Started in a CMU Portugal Program Project”
CMU Portugal Program PI
Susana Sargento is the European Union 2016 Woman Innovator
Sargento is Principal Investigator on CMU Portugal Program’s Projects DRIVE-IN
The European Union (EU) 2016 Woman Innovator is a Principal Investigator
of the CMU Portugal Program and co-founder of Veniam, Susana Sargento. The 100
thousand euros prize is awarded by the EU with the aim of giving public
recognition to outstanding women entrepreneurs who have brought their
innovative ideas to the market. The objective is to inspire other women to
follow in their footsteps.
“I am very happy to
receive this great prize in recognition of our work on making vehicular
networks a reality. This has been the result of the work of a great team of
colleagues, students, researchers, and entrepreneurs, who have been with me
since the beginning”, said Susana Sargento. The recipient of the prize also
hopes that the team “can serve as a role model to all great women out there
(and men as well) and inspire them to take risks and not be afraid of failure
and of success”.
Susana, who is a faculty member of the Department of
Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics of the University of Aveiro
(UA), and a researcher at Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), co-founded
Veniam, a startup that created and is managing the largest vehicular network in
the world. The company is a spin-off of UA, IT and the University of Porto, and
was created with the support of the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
(FCT, Foundation for the Science and Technology) and the CMU Portugal Program.
Veniam, whose motto is “an internet of moving things”, is a
startup that implements vehicle networks on cities, which turn cars, buses or
trucks into moving Wi-Fi hotspots, and builds city-scale vehicular networks
that collect terabytes of urban data. The team of 40 people, eight of whom have
PhDs, is divided between Portugal, USA and Singapore.
This is the third edition of the EU Prize for Women
Innovators, which was handed this year by the European Commissioner for
Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, on March 10. The competition
is open to women that have founded or co-founded a successful company based on
their innovative ideas, and have received EU research and innovation funding at
some point in their careers. Susana Sargento was the first and the only Portuguese
nominee, among nine finalists and 64 applications.
With more than 15 years of expertise on leading several
international and national projects, Susana Sargento is Principal Investigator
on CMU Portugal Program’s Projects DRIVE-IN and S2MovingCity and was a visiting professor at CMU between 2008 and 2009.
“Everything started in a CMU Portugal Program project,
DRIVE-IN: we promised to connect 500 vehicles to each other and to the
Internet! DRIVE-IN was just the beginning, which allowed us to develop the
vehicular WiFi technology and the first base network mechanisms”, recalls
Susana Sargento. “After deploying the overall live testbed in the city of
Porto, we are now starting the CMU Portugal Program’s Entrepreneurial Research
Initiative (ERI) S2Moving City, which will allow us to build the smart city
that can be sensed and served to improve citizen lives”, she adds.
Susana has also been a participant in several FP7 Projects, such
as Future Cities – in which she implemented the vehicular network on cars and
trucks, as well as fixed stations throughout the city of Porto, which counts
now with more than 600 connected vehicles – as well as national projects, with
research and industry partners.
Photo credits: revistaport.com