On the last day of the Economy Week, marked by the Tribute to the Workers of Minho and the Hydrogen Roadmap, the Altice Forum, in Braga, also hosted training sessions aimed at university and business audiences, promoted by Microsoft and RUN-EU.
The Hydrogen Roadmap, a session that filled Friday afternoon, promoted by the Portuguese Industrial Association (AIP) in partnership with the Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre, aimed to stimulate interest and scientific and technological knowledge of the hydrogen vector among different players ( corporate, institutional, researchers and technicians, among others), as well as “positioning it as a fundamental element in the new global and national energy paradigm, attracting and stimulating the business and industrial fabric towards a path of greater added value in green and innovative products” , stresses the organization in a statement.
The event was intended to “continue the effort to link research and knowledge centres, companies and professionals, enhancing the business ecosystem of Braga” – said Gil Carvalho, director of the Economic Promotion and Investment Attraction Area (DEAI) by InvestBraga. “Hydrogen is an extremely important topic for companies, which consider energy to be an extremely important factor in increasing their competitiveness”.
The Academy’s vision was brought by Paulo Brito, professor at the Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre and coordinator of the Center for Research on Valuing Endogenous Resources. Europe aims to reach natural carbon dioxide by 2050, however, the accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has created the so-called “greenhouse effect” and a consequent increase in the average temperature of the planet, unbalancing ecosystems. The production of energy through fossil fuels is one of the causes of the problem, which is why different sources of energy are sought, such as green hydrogen.
In its production, the residual material we produce, such as household waste, forestry waste and livestock waste (biomass), can be used, which creates a product with monetary and sustainable value.
For the production of energy with hydrogen it is necessary to use water in the electrolysis process. In a historical moment when this resource is so important, the professor proposed sources of effluents from WWTPs, such as pig farms and the use of sea water. In this way, the water returns to the cycle.
Energy storage was also clarified, which could be injected into the gas network, stored by applying pressure, or through chemical storage, a technology still under development. Hydrogen can be applied in electric vehicles, batteries, heavy mobility, industry, electricity and heat, making the decarbonization scenario possible.
Investment incentives were brought by Pedro Almeida, from BDO. As for the national ones, the National Hydrogen Plan stands out, which envisages between seven and nine billion euros; the Recovery and Resilience Plan; C14, aimed at companies, for smaller-scale projects and mature technologies, with incentives at 100% of eligible expenses; and SI Inovação, limited to SMEs, with an investment of up to 25 million euros. With regard to European incentives, Pedro Almeida highlighted Horizonte Europa, aimed at academia and companies, and the Innovation Fund, aimed at large-scale projects by public and private entities.
Platform Power BI&AI
As part of the European Year of Skills, Luísa Figueiredo, from Microsoft, provided training on the Power BI&AI Platform, sharing how information contributes to increasing companies’ profitability. The audience for this session was made up of businessmen, technicians in the field of technology, university students and other interested parties, who filled the Congress Room of the Altice Forum Braga.
Power BI is a corporate platform for business intelligence (BI), with the aim of visualizing data and integrating visual elements, and can be combined with commonly used applications, such as Excel, Teams or PowerPoint. This platform reads the data entered through an Artificial Intelligence system, which helps in the perception of business, organization and data sharing.
For those who do not master data analysis technologies, Power BI&AI provides a chat bot, which uses natural language.
RUN-EU European Innovation Hubs
The Regional University Network (RUN-EU), a network of Higher Education Institutions of which the Polytechnic Institute of Cávado e Ave (IPCA) is part, promoted the last sessions “RUN-EU European Innovation Hubs”, aimed at the university public and other interested parties.
The event brought together more than 30 international guests from RUN-EU partners and more than 100 local participants to discuss financing and business acceleration opportunities, talent acquisition, go-to-market strategies and, finally, to reflect on the needs of policy change. This partnership aims to develop training programs in order to promote economic, social, cultural and sustainable development to successfully face the challenges of the future.
The Color of Money
The economic journalist Camilo Lourenço broadcast his program “A Cor do Dinheiro” from the Economy Week. With a partnership since 2022, the journalist reflected on the dynamic promoted by InvestBraga – “What we want to create here is an environment where companies and economic freedom are favored” – and the events taking place on this last day of the event.
InvestBraga, the Agency for Economic Stimulation of Braga, acts as the economic arm of the municipality and its mission is to promote the economic development of the region. By attracting investment and entrepreneurs, and with innovation as one of its guiding principles, the agency is committed to building the municipality’s credibility as a business partner with national and international investors. InvestBraga’s mission is to place Braga on the investment, entrepreneurship and innovation map.
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