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INESC TEC organises three summer schools: visum, MAP Breast and ASCOS

Part of INESC TEC mission is to provide advanced training at its R&D centres in their different areas of expertise. July was a month dedicated to advanced training. Several INESC TEC researchers have organised three summer schools – visum, MAP Breast and ASCOS. The first two were promoted by researchers from the Centre for Telecommunications and Multimedia (CTM), and the last by the Centre for Applied Photonics (CAP).

Artificial intelligence, breast cancer and nanotechnology were the themes addressed at INESC TEC's summer schools



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Visum summer school – About 40 experts discuss artificial intelligence in the city of Porto

Between 2 and 9 July, the city of Porto welcomed 40 experts, including professors, researchers, PhD students, postdoctoral students and entrepreneurs from 22 nationalities. The third edition of visum (VISion Understanding and Machine Intelligence), which was organised by INESC TEC and INEB (Biomedical Engineering Institute), took place at Atmosfera M, in Porto.

Computer vision algorithms, automatic facial recognition, analysis of scanned documents or RGB-D cameras were some of the themes discussed at the summer school.

“Our goal is to promote the exchange of know-how and experiences, allowing participants to put to practice their knowledge in their respective markets, not only in research projects, but also in industry. That is why our panel of speakers is composed of internationally renowned experts in this area”, explains Ana Rebelo, researcher at INESC TEC and member of the organising committee.


The summer school welcomed professors and researchers from Imperial College London (Tae-Kyun Kim and Thomas Whelan), Prague University of Technology (Jiri Matas), Autonomous University of Barcelona (Alicia Fornes), Carnegie Mellon University (Martial Hebert), Nottingham University (Michel Valstar) and Instituto Superior Técnico (João Paulo Costeira). Besides the seven professors who travelled to Portugal to teach and discuss the themes related to Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence, visum also welcomed three speakers from PHILIPS (Jacek Kustra), ASAP45 (Daniel Heesch) and Enermeter (Manuel João Ferreira).

The total of 33 participants participating in visum came from Portugal, France, Mexico, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Iran, Brazil, São Tomé and Príncipe, Lithuania, Uruguay, China, Argentina, Tunisia, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Vietnam, Palestine and Pakistan.

The visum organising committee was composed of Ana Rebelo (researcher at INESC TEC), Luís Teixeira (researcher at INESC TEC), Ricardo Sousa (researcher at INEB), Tiago Esteves (researcher at INEB), Eduardo Pereira  (researcher at INESC TEC), Kelwin Fernandes (researcher at INESC TEC), and Hélder Castro (researcher at INESC TEC). 

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The University of Porto, the Faculty of Engineering of U. Porto (FEUP) and the Carnegie Mellon Portugal (CMU Portugal) Program also collaborated with this event. This third edition of the Summer School was supported by Porto and Northern Portugal Tourism, Tattva Design Hostel, Hotel da Música and Espaço Atmosfera M, Montepio.

For more information on the visum summer school go to:

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MAP Breast summer school – Technologies for breast cancer presented INESC TEC

Between 13 and 17 July, INESC TEC hosted the MAP Breast summer school, where the goal was to discuss and present technologies related to breast cancer. About 40 people participated in this event, including 25 students and professors, surgeons, oncologists, radiologists and computer scientists.

MAP Breast was jointly organised by the partners of the European projects PICTURE (Patient Information Combined for the Assessment of Specific Surgical Outcomes in Breast Cancer), where INESC TEC is partner, and VPH-PRISM (Personalised Predictive Breast Cancer Therapy Through Integrated Tissue Micro-Structure Modeling).

The partners of PICTURE include INESC TEC’s academic and clinical centres, the Champalimaud Foundation (Portugal), University Medical Center Leiden (The Netherlands), University College London, King’s College London, Royal Free Hospital (United Kingdom) and Philips (Germany), which came together to develop tools to help women choose among the different options for breast cancer treatment, according to the aesthetic result. This project, which will be concluded in January 2016, received 2.15 million euros of funding from the EU’s 7th Framework-Programme, as part of agreement No. FP7-600948.

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VPH-PRISM, a project coordinated by the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research with Fraunhofer MEVIS, will make it possible to model the microstructure of the breast tissue, combining various disciplines and scales, as well as other factors (environmental, genetic and clinical), which can have an impact on the progression of breast cancer. This project received 3.7 million euros of funding from the EU’s 7th Framework-Programme, as part of agreement No. 601040.

At MAP Breast, organised in the scope of these two projects,  participants discussed, for a week, various topics such as computer science, mathematics, radiology and surgery. During the summer school, not only the results of these projects were presented, but also other prototypes developed by the participants.

