The associate laboratory CICECO – Aveiro Institute of Materials, formerly CICECO-Centre for Research in Ceramics and Composite Materials, was created in March 2002 at the University of Aveiro, Portugal, with the mission of developing the scientific and technological knowledge necessary for the innovative production and transformation of ceramics and organic-inorganic hybrids and materials for a sustainable development.

CICECO is the largest Portuguese institute in the field of materials science and engineering, with over 440 people comprising 49 academic staff, 125 full-time researchers, 13 post-doctoral associates and 212 PhD students. Activities are supported by 19 technicians and administrative personnel.


João Coutinho

João Mano

Paula Vilarinho

Rute Ferreira


our mission

Create and disseminate scientific and technological knowledge to develop, process and apply materials that will anticipate and address the challenges of a global society.


our vision

To strengthen our leading role as an inter-disciplinary European research laboratory in the field of materials;

Contribute to the development of a scientific culture at the national level and educate students to high levels of scientific literacy;

Stimulate innovation within the industrial sector.


main lines of expertise

i) Information and Communication Technology;

ii) Energy and Industrial Applications;

iii) Sustainability and Health;

iv) Computing and Modelling.


scientific production

CICECO is one of the most productive research institutes in the country in all scientific areas. Between 2002 and 2020 we have produced:

  • average of 5 SCI (Science Citation Index) papers published per year per academic staff or full-time researcher;
  • 7491 SCI papers (many in top journals);
  • 183 filed patents, 73 of which international;
  • 373 PhD theses.


international context

CICECO is a truly international research centre. For example:

  • 28% of our full-time researchers and 42% of post-docs are non-Portuguese;
  • we are part of the main stream materials research in Europe;
  • we are actively involved in the Network of Excellence 'Functionalised Advanced materials and Engineering of Hybrids and Ceramics', FAME, and in the INTERREG IIIB 'Materials Network for the Atlantic Area', or in Integrated Projects such as 'Innovation and Sustainable Development in the Fibre Based Packaging Value Chain';
  • we are running the two Erasmus Mundus M.Sc. courses, the 'Joint European Masters Programme in Materials Science' with the universities of Aalborg and Hamburg, and a FAME programme;
  • we hosted one of the first and very few Portuguese Marie Curie Training sites, 'Advanced Ceramic Materials: Synthesis & Structure'.


knowledge transfer

CICECO is also committed to knowledge transfer to industry, through its Centre for Materials Design and Technology - CDTM.

Our spin-off company FoodMetric (now terminated) was started together with the Food Chemistry Group of the Organic Chemistry, Natural and Agrofood Products Research Unit of the Chemistry Department of the University of Aveiro. Other CICECO spin-offs include:

  • SMALLMATEK - Nanotechnology solutions applied to the protection against corrosion (running)
  • BRAVESOUND- Materials and devices for microelectronics (on hold)
  • AGORAMAT - Calcium phosphate based products for biomedical applications (sold)
  • TETRACARBON - solutions based on advanced ceramics and materials coated with diamonds (terminated)

In 2006, CICECO started a consortium with some 6 SME companies, IDPoR, 'Research and Development Platform on Polymers from Renewable Sources'.



CICECO is probably the best equipped institute in the country to perform research in materials science. In particular, we are the focal point of the Portuguese Electron Microscopy Network and also house the top solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance facilities. We are also one of the best equipped national centres for X-ray diffraction (single crystal, powders and films).