MIT Portugal annual conference 2018

"An international partnership towards the challenges of complex systems"

Another post about being outside the lab... Today, we want to share with you our participation in the MIT Portugal Annual Conference 2018. This time, both L. and R. attended. As you may know, our PhDs are integrated into the framework of MIT Portugal program. This program is very focused on solving the problems of today and especially of the future. One of the aims is to expose us to innovation and entrepreneurship, not to "make us" be entrepreneurs but to make us think outside of the box! 

Annually there is a conference to present the work that is being done and, more importantly, to show which are the aims for the future of the program! 

It is important to gather around in order to have the opportunity of:

  • engaging in conversations with fellow colleagues that usually you don't encounter every day
  • meeting possible collaborators from Portugal or the USA
  • learning about the new technologies that are being developed under the scope of the program and what are their challenges
  • receiving feedback on your results by presenting them to the crowd (poster sessions, for example) 
and...just enjoying a full day of networking while celebrating science and technology!

The conference also brought to our attention fellow students which are also innovators and entrepreneurs and that developed their ideas within the program! Their pitches were followed by interesting presentations of the faculty. It was interesting to reflect on some questions that were raised:

Can entrepreneurship be taught?

And if yes, how?

Is exposure to the business world a key factor to make students consider innovation and entrepreneurship?

Briefly, the key here is to expose students to entrepreneurship since what you don't know, you won't try. So, by giving us lectures more business-oriented, we can try to see our science in a different way, on the eyes of the people who invest in us, for instance. The big questions of our science/technology innovations are ordered by:

Why doing this, why is this important? How are we going to do this? and What is indeed our science or tech innovation?

The issue here is trying to make us students better entrepreneurs and innovators, preparing us for the world of business, making us a better version of a PhD student, more complete in terms of gathering technical and soft skills.

You can check more about MIT Portugal Conference here, and always if you have any doubt, any curiosity, just ask us! We're very happy to talk to you guys 😉