3D reconstruction of the breast from multiple views of the patient, mathematical model to simulate aesthetic results, tool to clinically annotate breast cancer surgery, tool to predict the aesthetic result of surgery in a multimodal system, tool capable of estimating the malignancy of nodules in mammograms were some of the technologies presented on 17 July, at INESC TEC.

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Several early-stage researchers and experts participated in this summer school, which welcomed participants from 11 countries – Portugal, Germany, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Romania, Greece, Iran, Mexico, India and Benin.

MAP Breast featured 11 speakers from Portugal (Maria João Cardoso, Pedro Gouveia and Elizabeth Charlotte Moser, Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon), Italy (Giuseppe Catanuto, Azienda Ospedaliera Cannizzaro, Catania), The Netherlands (Ritse Mann and Bram Platel at Radboud, University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen), USA (Mia K. Markey, University of Texas, Austin), Switzerland (Mauricio Reyes, University of Bern), United Kingdom (John Hipwell, University College London), and Germany (Markus Harz and Joachim Georgii, Fraunhofer MEVIS).

The organising committee of MAP Breast was composed of Hélder Oliveira (researcher at INESC TEC), Markus Harz (Fraunhofer MEVIS, Germany), Pedro Gouveia (Champalimaud Foundation, Portugal), Dominik Kutra (Philips Technologie GmbH, Germany), João P. Monteiro (researcher at INESC TEC), Alena Morrison (EIBIR, Austria), Vasileios Vavourakis, and Norman Williams (University College London, United Kingdom).

For more information on MAP Breast go to





ASCOS Summer School – Scientists train new generation of experts on nanotechnology

Between 22 and 29 July, INESC TEC organised the 9th edition of ASCOS (Advanced Study Course on Optical Chemical Sensors) summer school, which took place at the Faculty of Science of the University of Porto (FCUP). Organised since 1999, this is the first time ASCOS comes to Portugal.

A total of 75 national and international scientists met in Porto to study and discuss the development of new biochemical sensing technology which will make it possible to advance research in several fields, such as biomedicine (in areas such as cancer or neurology), genetics or environmental monitoring.

The participants arrived in Porto on 22 July, where they were welcomed at the Seminário de Vilar, but it was on 23 July that the summer school officially started  at FCUP’s Computer Science Department.

Throughout the entire week, ASCOS included theoretical and practical sessions. On 27 July, the students travelled to Braga to visit the INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, the only institution in the world dedicated to nanotechnology. There, the students had the opportunity to participate in special sessions on nanotechnology, to visit the labs and interact with the scientists working there.

The best student work was awarded during the final ceremony on Wednesday, 29 July, at FCUP.

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These last developments in the field of sensors, which are now more robust and versatile, have been made possible due to nanotechnology. Not only can it be used in biomedical and genetic research, but the goal is also to obtain better results in other areas, such as environmental monitoring, intensive aquaculture or industrial applications.

“When applied with sensors, nanotechnology can have a large impact on society. For example, intracellular chemical sensors are fundamental to get to know the biochemical processes of life and several illnesses, such as cancer. But nanotechnology faces many challenges, and that’s why it is necessary for the scientific community to continuously discuss it. Many of the materials are still at an exploratory stage, and still many questions remain regarding the stability and reproducibility of their properties and their interaction with the ecosystems”, explains Pedro Jorge, researcher at INESC TEC and the person responsible for organising ASCOS in Portugal.

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The 56 students who participated in the 9th edition of the ASCOS summer school came from 20 different countries: Portugal, Austria, Germany, Spain, Russia, China, Brazil, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Poland, Singapore, Slovenia, Mexico, Colombia, Iran, India and USA.

Of the 19 invited tutors, four came from Portugal (Paulo Freitas, INL, Paulo Marques, FCUP, José António Salcedo, Multiwave Photonics, and Pedro Jorge, INESC TEC), three from the United States, three from Spain, three from Austria, two from Italy, one from Germany, one from the Czech Republic, one from Hungary, one from Slovenia, and one from Ireland.

ASCOS 2015 Porto, organised by INESC TEC, was supported by the University of Porto, FCUP, SPOF (Portuguese Optics and Photonics Society), INL, SOGRAPE, HBM FiberSensing, CleaningSynergy, Ghibli Portugal, and Primavera Software.

The organising committee of ASCOS was composed of the following INESC TEC researchers: Pedro Jorge, Luís Coelho, Ireneu Dias, Luísa Mendonça, Rita Ribeiro and Ivo Nascimento.

For more information on ASCOS, go to

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The INESC TEC researchers mentioned in this article are associated with the following partner institution: FCUP and INESC TEC.

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