My connection with the Escola Superior de Biotecnologia (ESB) started when I was myself an undergraduate student and it is with a strong sense of belonging that I write these words. When I was in high school, I imagined university as a place that would open up the world for me - and that is what the ESB gave me, in a context of values and meaningfulness that in my case I am sure will last forever. Even today, the ESB inspires me to imagine the future I most desire so that everyone - students, teachers, researchers and other staff - develop their potential, find their passion and foster precious memories.
At its genesis, in 1984, the ESB brought a new way of being to Portuguese higher education: the connection to the business sector planned from the very starting and incorporated into its modus operandi, a course in Food Engineering that did not exist in the country until then, and its opening to the world with internships abroad for all students (now commonplace but unthinkable at the time). We were pioneers then as we are now, facing the future.
We have never stopped growing and improving. Our Research Center, CBQF, has the prestigious status of Associate Laboratory and is officially classified in the highest category of "Excellent" - the result of an assessment by an international evaluation panel. The size of the projects developed within the CBQF keeps increasing - proof of our established competence in the various aspects of Biotechnology. We have leveraged a partnership with a major North American biotechnology company that, along with many other partnerships with companies and organizations, attests to our ranking in unexplored areas.
Since 2019, we have been housed in a new, purpose-built building and have brought together teaching, research, business services and community outreach into the same space. Those who enter as students can immerse themselves, right from the first year, in a stimulating research environment, where interactions between areas of expertise are the engine of innovation, full of challenges and mutual help.
Our students soon discover that learning is a tailored dynamic, in close connection with professors and researchers. Being competent and part of the solution is much more than accumulating knowledge. Integral development - from critical skills to a volunteering attitude, from autonomy to an ethical sense of their role in the world - is the ultimate goal of these years of discovery and creation of personal and professional paths.
In a world that is changing at an unprecedented speed, in which the survival of society depends on the wisdom with which we discover science and use technology, we will continue to let us be influenced by the ideas that renew us, one day at a time, and continue on our path with purpose and impact.
May the ESB always be the beginning of an inspiring future.
Professor Paula Castro