Where Ideas Grow

Inês Gonçalves awarded the Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira Revelation Award

For her contribution to innovation in Science, namely with the development of biomaterials and medical devices for antimicrobial and cardiovascular applications, researcher Inês Gonçalves was recognized with the Revelation Prize at the Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira awards. The Career Consecration Award was awarded to Teresa Patrício Gouveia, one of the greatest references in Portuguese women's politics over the last 40 years. These awards, awarded by Sogrape, aim to recognize female talent.

For Inês Gonçalves, leader of the “Advanced Graphene Biomaterials” group, receiving the Dona Antónia Revelation Award is “a great honor and a very important recognition of my work and my team, and of everything that involves being a researcher, as doing science is not just putting on your lab coat and doing experiments in my laboratory at the i3S. There is another part that is equally or more important, which is sharing with society, such a remarkable legacy of Dona Antónia. And this sharing is, without a doubt, what moves me”.

It was precisely this sharing of science with society that motivated Inês Gonçalves to donate part of the prize to “a project of immense public value that, at this stage, needs help to guarantee its future sustainability. It will be used to rehabilitate and re-equip the Open Laboratory, a project launched 15 years ago by Ipatimup, which has now been integrated into the i3S educational program. The Open Laboratory provides experimental teaching of science and technology to 6400 students in the city of Porto whose schools do not have the conditions to carry out experimental activities”.

“These days, and without there being a real research career in Portugal, doing science requires a lot of courage, effort and dedication to the cause. Like Dona Antónia, I hope that the path I am taking can inspire many women and, among them, other scientists and mothers”, adds the researcher.

About Inês Gonçalves

Inês Gonçalves is currently principal investigator and leader of the “Advanced Graphene Biomaterials” group at i3S, member of the board of the Iberian Society of Biomechanics and Biomaterials, and co-founder of the startup GOTech Antimicrobial. Her main research and innovation interest is the development of biomaterials and medical devices for antimicrobial and cardiovascular applications. Highlights include catheters and disinfection devices coated with antimicrobial graphene, as well as polymers and decellularized matrices reinforced with graphene for vascular prostheses.

The researcher regularly participates in various Science dissemination actions and has led several technology transfer projects funded by different international entities, which resulted in the submission of five patents, one of which has already been granted. Also noteworthy is funding of almost three million euros allocated by the European Innovation Council (EIC) Pathfinder Challenge, within the scope of the Horizon Europe program. Called “Blood2Power”, an Innovation Award awarded by the Wellcome Trust foundation, funding awarded by the ”la Caixa” Foundation, within the scope of the CaixaResearch Validate 2021 Competition and a prize awarded by the HiTech One program, an initiative by HiSeedTech.

Inês Gonçalves also won a L’Oréal Medal in 2014, at the time still as a researcher at INEB, one of the founding institutes of i3S, and was the Portuguese representative of the Young Scientist Forum, of the European Society for Biomaterials (2018 – 2021).

About the Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira awards

The Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira Awards, created in 1988 by the descendants of the honoree and by Sogrape, owner of the Porto Ferreira brand, aim to distinguish and honor Portuguese women with an exceptional life journey, who stand out for their human qualities, entrepreneurial spirit, leadership capacity and social sensitivity, openness to innovation and constant search for their own development.

The independent jury is chaired by Artur Santos Silva and annually awards the Career Consecration Award, which honors a consolidated life path deserving of unequivocal public recognition, and a Revelation Award, which seeks to praise a career of relevance in the phase of affirmation and development. All winners are protagonists of a unique and different story, following the example of Dona Antónia's life and work and identifying with the personal and professional values personified by her.