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The PORTWIMS Summer School in Lisbon was entirely dedicated to entrepreneurship within the Blue Economy, and the development of an innovative idea for a startup. It took place at the FCUL campus in Lisbon on June 20-24, 2022. It included 13 students from 3 different countries (10 from Portugal, 2 from Germany, and 1 from Switzerland). The Summer School was intentionally held in the week just before the 2022 Lisbon United Nations Ocean Conference and featured a densely packed series of seminars and talks by innovative keynote speakers, Blue Economy stakeholders, start up developers, and industry leaders.

During the week, students were split into working groups and tasked with developing an innovative idea for a Blue Economy Start-Up. They received help and advice from the lecturers and presented their idea in front of a jury panel on the final day. The winning team was awarded a €5000 grant to develop their idea in the real world.It was promoted by the H2020 PORTWIMS Project, and supported by three highly prestigious institutions for marine research, technology transfer and blue entrepreneurship: The Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (Portugal), the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK) and the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (Germany).

Key topics included:

  • Value chains: from invention to innovation
  • The necessary mind-set within academia
  • Technology scouting
  • Intellectual property issues
  • Patent portfolios, licensing
  • Industry co-operations and contract


Click to view the presentations from the course.



Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) hosted a Summer School on 11-15th July, which focused on Hyperspectral Sensors, Earth Observation (both by Satellite and Drones) and Artificial Intelligence for Earth Observation. It comprised a mixture of theoretical lectures and a field campaign, closing with a mini project presented by the students. Lectures were provided by PML and AWI researchers (namely Astrid Bracher and Mariana Soppa, AWI; David Moffat, Aser Mata, Emma Sullivan, Katie Awty-Carrol, Lauren Biermann, PML).

A total of 7 Portuguese students and early career researchers attended the course and fed back that it had been relevant for their future careers. The students also got to explore Plymouth and its vibrant waterfront, partaking in a group paddleboard session in Plymouth Sound; the UK's first National Marine Park.

The summer school will reprised elements and built upon the earlier Lisbon-based course in 2019, that was ran in collaboration with the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). The course had a focus on Artificial Intelligence and Earth Observation with specific activities including: observation of oysters from drones; plastics from ships of opportunity cameras; and marine plastics from EO.


Research impact training

In July Jenny Lockett and Dawn Ashby, who form the PML Impact Team as well as the communications team for PORTWIMS, delivered training to 13 students and early career researchers from Lisbon University. The focus of the session was research impact (‘real-world’ changes beyond academia), which is increasingly becoming part of the role of research establishments and universities across the world. While the research impact agenda is significant in the UK it is still growing in emphasise in other parts of the world.

The training helped the participants understand the key principles and tools for increasing the likelihood of research having an impact, such as the use of Theory of Change approaches, to help them utilise these techniques in their own work. All of the students found the course helpful and relevant and started that they would use the tools in their future work areas, "I found the presentation very helpful and very well prepared, the presenters were very effective and the slides were great" (student response).


Using the Copernicus Marine Data Stream for Ocean Applications

This EUMETSAT Copernicus Marine Data Stream (CMDS) training course aims to share knowledge, skills, resources and code so attendees are able to independently access and process data from Sentinel-3, supporting missions and CMEMS for their marine work-flows and applications.

After the 3-week self-paced phase and 5-day online classroom phase, participants will have the skills to:

  • Understand what data and products the Copernicus Marine Data Stream provides (variables, timeliness, resolution, data formats)
  • Design tailored workflows appropriate to individual requirements and needs Select, access and download relevant products for specific tasks from the Copernicus Marine Data Stream
  • Work with CMDS data in SNAP, GIS, and Python (Jupyter Notebooks)

Training will take place entirely online and through two phases. The first self-paced phase will take place between 31 May and 18 June and will take approximately 6-8 hours in total to complete. The second virtual classroom phase will be held during the week 21 - 25 June and will be made up of interactive tutorials, live demos, group work, and 1:1 meetings. This will require 5-7 hours of participation each day.

See the EUMETSAT website for further details of how to apply. Application deadline: 7 May 2021.


Successful workshop on Ecosystem Services

Researchers from Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prof Mel Austen and Dr Stefanie Broszeit, provided a workshop on how to use ecosystem service and natural capital approaches to students and staff at the University of Lisbon in January 2020.

Ecosystem workshop participantsThe aim of the workshop was to increase capacity in the use of these approaches and provide practical experience using test cases. The 1.5 days workshop provided general overviews of the approaches and types or ecosystem service classifications as well as group work sessions to put these lessons into practice.

18 students, mostly ecologists, benefited from the workshop which provided presentations and group activities as well as lively discussions. You can read about the experience from the perspective of two of the students on the ‘PORTWIMS people page’; Alexandra Marçal Correia and Sara Cabral


Annual PORTWIMS project meeting

PORTWIMS Annual Meeting participantsThe first annual project meeting was held on 7-8 November 2019 in Bremerhaven, North Germany. The event was be hosted by the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and  attended by researchers from AWI, the University of Lisbon and Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

Progress from each of the workpackages was presented and discussed and areas for development were identified. Highlights planned for the coming year include:

  • an increase in the number of staff visits from AWI and PML;
  • development of the socio-economic aspect of the project including a Lisbon workshop, training events and staff exchanges; and
  • a broad programme of events centred around innovation and knowledge transfer including a summer school held in Lisbon from 27 May to 3 June 2020.

