Building bridges between research and society in Portugal

research and society

Joana Camilo, Executive Director, Creating Health outlines how Universidade Catolica Portugesa (UCP) is a leading research university

“A solid reputation, a passion for research, a commitment to a better future. This is Católica – visit us and feel inspired” (Maria da Glória Garcia, Rector)

Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP) is a leading research university with a humanist vision committed to the well-being of society, with a global outreach and ground breaking contributions in all areas of knowledge.

A propitious environment for teachers and students, and a competitive hub for research and innovation, are provided by UCP through its 4 regional campi (Lisboa, Porto, Braga and Viseu), all with strong intersectoral ties to the surrounding regions. In addition to the commitment to fundamental research, the University is recognised for the social impact of its research agenda and for its contribution to policy making.

UCP’s research strategy (UCP2020) for the upcoming years focuses on subjects that meet transversal and complex social challenges, gathering research domains with international excellence that produce a differentiating global impact: I) economy and digital culture; II) environment, health and sustainability; III) citizenship and social responsibility; and IV) memory, change and innovation. With an intellectual and inherently international agenda, the UCP2020 Strategy aims to advance research and impact knowledge production, to foster international and intersectoral cooperation, and to contribute to the global innovation agenda.

UCP is leading research in the areas of business, social sciences and biotechnology, having, within the National Scientific System, one of the 26 Portuguese Associate Laboratories – the Centre of Biotechnology and Fine Chemistry (CBQF) and two nationally recognised Excellence Research Centres in Business & Social Sciences – the Católica Research Unit in Business and Economics (CUBE) and the Research Centre for Communication and Culture (CECC), and the recently created Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Health (CIIS), which works across different areas to tackle socially relevant scientific challenges in the fields of health and aging.

The core competences of CBQF are based around biosciences, analytical chemistry and engineering applied within two main thematic challenges: Health and well-being of the citizen and the competitiveness of the agricultural and food. CUBE, hosted by the Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics – ranking 25 on the Financial Times business school list – elected two main research areas: economics and evaluation of policy; and business and banking, and has namely proven capable to translate its fundamental research into policy-making and tools, such as the patient innovation platform. CECC’s research agenda focuses on the development of studies at the intersection of a) culture and conflict; b) cognition and creativity; and c) media and digital innovation. This centre has done extensive work across the social and cultural impact of risk and hazard. CIIS has research programmes ranging from dentistry to nursing (in tandem with the national School of Nursing), public health and also excels in the areas of cognitive and neurosciences and aged related diseases (Parkinson’s, Dementia, Alzheimer’s).

Recognising the importance of research and innovation (R&I) as two engines of human society that impulse mankind forward in every domain, EU has devoted part of its budget to deploy the Innovation Union, aimed at securing European competitiveness through R&I. Therefore, EU’s current framework programme HORIZON 2020 (H2020) will assign €80bn to fund R&I, 7.4 billion of which allocated to health, demographic change and well-being.

In current moments of budgetary restraints, H2020 is the oxygen mask many researchers and companies are looking for to allow their research and innovative projects to breathe and hopefully improve people’s health. However, the bureaucratic process is many times considered too technical, complex and time-consuming, is the competition to this and other funding instruments highly demanding and sometimes discouraging.


Within this context, CREATING HEALTH – Research and Innovation Funding- launched by the UCP Institute of Health Sciences – opened its doors in 2015, in order to provide the required assistance in applying for European funding and release institutions and researchers from the procedure technicalities’ burden. This overall support is materialised at the pre-application stage, throughout the preparation and submission of the application, and can also cover post-award support.

Simultaneously, CREATING HEALTH is committed to leverage the participation of Portuguese entities among competitive consortia, for which it has gathered the support of 16 private institutions and the High Patronage of the President of the Portuguese Republic and of the Portuguese Government.

Who we are: a non-profit office that provides support for applying to the multiple Health R&I funding opportunities under H2020 and other programmes, with the guidance of a Scientific and Ethical Council and of a Social Council aimed at extending the social impact of its mission and bridging research and society.

What we do: endorse the fulfillment of the national R&I potential by providing a tailored support to access European and national funds for health related projects.

This office also bestows international collaborations by bridging local and international players in order to establish strategic and synergetic partnerships for building competitive consortia.

Who can rely on us: all entities (academia, scientific institutions, health care providers, NGO like patient associations, public and private companies, etc).

Why CREATING HEALTH: this office distinguishes itself by its public, academic based, non-profit and specialised in health R&I funding service.


Joana Camilo

Executive Director

CREATING HEALTH – Research and Innovation Funding

+351 217214275 |


Please note: this is a commercial profile


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