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Historical XXIII Government - Portuguese Republic Back to Government in Office

Science, Technology and Higher Education

Elvira Fortunato

Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education

Period in office: 2022-03-30 until 2024-04-02
Elvira Fortunato Elvira Fortunato


Elvira Fortunato was born in Almada in 1964.

She has a degree in Physics and Materials Engineering (1987, FCT/ Nova University of Lisbon); a PhD in Materials Engineering: Microelectronics and Optoelectronics (1995, FCT/ Nova University of Lisbon

She is a Chair Professor at the Materials Science Department at the Faculty of Science and Technology at NOVA University of Lisbon and currently Vice-Dean of this university, where she has coordinated the research area since 2017. She is also Director of the Associated Laboratory of the Institute of Nanomaterials, Nanofabrication and Nanomodelling. From 2015 to 2020 she was part of the group of seven researchers in the European Commission Scientific Advice Mechanism based on scientific evidence. 

Since 2010 she has been in the Chancellery of the Honorific Orders of Portugal, at the Presidency of the Republic. 

She is a pioneer in European research on transparent electronics using sustainable materials and environmentally friendly technologies. In 2008, at the 1st edition of the  European Research Council ERC grants, she was awarded an Advanced Grant for the project INVISIBLE, considered by the European Commission to be a success story. In the same year, she showed with her group the possibility of manufacturing the first paper transistor, starting a new field in the area of paper electronics. In 2018 she was awarded a second Advanced Grant for the project DIGISMART. Recently, and following on from the exploratory results of the DIGISMART, she obtained Proof of Concept with the e-GREEN project: From forests to Green Electronics, focusing on exploring environmentally friendly and low-cost materials and technology exploration.

In 2022, she was part of the group of 27 inspiring European Women, elected by the current French Presidency of the European Union.

With over 800 scientific papers published, in the last few years she has been awarded more than 50 prizes and international distinctions for her work, of which we note the title of Grand Officer of the Order of Infante D. Henrique, bestowed by the President of the Republic in 2010, the Blaise Pascal Medal in 2016, the Czochralski prize in 2017, the Pessoa prize in 2020, the Horizon Impact prize by the European Commission in 2020 with the project INVISIBLE, the prize of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations: WFOE GREE AWARD Women in 2020, The Strait of Magellan Prize by the Chilean Government in 2020, the Innovation in Materials prize in 2021 granted by the FEMS and the Human Rights Prize granted by Parliament in 2021.

She is an elected member of the Engineering Academy, the European Science Academy, the Lisbon Science Academy, and the Europaea Academy. She has been on the Luso-American Foundation for Development Board of Trustees since 2014. 

She has coordinated several national and international project, of which we note her pioneering activity at Nova University of Lisbon in the field of equal opportunities through the SPEAR project, a European platform to support and implement plans for gender equality in higher education institutions.