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INESC TEC wins EDPartners Awards

INESC TEC was one of the great winners of the 3rd edition of the EDPartners awards, by taking first place in the categories of Innovation and Provider of the Year.

INESC TEC: Provider of Excellence and Innovation

The goal of this Iberian initiative is to award important players in the energy market.

Innovation Award in partnership with Labelec


INESC TEC won in the Innovation category by presenting a project where the goal is to monitor electrical assets using drones, developed by INESC TEC’s Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CRAS) in partnership with EDP-Labelec. In the finals, the project competed with finalists ZIV Metering Solutions, a Spanish company with a revenue of 69M€, and CGI TI Portugal, a company in the energy field with a turnover of 100M€.

INESC TEC’s contribution was a drone with rotary wings that inspects and monitors assets. The institute developed a system that monitors electric components, such as power lines, substations and wind turbines, with greater autonomy and lower costs.

“One of INESC TEC’s missions is to make science more impactful, both economically and socially. It is necessary to trust industry because the Portuguese scientific community can guarantee value”, stated José Manuel Mendonça, chairman of INESC TEC, at the award ceremony.

The CRACS team involved in the project is composed of José Almeida, André Dias, Eduardo Silva, Alfredo Martins, Tiago Miranda, Miguel Moreira, Fábio Azevedo, Alexandre Oliveira and André Ferreira. INESC TEC submitted an application to an award in the Innovation category, competing with over 55 projects in the area. Only three projects went to the finals.


“INESC TEC responded to a challenge from EDP Labelec. Together with the EDP Group, we are now developing a rotary wing solution to monitor electrical assets, such as, for example, medium and high voltage support, substations and wind turbines. This solution is innovative because it operates autonomously, making it possible to reduce risks and to optimise the inspection process. This cooperation with EDP Labelec allows technology to be transferred more efficiently, responding to the needs of the market”, explained José Almeida, one of the leaders of the application.


The Innovation category awards innovative projects, in this case the implementation of a new solution or a new product, process or method capable of strengthening the competitive position and the performance through knowledge.

Excellence award for Provider of the Year

INESC TE also won the Provider of the year award, which distinguishes the most successful project from all categories. It is considered the highest distinction, according to the chairman of the EDP, Eduardo Catroga. In this case there were no finalists and INESC TEC was a special choice of the jury of the competition.

Choosing a provider of research and advanced consulting is in line with the strong and long-lasting relationship between INESC TEC and almost all companies in the EDP Group, which dates back over 25 years.

In this partnership, it is important to stress the research conducted by INESC TEC’s Centre for Power and Energy Systems (CPES), which is involved in several European projects such as the SuSTAINABLE, evolvDSO, UPGRID, SENSIBLE and InteGrid, that have resulted in countless innovative solutions now used by the companies in the EDP Group. In that sense, over the decades, CPES has been interacting with these companies in different components - it is worth emphasizing the different contracts as part of project INOVGRID / INOV CITY for their dimension and role in the emergence of the theme of smart grids in Portugal.

INESC TEC also has a programme-contract with the companies in the EDP Group where the goal is to conduct research, through contracts and advanced consulting, on complex problems related to the EDP’s technical and business areas. Countless projects have been promoted as part of this programme-contract, involving different research centres in various areas, such as information technologies, industrial engineering, software development, robotics and multimedia, among others.

EDPartners - awarding partners since 2012

For the first time in its history, this edition of the EDPartners awards was open to Spanish partners. The competition received a total of 172 applications from 133 companies, distributed in five categories: Relationship with the Client, Sharing of Good Practices, Innovation, Sustainable Development, and Prevention and Safety. This competition featured several Spanish companies and multinationals, aiming for the visibility and credibility resulting from participating in initiatives of this kind, which may lead to new businesses.

The EDPartners awards are an Iberian initiative whose goal is to promote activities in the energy field and consequently develop the national economy with the recognition of the partners of the EDP Group and promote their internationalisation.

equipa que desenvolveu o drone

Simultaneously, the EDP also promoted the EDPartners Roadshows, an activity whose goal is to promote the activity of the partners with companies in the respective market by organising a series of networking events.

The goal: to grow 

In this initiative, the EDP awarded four Portuguese companies and another from Spain, distinguishing the best partners from the last two years. The award ceremony took place on 20 March, at Convento do Beato, in Lisbon, an event that featured over 300 guests, most of them from small and medium enterprises.

According to Daniel Traça, director of Universidade Nova de Lisboa and guest speaker who announced the winners, “companies that don’t export will not increase their productivity. The economic crisis that the country faced happened because we didn’t manage to be productive.”

The EDPartners awards define a prominent position and stress the role of the EDP in its activity market. Even though it is an ambitious initiative, it guarantees results to participants by promoting the relationship between the Group and its partners.

The goal is to continue growing and, for that reason, the next edition of the EDPartners awards, scheduled for 2019, will also feature participants from Brazil.

The researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with INESC TEC, UP-FEUP and P.Porto-ISEP.



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