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NOVA - A sea of opportunities

"Our mission is to serve society through knowledge and education, with a strong commitment to sustainability"
João Sàágua, Rector of NOVA University Lisbon     


NOVA University Lisbon has a longstanding and fascinating record of accomplishment regarding science-based solutions aimed at solving ever-complex challenges related to sustainability. As a notorious Portuguese university and being in a country with a secular link to the oceans, NOVA dedicates some of its Education, Research and Innovative capabilities to this plentiful field of knowledge. As part of its strategic plan, NOVA follows a multidisciplinary approach taking advantage of the different Schools and areas of expertise that compose its ecosystem – from Biology, Engineering, Health and Biotechnology to Sustainability, Law, Economics and other Social Sciences – to create innovative synergies in teaching, research and development, including in Ocean-related activities. After all, there is much more in the Ocean than we already know. From energy to bioscience, chemistry to health, the possibilities before us seem endless. There is an Ocean of talent, science and collaboration opportunities to discover at NOVA University Lisbon.   


Masters and Postgraduate Courses      

  • Master’s degree in Law and Economics of the Sea (NOVA School of Law)  
  • Postgraduate Studies in Marine Science, Technology and Society (FCT NOVA)
  • Master’s degree in Maritime Logistics (FCT NOVA)

Other Master's degrees that also contribute to the development of solutions related to blue biotechnology and the valorisation of marine resources, among others

  • Master’s programme in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (multidisciplinary programme involving 5 Schools of NOVA: ITQB NOVA, FCT NOVA, NMS, NOVA IMS e IHMT NOVA)   
  • Master’s degree in Biotechnology (FCT NOVA)   
  • Master’s degree in Biotechnology for Sustainability (ITQB NOVA)  
  • Master’s degree in Renewable Energy Engineering (FCT NOVA)  


  • "OCEAN" bachelor degree (NOVA School of LAW, FCT NOVA, Nova SBE, NOVA FCSH, NOVA IMS, in partnership with the University of Algarve)   

It will be the first degree in Portugal with a totally holistic and interdisciplinary vision of the sea in order to train specialists in oceans.    

  • Master's in Marine Living Resources (FCT NOVA) (*)
  • Master's in Law and Economics of the Sea – Ocean Governance (NOVA School of Law and Nova SBE) (*)

(*) Ongoing process of accreditation by A3ES    



Research & Development Units and Centers with activity in the Sea area      

MARE-NOVA - Marine and Environmental Science Centre   
MARE is a multipolar RD&I Centre, presently with seven poles, six of them located at higher education campuses on the Portuguese mainland, including MARE-NOVA at FCT NOVA | School of Science and Technology, where the NOVACoastLab is installed, which ensures the scientific and technical coordination of the Centre for the Sustainability of the Sea and Coastal Zones. MARE-NOVA develops research studies about aquatic ecosystems and their interactions with terrestrial and social systems, the dissemination of knowledge to support public policies for sustainable development and the contribution to a participatory blue society. 

UCIBIO - Applied Molecular Biosciences Unit   
UCIBIO’s key strength lies in its broad scope of fundamental and applied research, standing at the interface of Chemistry, Biology and Engineering to address pertinent questions at atomic, molecular, sub-cellular and cellular levels, including research on the discovery of natural products from marine-derived actinomycetes (Actinobacteria) for pharmaceutical and biotechnological applications. UCIBIO is formed by the collaborative efforts of researchers from NOVA University Lisbon and the University of Porto.

CENSE - Environment and Sustainability Research Centre   
Promotes interdisciplinary research in environmental sciences and engineering, focusing on the interaction between human and ecological systems, to promote sustainable development.  CENSE is the research branch of a wider organization including researchers, students and staff from FCT NOVA, plus a number of affiliated organizations, including the University of Algarve and Universidade Aberta.  

MostMICRO - Molecular, Structural and Cellular Microbiology (ITQB NOVA)  
A unit that gathers microbiologists, biochemists, structural biologists, computational biologists, cell biologists, geneticists, molecular epidemiologists, and chemists, creating an ideal environment for multidisciplinary work, with a focus on microbes important for human health, biotechnology and the environment.  

CICS.NOVA - Interdisciplinary Centre for Social Sciences   
Brings together knowledge in sociology and geography, as core areas, with other social sciences and with the humanities. It also has a strong articulation with Life Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Engineering. Located at NOVA FCSH, it was conceived in 2015 as an open network with multiple scales through the establishment of 4 regional research poles at the University of Minho, University of Azores, University of Évora and Polytechnic Institute of Leiria.

Translational medicine programme that organises the efforts of biomedical researchers involved in the biological understanding of diseases, as well as in technology development in Health and Life Sciences and clinical trials, from institutions within NOVA University of Lisbon, including NMS, ITQB, plus iBET and IPO Lisbon.  

