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Gabriela Almeida, independent researcher at the BioNanoSensors research lab at UCIBIO-NOVA, is the co-founder and CEO of the Nitrogen Sensing Solutions start-up that was awarded funding under the European Innovation Ecosystems work programme of Horizon Europe. 134 companies were selected to receive an individual grant of EUR 75 000 to support the initial steps of their innovation process and the growth of their company. Furthermore, all female founders are offered mentoring and coaching under the European Innovation Council (EIC) Women Leadership Programme, and dedicated networking opportunities across the EU. 


Gabriela Almeida explains that “in this project, we are committed to providing fish farmers with innovative smart technology for better water quality management in land-based Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS). To this end, we are developing deployable biosensors to monitor the levels of ammonium, nitrate, and nitrite, the most critical compounds for water quality in closed systems and for which no effective analytical devices are available yet”. With the biosensors, producers will be able to minimize outbreak risks, determine the most efficient and sustainable production conditions, and ultimately increase their profits. 


For Gabriela Almeida, also associated professor at Egas Moniz School of Health and Science, this award means the recognition of the work that she has been developing as CEO of the Nitrogen Sensing Solutions start-up. “As a finalist in the Women TechEU program, besides a € 75 000 grant, I will receive mentoring and coaching for leadership, business development, fundraising, and much more. With the support of this initiative, I hope to accelerate the scaling up of the deep-tech startup Nitrogen Sensing Solutions, thereby creating products of high value for Blue Growth and playing a role in tomorrow’s female tech leadership” says Gabriela Almeida