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Portuguese scientist wins Polish scientific accolade

Portuguese scientist Elvira Fortunato has been distinguished with the Czochralski 2017 prize, attributed by the Polish Science Academy and European Society for Material Investigation, supported by the Polish Society of Material Sciences and Polish Society for the growth of cristals.

It is the first time a Portuguese investigator has won the award, and comes as a result of Fortunato’s “invention of paper-based microchips” – a cheap, recyclable alternative to electronics-grade silicon.

The find, which has already seen Fortunato winning the European Inventor Award (2016) with her husband and research partner Rodrigo Martins – as well as the Pascal Blaise medal from the European Academy of Science – has the potential to bring ‘smart’ computer technology “to entirely new areas of daily life.”

Handing the duo their European Inventor Award last June, President of the European Patents Office Benoît Battistelli, told his audience that paper-based microchips “enable a new generation of inexpensive and recyclable devices that can play an important role in the Internet of Things and other digital technologies of the future.”

Fortunato, 51, will receive her latest accolade in Warsaw in September.

Meantime, she remains the director of the Centre of Investigation for Materials at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of Lisbon’s Universidade Nova.