the unit PhD researchers, who come from very different areas, and by asking them to engage in collective projects, one will eventually obtain good interdisciplinary research.

For the time being, this is certainly not the case and the 5 research groups pertain to 5 different scientific areas, even if one could think of many possible fruitful inter-group projects. Strictly speaking, our panel is thus incompetent to evaluate the activity of 4 among 5 of the research groups, since only one is active in economics and management science. It is however easy to see that there are no publications in international journals, whether high or low ranked, in communication and cultural expression, health or education, anymore than in economics and management.
Concerning the only group which is working on economic or management topics (Economics, Management and Methods), one may say that it is a set of 7 PhD researchers (and 16 other researchers) working on completely different topics, without any synergy. The group has no publications.
An exception to the picture is the robotics and intelligent systems group “Product Development and Technology”, with 2 PhD researchers and 4 other researchers, who are doing valuable applied research and publishing at the international level. The coordinator of this group has made the sole really convincing presentation of the activity of a research group which has already accomplished several interesting projects (a firefighting robot, etc.), for which he should absolutely try to obtain patents.

In general, we had the impression of an inefficient (although burdensome) leadership, without a sufficient understanding of the problems the unit is confronted to (problems which were principally attributed to the location in the interior of Portugal), without a good definition of relevant and attainable aims (why and how to perform interdisciplinary research) and without a clear identification of desirable tasks (applied research vs. services to local firms, publication vs. conference organization, and so on). Taking into account the constraints imposed by the geographic (interior) and institutional (polytechnic) environment and the apparent leadership weakness, we can hardly be optimistic about the unit prospects.

Sobre os grupos de investigação
Comunicação e Expressão Cultural [RG-ECO-Centro-Guarda-4056-80]
Desenvolvimento de Produtos e Tecnologia [RG-ECO-Centro-Guarda-4056-84]
Economia, Gestão e Métodos [RG-ECO-Centro-Guarda-4056-82]
Inovação Educacional e Formação de Professores [RG-ECO-Centro-Guarda-4056-83]
Saúde [RG-ECO-Centro-Guarda-4056-81]