Portugal signed a declaration to join eight other countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands and Hungary), that will collaborate with the European Commission on an action plan to explore the benefits and feasibility of building a quantum communication infrastructure (QCI) available across the EU within the next ten years. Yasser Omar, Professor of IST and a researcher at the Physics of Information and Quantum Technologies group of IT, was appointed by Manuel Heitor, Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, to lead the Portuguese initiative.
The QCI declaration was launched at the Digital Assembly, held in Bucharest in June 2019. According to the European Commission, “The QCI would link sensitive communication assets all over the EU, using quantum technologies to ensure the secure transmission and storage of important information (…) The first service to make use of it would be Quantum Key Distribution, an extremely secure form of encryption with the potential to keep confidential data, power grids, government communications and digital transactions safe”. Preliminary works should be completed by the end of 2020.
Photo: Yasser Omar, together with the Minister Manuel Heitor, presented the Portuguese initiative during the Encontro Ciência 2019, on July 10.
For the 9th consecutive year, the Lisbon Machine Learning School (LxMLS) welcomed students, researchers and industry professionals from around the world to share their knowledge and learn about the most recent innovations in the areas of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Jointly organized by IST, IT, INESC-ID, Unbabel, Priberam Labs. and Feedzai, the event was held at Instituto Superior Técnico, 11-18 July, and included lectures, talks, poster sessions, practical activities and many possibilities for networking.
In another successful edition, the LxMLS gathered more than 180 participants, who were selected from over 680 applicants. Mário Figueiredo, Professor of IST, a researcher of IT, and one of the organizers of the event highlights that “Most of the participants are MSc and PhD students, but more than 30 participants come from companies”. Coming from all continents, the wider range of foreign participants came from Germany. However there were also participants arriving from much more distant countries, such as Ethiopia, South Africa and Australia.
As in previous editions, one of the most awaited moments in LxMLS 2019 was the Demo Day, which took place on July 15th, bringing to LxMLS many people who had the chance to get in touch with several companies and research units. Besides being an opportunity to network, Demo Day was also a great opportunity to contact and know more about different solutions and products from the areas of AI and Machine Learning. Outsystems, Fartech, Feedzai and Unbabel were some of the companies showcasing their products and services.
Mário Figueiredo attributes the growing number of applicants and participants in each edition of the LxMLS to “the growing interest about artificial intelligence and machine learning”, and also “because this is an event of great international prestige”. “About 20 students received funded scholarships. Google provided 10 scholarships”, says professor Mário Figueiredo, stressing that “this is a way of bringing LxMLS many people who would be deprived from participating without this support”.