Data de publicação: 04/01/2021

UMa com 3 novos projetos de I&D aprovados pela FCT

Programa de Financiamento: Concurso de Projetos de Investigação de Caráter Exploratório (PeX) em Todos os Domínios Científicos - 2021

Referência do Projeto:
Título: Realidade Virtual Adaptativa para suporte após perda gestacional precoce involuntária (AViR)

- Investigador Responsável: Mónica da Silva Cameirão
- Instituição proponente: Universidade da Madeira

Período de execução do projeto: de 01-01-2022 a 30-06-2022
Orçamento total: 45 260,90 €

The loss of an unborn child is a tragic event. Unfortunately, this happens often with about 1 in 5 pregnancies ending in a miscarriage in the first 20 weeks. The experience of an involuntary pregnancy loss, even in early stages, has been shown to be linked to persistent symptoms of post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression, which can seriously hamper the daily activities of individuals who experience such symptoms. Early psychological and emotional support has been shown to be key for coping with the grief and reducing the incidence of psychological disorders in the long term. However, professional psychological support for earlier pregnancy loss is often scarce or not available at health institutions, leaving the parents unprotected in such a delicate phase. Technology-based support delivery methods arise as valid alternatives to overcome this lack of support. This is the case of Virtual Reality (VR), a technology that has been widely used in mental health applications for different disorders with very good results in terms of acceptance and effectiveness. Nevertheless, no VR paradigm has been specifically developed to provide psychological support after pregnancy loss. With the AViR project, we aim to fill this gap in the literature by proposing the development of a multi-scenario VR prototype that leverages on the adaptability of VR and traditional psychological support protocols to deliver a personalized intervention specifically targeted at perinatal grief. Specifically, we propose a protocol that encompasses 4 different virtual scenarios, each one designed to address a specific phase in the grief management process. We will use procedural generation, non-conversational empathetic avatars, and interactive narratives to deliver an experience that is personalized to each user. The virtual scenarios will be deployed in an all-in-one Head-Mounted Display to increase the level of immersion and allow the patient to be in a safe space where emotions can be freely expressed. This exploratory project will assess the feasibility of the proposed approach by testing a prototype system in a controlled study with 20 women that suffered an early pregnancy loss in the last 6 months. Patients allocated to the treatment group will undergo an intervention that comprises 3 weekly sessions of 60 minutes for4 weeks with the VR prototype. Patients will be assessed for symptoms of grief, post-traumatic stress, and depression before and after the intervention. 

Programa de Financiamento:
Concurso para Financiamento de Projetos de Investigação Científica e Desenvolvimento Tecnológico em Todos os Domínios Científicos – 2021

Referência do Projeto:
Título: Digitalizando a Aquacultura: da análise preditiva à plataforma fotónica inteligente (DIGIAqua)

- Investigador Responsável: Carlos Marques
- Instituição proponente: Universidade de Aveiro
- Co-Investigador Responsável: Ana Cristina Rebola Pereira
- Instituição participante: Universidade da Madeira, ISOPlexis

Período de execução do projeto: de 01-01-2022 a 31-12-2024 
Orçamento total: 249 844,18 €
Orçamento Universidade da Madeira: 71 635,90 € 

This project aims to develop a new sensing technology for the aquaculture industry in order to address the actual sustainable United Nations (UN) policies related with the future of Aquaculture. This will be achieved taking advantage of sensing technologies breakthrough, namely through the setting up of optical fibres, their biofunctionalization and calibration based on artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms able to predict critical events for aquaculture monitoring process. PhotonFish is a joint force of academic teams (UAVR, UMa) with a great know-how in optical sensors, nanotechnology, instrumentation, analytical chemistry, data processing and biosensing with a close relationship with aquaculture industry (Safiestela SA and Akvaplan-niva, external collaborators and advisers), experts on recirculated aquaculture systems (RAS). This know-how merging makes DIGIAqua a highly promising project, where the multidisciplinary team will contribute for a highly innovative sensing and multi-modal monitoring platform. 

Programa de Financiamento:
Concurso de Projetos de Investigação de Caráter Exploratório (PeX) em Todos os Domínios Científicos - 2021

Referência do Projeto:
Título: Dinâmica da metacomunidade de espécies com ciclo de vida complexos em ecossistemas explorados (LAPACOM)

- Investigador Responsável: Joana Vasconcelos, Assistant Professor Invited at UMa
- Instituição proponente: Universidade da Madeira
- Instituições participantes: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), Secretaria Regional de Mar e Pescas (SRMar), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC)

Período de execução do projeto: de 01-12-2021 a 31-05-2023 
Orçamento total: 49.833,51 €

LAPACOM aims to combine theoretical predictions with empirical data and experiments from intertidal metacommunities as a case study to predict future trajectories in fragmented and exploited ecosystems accounting for spatial structure, complex life cycles, migration and demographic processes. This will be achieved by focusing on three main objectives: (1) Infer how complex life cycles are influencing persistent trajectories along disturbed metacommunities; (2) Interpreting the role of human exploitation on spatial synchrony and extinction probability; and (3) Explore diversity patterns at intra-and inter-specific level to disentangle the role of the spatial structure in predicting metacommunity persistence.
The main purpose of the present project is to explore complex life cycles in metacommunities to predict future scenarios in human-exploited ecosystems.