Research Cluster



The ICVS/3B’s Associate Laboratory aggregates since 2011 two Research Units from the University of Minho, the ICVS at the School of Medicine and the 3B’s Research Group in Biomaterials, Biodegradable and Biomimetics at the I3Bs Research Institute.

During the last 10 years, the ICVS/3B’s has implemented a unique ecosystem in health sciences and technology in alignment with the European Research Area of the European Commission, the Thematic Agenda for R&D in Health, Clinical and Translational Research, and the implementation of the PT Strategic Roadmap of Research Infrastructures. The Associate Laboratory has been actively contributing for the public policies by: (i) establishing a competitive and sustainable research ecosystem offering stable research careers; (ii) producing relevant scientific outputs and intellectual property, and promoting its transfer into the market; (iii) becoming a reference center for clinical and applied research offering easier access of patients to healthcare innovations and attracting international competitive funding and talent; (iv) being a leader in training highly-skilled researchers and clinicians.

In 2021, the FCT revalidated the statute of the PT Government ICVS/3B’s – Associate Laboratory, with the maximum rate of 100 out of 100.


The Clinical Academic Center-Braga (2CA-Braga) is a non-profit partnership between the University of Minho, through the School of Medicine and the ICVS, the Hospital de Braga-EPE and the Hospital CUF Porto. Founded in 2012, and headquartered at Hospital de Braga (Braga, Portugal), the 2CA-Braga has as its corporate purpose the development of clinical research, framed in an environment of health care provision, promotion and knowledge, in order to make clinical care more effective and, thus, improving the quality of assistance.

The 2CA-Braga clinical/scientific research encompasses: (i) trials; (ii) observational studies; (iii) translational research projects; (iv) clinical validation studies (for procedures or devices). After 10 years and since opening its Phase 1 Clinical Trials wing, it supports more than 35% of all Phase 2-4 commercial clinical studies performed in Portugal as registered by the Infarmed (Portuguese Authority in Medical Products) and it is one of the few units in the Iberian Peninsula to be able to conduct research throughout the entire drug development pipeline, from cells and animal models to clinical trials.

Member of the national scientific system, integrating national and international clinical research networks, 2CA-Braga is certified under ISO 9001:2008 Caspe Healthcare Knowledge Systems.


The P5 Digital Medicine Center is a private non-profit organization dedicated to the development and implementation of solutions that contribute to population health, while also empowering individuals to take an active role in their own health management. It is an initiative of the University of Minho through its School of Medicine and its Alumni Medicine Association. Its mission is to develop, validate, and provide health tools and services based on excellent clinical practices that enable monitoring, counseling, and individualized responses to health requirements through the use of modern technology and a multidisciplinary team. P5 is dedicated to quality and innovation, as well as integrity, networking, and support for high ethical standards, as well as equity in health-care access. P5 has identified the following strategic objectives: 1) to develop actions that contribute to the improvement and quality of the health response; 2) to develop and implement solutions that meet the population's health needs; 3) to use technologies and digital means that allow continuous monitoring of an individual's health status; 4) to integrate technologies and digital means in the development and implementation of health intervention programs; 5) to develop and monitor processes and infrastructures that support the design and implementation of health intervention programs; and 6) to promote and develop quality research in health.


B.ACIS is the Center for Health Innovation of the School of Medicine of the University of Minho. It is a community of students, researchers, technicians, entrepreneurs and health professionals that generate scientific, technological and economical value to society.

B.ACIS’s core mission is to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in Medical and Life Sciences, facilitating the transfer of knowledge, technologies and innovative solutions stemming from the Medical Cluster. B.ACIS’s mission is to promote the highest societal and economic impact from outstanding research results and highly qualified researchers and professionals from the ICVS, the P5 Digital Medical Center, and the Clinical Academic Center-Braga.

B.ACIS develops its activities within three main business units:

  • Research & Development Services: in coordination with the ICVS, provides specialized R&D services to support the needs of the community through dedicated laboratories and facilities;
  • Innovation: assesses, protects and commercializes Intellectual Property, by cultivating entrepreneurship, supporting the creation of technology start-ups and establishing academic-industry partnerships.
  • Advanced Scientific Training: designed to skill health professionals on up-to-date techniques through hands-on courses, lectures, workshops, conferences and summits in medicine and biomedicine.

B.ACIS’s vision is to be a world class player in knowledge transfer and scientific education in the field of biomedical and clinical research.

4LifeLab Co-Lab

4LifeLAB is a recently established Collaborative Laboratory in Portugal to create an agile and competitive ecosystem, bringing together excellence in science, medicine, engineering and industry, enabling the development of innovative solutions and practices to improve medical outcomes in rapid responses to emergency and crisis situations.

In addition to ICVS, 4LifeLab Co-Lab includes the University Hospital Center of São João (CHUSJ), the Centre of Engineering and Product Development (CEiiA), the Association Fraunhofer Portugal Research (Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS), the Clinical Academic Center of Braga (2CA-Braga), Atlantis (representing Brazilian Fiocruz), TMG, Wise Healthcare Solutions, and 4Life.

This ecosystem is developing a portfolio of projects, originated on the needs and the challenges of the COVID-19 context. Current projects include:

  • Atena, a rapid manufactured medical ventilator;

  • A surgical helmet for high-risk environments with infectious diseases;
  • An emergency infrastructure hub, at the heliport of Hospital São João, for test and early adoption of urban air mobility technologies, complimenting concepts for decentralized and remote healthcare and emergency response.

This portfolio is part of an R&I agenda defined and stirred by main global trends on innovative clinical practices, and scientific and technical advancements.

This CoLAB has established and reinforces solid foundations of network collaboration and open innovation, from a highly qualified team, which allows for an effective transfer of knowledge, for the development, industrialization and validation of medical devices and services, in close collaboration with hospitals, companies and others entities in the fields of science, technology and engineering.