Portuguese Chair 2021-2022

Visit the portuguese Chair website

Manuel Heitor Former Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education Portugal

Eureka, born in Europe, has built over the last 35 years having expanded throughout the world: in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, in the Americas, at general.

Portugal will become, for the third time, the President and Chairman of the world´s largest inter- governmental innovation and cooperation network starting from July 2021 until June 2022. Especially, in the two previous Presidencies held by Portugal we have always recognized the unique role of the founding principles of Eureka to promote market oriented-open collaborative research and innovation in the public interest of society at general. Particularly by bringing together SMEs with researchers and its institutions and certainly working with large companies. This has been the main contribution of Eureka to show us that international, open collaboration and joint venture is the way to move forward innovation and economic growth.

We are living, throughout the world, the impact of an unexpected pandemic impacting the social- economic stability of many countries which call us for the imperative of international collaboration and Eureka is particularly important to build synergies among different funding sources, and certainly one way in which we can build a better society, together with the opportunities of the digital transition, but certainly guarantee a green and new ecological paradigm.

We are starting a recovery process due to the pandemic, and in this context, one needs more knowledge and innovation to create real-impact innovations for a more digital and green society. And therefore, the founding principles of Eureka are very timely, and we need to show to the World, to Europe, how the Eureka Network is unique for creating market-oriented research and innovation and better jobs for a sustainable future, where no one is left behind.

Manuel Heitor
Former Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education Portugal

The Atlantic International Research Centre (AIR Centre) has been appointed as Incoming President and Chairman of Eureka under the Portuguese Presidency from July 2021 to June 2022. This is the third time that Portugal assumes the Presidency of Eureka, in the previous occasions Portugal had, as one of the fundamental objectives, to increase the global outreach of Eureka, focusing on Asia, with the incorporation of South Korea as an associated country during the second Presidency of Portugal.

On this 3rd occasion, Portugal also has as one of the strategic lines to increase Eureka's global footprint, this time shifting the focus to the Atlantic, aiming at collaboration with countries in Africa and Latin America.

As our Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education - Manuel Heitor has emphasized in his speech, the Portuguese Chairmanship shall promote the European innovation through the recovery period from the crisis associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The only way to recover all the jobs that we had lost in this period is through innovation, therefore Eureka's role is now much more relevant than ever. Portugal also aims to encourage the involvement of the Network in international initiatives directly linked with the Horizon Europe Missions and Green Deal focusing on policy priorities such as Sustainability, Space-Ocean-Earth interactions, or Circular Economy, all corresponding to major challenges of our society, also promoting the collaboration with international organizations like the European Space Agency (ESA). An important strategic line in our Chairmanship is to strength the relation with the EU within Horizon Europe, consolidating new programs like Innowwide or InvestHorizon.

Probably one of the most important events during our Chairmanship is the successful launch of Eurostars-3 programme, planned to start in the second semester of 2021. It is also an important priority the implementation of the new governance model for the Eureka clusters promoting Joint thematic calls relating to Sustainability.

Furthermore, our “Blue Planet” is changing due to climate change. We must aim higher in having more sustainable societies promoting the creation of new knowledge and technologies that are scalable and affordable to everyone in this endeavour and leaving no one behind. It is time for collective action, and we hope that throughout the Portuguese Chairmanship we can be inspired to work together to promote more impactful research and sustainable innovations that will deliver game-changing advances that are fair, affordable, scalable and accessible to everyone: “Innovation for a Greener, Digital and Healthier Planet”.

Miguel Bello Mora
CEO Atlantic International Research Centre (AIR Centre) Incoming Eureka Chairman, Portugal

Miguel Bello Mora CEO Atlantic International Research Centre (AIR Centre) Incoming Eureka Chairman, Portugal

Portuguese Chairmanship goals


Increase the global outreach of the Eureka network

By encouraging worldwide R&D and innovation collaboration, exploring global cooperation opportunities (especially in Africa and Latin America) and boosting Globalstars calls. Collaboration with international organisations that have important innovative components will also be promoted.


Enhance new forms of cooperation for effective R&D and innovation programmes

By incorporating new memberships and supporting cooperation activities in non-EU countries, along with enhancing synergies with national R&D and innovation instruments. Equally important is the successful launch of the Eurostars-3 programme and strengthening our relationship with the EU within Horizon Europe (including EU missions), as well promoting a link to the Green Deal by consolidating new programmes: Innowwide and InvestHorizon.


Strengthening Eureka's position by reinforcing mechanisms for the generation of projects

By contributing to the revitalisation of the Eureka Clusters Programme by implementing a new governance model, ensuring greater compromise from national funding bodies on the funding of projects, intensifying the participation of industrial key-players at the board of Clusters’ governance structures and promoting collaboration and “cross-fertilisation” between Clusters through the organisation of joint calls. In addition, supporting the launch of a joint thematic call with all Clusters for space-related technologies which would include:

  • Promotion of projects linked with the Green Deal in areas like earth observation from space
  • Increased synergies between space, oceans, atmosphere and climate, leading to a “Digital Twin Earth”
  • Promotion of artificial intelligence (AI) and its combination with earth observation systems data
  • Network expansion towards Europe-Africa and Europe-Latin America interactions

Active dialogue with key industrial players is essential (as Eureka is a bottom-up organisation and the trigger of projects is at industry-level), as well as promoting, as far as possible, the voluntary synchronisation of evaluation and funding among the network.


Adding value to the Eureka label

By underlining the difference between Eureka and other R&D programmes, organising the Global Innovation Summit 2022 and the Eureka Ministerial Conference in June 2022 in Lisbon, along with promoting Eureka awards.

Portuguese Chairmanship team

  • Miguel Bello Mora


  • Ana Cristina Neves

    Deputy Chairperson

  • Paulo Ferrão

    High-level Representative

  • José Paulo Esperança

    Deputy High-level Representative

  • Emir Sirage

    National Project Coordinator Chair

  • Polina Pereira

    Deputy National Project Coordinator

  • Rita Silva

    Deputy National Project Coordinator Chair/National Project Coordinator

  • Margarida Oliveira

    Deputy National Project Coordinator

  • João Bentes de Jesus

    Strategic advisor

  • João Ferreira

    Deputy National Project Coordinator

  • Luís Silvestre

    Communication coordinator/press manager

  • Inês Correia Mesquita

    Science communication officer

  • Teresa Tavares

    Science advisor of the MCTES

  • Andrea Cuntz

    Events manager

  • Geisa Rosa

    Administrative and finance manager

  • Alexandra Frazão

    Executive secretary

  • Aurora Fernanda Baptista

    Finance expert