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Brussels ,  February 06, 2020

Azores can contribute to testing solutions to global problems such as climate change and marine litter, says Regional Director for Science and Technology

The Regional Director for Science and Technology highlighted in Brussels the importance of archipelagos such as the Azores as "living laboratories in the search for new solutions that contribute to facing global challenges related to climate change or marine litter."

In this regard, Bruno Pacheco, highlighted a recent project that is being developed under the scope of the AIR Centre. It intends to test sensory perception technologies with the capacity to detect plastics at sea.

These technologies will be tested off the island of Faial in coastal areas and shallow waters in May and June. 

Regional Director spoke at the "All-Atlantic Ocean Research" forum on a panel entitled "An Atlantic Ocean Resilient to Climate," noting that "the Atlantic is the essence of the AIR Centre and the reason for its existence."

"We exist to promote dialogue between governments, academia, industry and civil society as well as to share knowledge and connect people," said the government official. In this regard, he recalled that the AIR Centre encompasses areas such as space science, climate, Earth observation, oceans, energy and even data processing.

According to the Regional Director, this project, besides promoting cooperation, "aligns national and regional priorities and global challenges," such as the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Ocean Science Decade for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) and the Paris Agreement.

“We include a wide network of partners from Europe, Africa, South America and North America,” the government official said, stressing that the AIR Centre intends to “increase the consistency of solutions as well as the success of the various initiatives, programmes and projects under way." 

“With networking, it is possible to reduce costs by implementing accessible technologies,” stressed Bruno Pacheco. In this regard, he pointed out, as good example, a project that uses advanced technology for the detection of marine litter. 

“Through the AIR Centre network, we have connected two institutions of reference to solve a real problem that affects our oceans: marine litter,” said the government official.

This is the case of the "Spectrometer for marine litter," a joint project promoted by the Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science (INESC TEC), IMAR (Institute of Marine Research) and the AIR Centre, with the collaboration of the Regional Fund for Science and Technology. Funded by the European Space Agency, this project aims to validate and develop technology for use in monitoring satellites for the detection of plastics at sea. 

The "All-Atlantic Ocean Research" forum, which runs until Friday in Brussels, is promoted by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation with a view to fostering scientific interactions in the Atlantic.

The Regional Director for Science and Technology participated in this forum as President of the AIR Centre.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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