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Ambassadors’ Roundtable with Deutsche Messe and the Federation of German Industries

Thursday, April 28th, 2022, 08:30 a.m.

International Club of the Federal Foreign Office

Digitalization and Sustainability – The biggest transformation since industrialization – an outlook on the upcoming Hannover Messe 2022


Dear Ambassador Rentschler(Director-General for Climate Diplomacy, Economic Affairs and Technology, Federal Foreign Office)

Dear Mr. Gross, (Director for Public Affairs of the Deutsche Messe)

Dear Mr. Köckler, (Chairman of the Managing Board of the Federation of German Industries - BDI),

Dear Mrs. Plöger, (Member of the Executive Board of the Federation of German Industries),

Dear Colleagues, Dear Friends,


  • Thank you indeed for the opportunity to address you, as Ambassador of the Partner Country to the Hannover Messe 2022, which will constitute a highlight in the long-standing relationship of Portugal and Germany. Its excellency at all levels will once again be underlined by Prime-Minister António Costa and Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
  • As the topic for our breakfast suggests, we are indeed facing the biggest transformation since the Industrial Revolution, with the twin agendas of digitalization and decarbonisation rendered even more pressing, first by the Covid19pandemic and now by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • Hannover will be an opportunity to display Portugal as a key European player in this transformative process. Thus, our status as Partner Country in Hannover is a source of both pride and encouragement. Also a ton of really hard work… We took up the challenge gladly because, as our chosen motto goes, “Portugal Makes Sense” in the European economy, where Germany holds a central role.
  • Indeed, Portugal Makes Sense for its stability, for the constructive role it plays in Europe, for the doors it opens to the Atlantic and to Africa, through its historical, linguistic and economic ties to the wider world.
  • Portugal Makes Sense for its economic growth. GDP rose 4.9% in 2021. Before Russia´s brutal invasion of Ukraine, we aimed to achieve 5.5% this year. Fiscal responsibility and budgetary discipline – with a surplus in 2019, and primary surpluses for several years now – are key aspects of our performance. National debt maintains a downward trajectory, and the outlook of the rating agencies is positive.
  • Portugal Makes Sense in the reinvention of the EU energy model, in our collective transition to a reality built upon renewable energies. Portugal is wealthy in the natural resources that matter now: oceans, hydro, solar and wind. Wealthy in its capability and further potential for abundant green hydrogen, essential in freeing Europe from its strategic vulnerabilities in energy supply and in meeting our ambitious environmental goals, under the Paris Agreement and the Fit-for-55 package. We are committed, with Spain and with Germany´s increasing enthusiasm, to a green energy corridor that will cross the Pyrenees 8or the Bay of Biscay), providing Europe with an alternative source of clean energy.
  • Portugal Makes Sense because so many German economic groups have enjoyed a successful presence among us, in some cases for over a century. In trade terms, looking beyond the Iberian Peninsula, Germany is our second largest market and our main supplier.
  • Portugal Makes Sense to Germany, as its main qualified foreign investor, one with an interesting trajectory. It was mostly blue collar when we joined the European Communities, as exemplified, in earlier days, by VW Autoeuropa, Leica and Continental, moving towards white collar with the Siemens tech centres over the last decade. It now attracts Bosch and Teamviewer, countless other IT centres and digital nomads, thanks to an excellent telecommunication infrastructure and to the quality of our highly educated work force.


  • Portugal Makes Sense because our shared experience shows we are a country with diversification opportunities for German and other foreign companies, at a moment when Europe is forced to look increasingly for alternatives. Reinforcing “Europe’s strategic autonomy”, through the near-shoring of the supply chains is now even more pressing. Entrepreneurs will discover an open-minded, obstacle-free market in Portugal. One with answers to the supply strains we now face, with knowledge for lesser energy-intensive industries - away from combustion engines, into a digital, green and circular economy. This was at the core of our recent EU Council Presidency, in a successful Trio shared with Germany that brought our two nations even closer.
  • Portugal Makes Sense, in particular, to the German Mittelstand, now looking at new directions. Thus, in Hannover, we will exhibit the technological innovation and the competence of the Portuguese ecosystems, around three focus areas – Engineered Parts & Solutions, Digital Ecosystems and Energy Solutions. Some 120 Portuguese companies, representing the energy, metal-working and capital goods industries, will be present. All of them are strongly internationalized, congregating 33 thousand enterprises, 250 thousand jobs and accounting for almost 10% of GDP.
  • To name a few of our highlights:
  • Greenhydrogen;
  • Smart cities;
  • Artificial intelligence;
  • Smart manufacturing;
  • Manufacturing Execution Systems;
  • Augmented and Virtual reality;
  • 3D Digital Twins solutions.
  • We will hold debates and presentations on energy transition, from generation to consumption, with sustainability at the core of the agenda; on Digitalisation and industry, on the road to 5.0; and on the future of mobility, with autonomous driving and connectivity, a field in which Portugal and Germany buttress European technological leadership.
  • Our objective as Partner Country is to strengthen the perception of Portugal as an innovative and technologically advanced country, a reliable provider of quality goods and services in the industrial value chain, bolstering the role of Portuguese companies at the global level. We want to showcase our competitive advantages to draw scientific, technological, and productive investment.
  • Portugal Makes Sense to invest, to develop industrial partnerships, to source, to expand, to triumph, but also to go outside the box and dare to innovate. I hope you will all come to visit us. Vielen Dank für diese Gelegenheit!


The Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD), the Atlantic Centre and the National Defence Institute (IDN) will award two researchers in the field of Security and Defense in the Atlantic. The selected research projects will be developed for a period of nine months during the year of 2023.

Objective and scope

This call aims at selecting two outstanding research projects that demonstrate the capacity to contribute to the advancement of knowledge on topics related to current Security and Defense issues in the Atlantic.

Key topics that can be addressed are:

  • Comparative analysis of public policies impacting Atlantic security and defense;
  • The nexus between environment, security, and development;
  • Transnational threats;
  • Capacity-building, assistance and the exercise of sovereignty;
  • Cooperation and competition in security dynamics, from the local to the global level;
  • Maritime security, ocean governance and the security of ocean infrastructure.

Accepted topics for research are not limited to the ones listed above.

Applicant eligibility

At the time of application:

  • The applicant must hold a PhD, or equivalent degree, for no longer than 10 years.

o  The counting of the years after the PhD degree will take maternity and paternity leaves into consideration. In the case of maternity, 18 months are subtracted to the number of years after acquiring a PhD degree for each child born after the conclusion of the degree. In the case of paternity, the months of demonstrated leave will also be considered.

  • The applicant must provide evidence of having conducted independent research of high quality.
  • The research projects submitted for this grant must fall under the general category of security and defense in the Atlantic.

Application process

The call is open from April 19 to July 15, 2022, 11:59 PM (Continental Portugal Time, UTC+01:00).

Training on the development of project proposals will be made available by the organisers on June 2, 2022, at 2 PM (Continental Portugal time, UTC+01:00), via an online session with experts, open to all potential candidates, on a voluntary basis. Registration here: https://bit.ly/3KcTv89.

Results will be announced by October 3, 2022.

Applications must be submitted through the online form available here:


Please note that only applications submitted through this form will be considered.

Candidates are required to upload the following documents:

  • Detailedcurriculum vitae (in English or in Portuguese)
  • Document certifying that the candidate holds a PhD degree (in English or Portuguese)
  • Two recommendation letters (in English or Portuguese)
  • Cover letter (in English or Portuguese)
  • Detailed research plan proposal:

o  The research plan proposal must be written in English or Portuguese

o  The research plan proposal must have up to 6000 words

Applicants can only submit one application per call.

Selection committee

Applications will be reviewed by the following selection committee:

  • Ana Santos Pinto, Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, NOVA University of Lisbon
  • Patricia Daehnhardt, Advisor at National Defense Institute and Integrated Researcher at the Portuguese Institute of International Affairs, NOVA University of Lisbon (IPRI-NOVA)
  • Inês Marques Ribeiro, Integrated Researcher at the Center for International Studies (CEI-Iscte)


Review process and selection criteria

Applications are reviewed by the Selection Committee, who will assess them based on the following selection criteria:

  • Researcher’s academic record and qualifications
  • Relevance and originality of the research project, including its contribution to creating networks that promote a whole-of-Atlantic view of security
  • Scientific merit of the proposed project with clear identification of goals, milestones, outputs and timeline for the expected research
  • Inclusion of relevant field work and outreach activities
  • Future potential of the researcher and of the project, including for knowledge transference across the Atlantic
  • Proven capacity to conduct independent research

For one of the awards, priority will be given to a Portuguese applicant.

Expected research outputs

Researchers awarded with this grant are expected to:

1)    develop field research;

2)   submit one Atlantic Centre policy brief on the topic of research;

3)   organize a policy-oriented public event for the Atlantic Centre on the proposed research topic;

4)    submit one peer review publication with the main findings of the research project in one of the outlets of the National Defence Institute;

5)    contribute to the National Defence Institute’s research agenda and activities;

6)   submit one final report (in English or Portuguese).

Demonstrated ability to deliver such outputs will be taken into consideration by the selection committee.

Terms of the grants


The two selected candidates will receive a grant for a research period of nine months during the year of 2023.


Each of the two selected candidates will receive a grant of 20.000€, to be transferred before the beginning of the research period.


Excluding field work and meetings or conferences that require travelling, each selected researcher is expected to remain in his/her country of residence. However, if the project requires it, IDN will host the researcher in Lisbon. In this latter case, the accommodation expenses in Lisbon are supported by the researcher.

Reporting requirement

A final report should be submitted up to 90 days after the end of the research period, indicating the activities developed, the main findings of the research and the list of partners the project engaged.

Publications and activities

Publications resulting from research activities supported by the Atlantic Security Award must contain the following acknowledgement: “Supported by (Insert project title of the grant and reference number) from Luso-American Development Foundation, the Atlantic Centre and the National Defence Institute”, while associated activities should make use of the corresponding graphic materials.


Applications can only be submitted online. Online application form available here



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