The participants also enjoyed a tour of the AWI laboratories, including the phyto-optics, molecular biology and aquaculture facilities.


Polarstern cruise trains researchers of tomorrow

The Polarstern research vessel is key to German polar expeditions and the flagship of the Alfred Wegener institute. During June it crossed the Atlantic from Port Stanley (Falkland Islands) to Bremerhaven (Germany) as part of the expedition PS120 programme. As well as conducting key scientific research, the cruise hosted 25 young scientists from around the globe as part of a floating summer school. On the ‘South-North Atlantic Training Transect’ the students gained unique insights into the marine sciences and engaged in short projects on interactions between the ocean, atmosphere and climate.

PORTWIMS enabled Mara Gomes from Lisbon university to participate in the cruise where she conducted research on radiometric properties for validation and taught the students about phytoplankton. By sponsoring Mara to attend the cruise PORTWIMS contributed to one of the project’s key aspirations to benefit individual researchers from Lisbon University by providing this opportunity for learning, collaboration and knowledge exchange.

You can read more about the Polarstern cruise at including blogs from the students about their experiences onboard. For more information on Mara and her experience on the cruise please see our PORTWIMS people page.


Summer schools

Three summer schools will be held during the course of the project in Lisbon, Plymouth and Bremerhaven/Helgoland. They will each target a general set of skills and expertise such as: advanced scientific writing; innovation; dissemination and exploitation of results; policy relevance; communications; and research grant writing.

1st PORTWIMS Summer School at German High Sea Island Heligoland on Marine phytoplankton diversity observations: innovative methods and industrial applications

The coastal summer school 2019 was held from 28 June to 8 July 2019 to provide an interdisciplinary overview from topics related to the marine plankton diversity and methods of observation. The coastal summer school took place on Helgoland, a red sandstone rock of Helgoland which is a hotspot of biodiversity and Germany’s most offshore island. 16 young scientists from 9 nations visited Helgoland for 11 days to deepen their knowledge of coastal phytoplankton research focusing on observations and industrial applications.  Among them were seven students from the University Lisbon funded by PORTWIMS.

The summer school focused on the training of young scientists in techniques relevant to long-term in-situ and remote sensing observations of phytoplankton diversity and abundance detection as well as industrial applications of phytoplankton research related to microalgae biotechnology, aquaculture and bionics. The training will comprised a class room module at the guest scientist facilities on Heligoland and a practical module onboard the German RV Heincke in the German Bight. The school  encompassed lectures, exercises and practical work in classical microscopy, functional morphology, molecular and optical techniques and further training in long-term data analysis and archival, remote sensing data processing and knowledge on technology transfer with focus on blue economy, aquaculture and bionics for light weight constructions.

The coastal summer school was realized in cooperation with some of the leading national centers for coastal research in Germany: Leibniz Institute for Baltic Research Warnemünde, Helmholtz Centre Geesthacht, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers). In 2019 the main supporting partner was the PORTWIMS project.

See below for links to presentations and training materials given at the summer school:



EUMETSAT/PORTWIMS workshop: Copernicus Marine Data Stream for Ocean Applications, Lisbon, Portugal, June 2019

A EUMETSAT/PORTWIMS workshop was held in Lisbon, in June 2019 that focused on the use of the latest satellite data to support a wide range of marine applications. The course covered the basic principles of remote sensing, data access, and introduce open source software and transferable skills in programming and data analysis.

The purpose of the workshops was to develop skills in using data from EUMETSAT's Copernicus Data Stream for oceanographic applications, with a particular focus on the application of data from Sentinel-3.

The course was attended by 15 students, 6 within PORTWIMS team. The course philosophy is to meet the interests and needs of the students. Hence, during the week, students attend to a few lectures, but most of

For the course welcome, Vanda Brotas invited José Luís Moutinho, Chief Business Developer at Atlantic International Research Centre, who congratulated Eumetsat and Portwims for this course, gave a brief introduction of Air Centre objectives and role, and stressed the need for researchers/technicians trained in remote sensing in the near future.

The teaching team was constituted by Hayley, Ben and Lauren from PML, Carolina Sá from FCUL, and there were also two invited researchers from Argentina, (Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio IEFE), Ana Dogliotti and Juan Gossn who talked about complex estuarine waters, through a study case in Rio de La Plata. Hence, the students had an excellent Trainer/Trainee ratio.

The course took place at Faculty of Sciences, from 10 to 14 June, in spite of the fact that 10 and 13 were holidays in Lisbon. On the 13th, Saint Antony day, everybody got together to a typical barbecued sardines meal, in the city centre, in one of the many “arraiais (open air city parties)” of Lisbon.



PORTWIMS Kick-Off meeting

22nd & 23rd October 2018
FCUL, Lisbon, Portugal

Around 35 people attended each day of the PORTWIMS kick-off meeting, including 6 researchers from AWI, 4 from PML, several senior members from FCUL and many enthusiastic MSc and PhD students.

The main achievement was developing the research themes with the three partners, finding links and concrete objectives for twinning and planning for future work. Six working groups were constituted, each with a set of actions to accomplish in the near future:

  • Innovation
  • Biotechnology
  • Socioeconomics
  • Earth observation
  • Oceanographic cruises and phytoplankton diversity
  • Marine ecology, biodiversity and ecosystem responses to climate change

Participants enjoyed the pleasant weather, the social events, and meeting the students. On the last evening, a smaller party gathered to eat the traditional custard tarts, and returned to the hotel on the yellow tram.