Nova SBE Environmental Economics Knowledge Centre   
Knowledge centre for academic research and advice on environmental and natural resources economic policies. It focuses on applied studies and knowledge creation to support decision-making in the public and private sectors.

NOVA OCEAN Knowledge Centre   
Newly created, it is taking its first steps in research, already participating in the proposal of mobilising agendas dedicated to blue biotechnology, including legislation on the use of bio-resources stored in the future national network of biobanks.     


Under the motto: "Knowing the past of the oceans and the impact of marine life on human societies to understand the present and anticipate the future", brought to Portugal the 1st ERC Synergy Grant in the humanities area, a European grant worth 10 million euros.     

The global impact of coastal water contamination on economic development (Nova SBE) 
The 1ST ERC grant in Economics in Portugal will help to understand and quantify the local and global mechanisms associated with pollution, provide new tools for research in this field, and focus on predicting future impacts so that better environmental protection policies can be created.

Promotes innovation and competitiveness in the Blue Economy in the Atlantic Area, seeking to establish links between academia, business and government.     

"Algae in Gastronomy - Development of innovative techniques of conservation and use" aims to disseminate and valorise the added value of edible macroalgae from the Portuguese coast.    

Smart Fishing(FCT NOVA)  
This project aims to develop technology that can be applied to artisanal fishing.    

Contribution for the conservation of the Marine Park Professor Luiz Saldanha, in Arrábida, betting on a collaborative governance model    

SocioEcoFrontiers  (NOVA FCSH) 
Aims to achieve the promise of integration in the Marine Spatial Planning for resilient social and environmental results.   

MarES(Nova SBE)  
Aims to investigate how global climate change and human activities affect the use and importance of ecosystem services.   

Cost Action (FCT NOVA)    
European transdisciplinary platform for marine biotechnology     

Capitalizing coastal best practices and improving marine litter prevention policies    

Discovery and training of microbial biocatalysts for biomass conversion     

Ocean Economics in Portugal  (Nova SBE)  
Guide for investors interested in developing activities related to the ocean economy in Portugal (general information on economic indicators, regulatory aspects, work and taxation, among others)      

NextOcean (Nova SBE)
Next Generation of Fishing and Aquaculture Services 

New biocide from the Portuguese sea to treat infectious diseases

Construction of early modern global Cities and oceanic networks in the Atlantic: An approach via Ocean’s Cultural Heritage

From trash to treasure (ITQB NOVA)
Developing proprietary collagenases for transformation of fish waste into high value products    



Biotechnology company specialising in the discovery and development of drugs based on seafood compounds to address unanswered clinical conditions that require new chemical approaches and new molecular solutions.     

Azorean - Aquatic Technologies   
Specialises in the development, manufacturing and marketing of robotic systems dedicated to the marine exploration. One of its proposals is called Ziphius, a civilian aquatic drone for the general public, controlled by Wi-Fi using a smartphone or tablet, taking and sharing photos and videos. It is listed on Euronext Paris.     

Through an online platform, it is possible to discover, compare and book the best experiences and maritime sports adventures and nautical activities. With more than 600 experiences in 6 countries, 230 partners and more than 11,000 customers, it is a reference in the area and an example of innovation in the business model.     

Formed by a team from FCT NOVA, a specialist in bioengineering, and the Frontier IP Group, a specialist in the commercialisation of intellectual property, it has a multidisciplinary team with over 30 years of experience in environmental/industrial bioengineering and mathematical modelling, dedicated to creating value for society, promoting a more sustainable and circular economy in the wastewater sector.  


Collaborative Laboratories      

Brings together entities and companies interested in seeking new processes and advanced technologies that use biomass (including algae biomass) as raw material and transform it into marketable products.     

Companies, farmers and the municipality of Elvas develop new solutions for plant protection. It is also involved in several projects for prospecting new biopesticide compounds in marine samples.   

Ocean @NOVA in numbers   

Schools of NOVA where the most diverse research activities are developed in areas directly related to the Ocean

Patented technologies 


CoLabs with projects in the Ocean area       


SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Scientific output in the last 5 years 


With impact above the world average    

With international collaboration   


By topic

Aquatic Science

Publications, with an impact close to double the world average (65.7% of these in international collaboration)    


Publications with an impact more than 2x above (65.8% of these in international collaboration)

Plastics/Marine debris

Publications with an impact 5x above the world average (66.7% of these in international collaboration)    





NOVA University Lisbon promotes several activities in its stand, located under the stage of the Pavilion of Portugal, where the public can learn about the work developed in the university regarding issues of the sea. 

You can check here the activities of  NOVA School of Law, NOVA School of Science and Technology and NOVA FCSH