Updated by UFSC, fortalezas.org database surpasses 11 thousand images of fortifications in the world

27/12/2021 14:41

Last November, the International Database on Fortifications – Fortalezas.org surpassed 11 thousand images of fortifications around the world. The access to the research platform is completely free and the responsibility of feeding the database belongs to the Fortresses of the Santa Catarina Island Coordination (CFISC) team at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), together with external collaborators.

The video below shows how the database works and how to participate as a volunteer:

Learn more about how to use the platform here.

The database is constantly updated and now has more than 300 videos and 4,000 bibliographies, in addition to over 1,000 biographies of historical characters. In the last 12 months, between November 2020 and November 2021, 3,188 new images were added to the platform – which includes not only photos, but also paintings, iconographies, maps, etc.

1848 painting of the Fort of Santa Cruz da Horta, Azores, available at Fortalezas.org

In addition, information on 884 fortifications was also registered or updated in the database, totaling 2,593 records of this type of building.

The International Database on Fortifications – Fortalezas.org is a multimedia and collaborative virtual tool. Its development started in 1999, and the platform was finally launched on the internet in 2008. The project is maintained by CFISC, linked to the Office of Culture and Arts (SeCArte) at UFSC.


In the last 12 months (between November 2020 and November 2021), the database received information on:

  • 884 fortifications around the world, out of a total of 2,593 records on the platform;
  • 777 new bibliographies, out of a total of 4,093 available (most of them with full content in PDF);
  • 46 biographies of historical characters, out of a total of 1,003 entries in the database;
  • 56 new links referring to sites with content about fortifications, totaling 1,189 websites;
  • 148 new thematic videos on fortifications, out of a total of 310 available;
  • 3,188 new images of fortifications, including photographs and old iconographies, from a total of more than 11,000 on the platform.

Translated by SINTER/UFSC.

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UFSC launches Brazilian Portuguese Survival Course for foreign students

08/12/2021 18:17

 Developed to be a first experience for international visitors before arriving in Brazil, and an important tool in the University’s internationalization process, the Brazilian Portuguese Survival Course arose from a clear need: a large number of international students at UFSC enter and leave the institution without learning to speak Portuguese. With this in mind, the staff from the Office of International Relations (Sinter) united their ideas and experiences with the technical expertise of the Office of Distance Education (Sead) to develop a 100% asynchronous Portuguese language course, fully adapted to situations that take place at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC).

The objective of SINTER and SEAD is to train international students, faculty and staff, who will carry out mobility and academic cooperation activities at UFSC, by offering an online, self-instructional course that will enable them to communicate in basic Portuguese. The course seeks to help in the welcoming process of the participants when they arrive at UFSC and to awaken their interest in learning the Brazilian language and culture.

The initiative, it is believed, is unprecedented and had to be created from scratch, since there were no similar courses at other universities, according to both Offices. It was developed by content experts, Portuguese/English Language teachers, and professionals from SEAD and SINTER.

For the pedagogue Joyce Regina Borges, who helped develop the course content, the main concern was to select the contents that would in fact be essential for the first contact with the Brazilian Portuguese language. She also lists some of the challenges in creating the course: being able to include some cultural aspects for a better understanding of the language; providing audio for as much of the content as possible to facilitate familiarity with the pronunciation; and being able to do all of this in a 20-hour course.

The structure of the course consists of five content modules, each comprising three lessons. At the end of each lesson, a “Practice Time” session proposes automated feedback activities to ensure students’ learning and autonomy and to check their achievements.

Division of the course into modules (Image: course screenshot).

The modules also feature the “Cultureme” session, which introduces some aspects of Brazilian culture, and the “Tip Time” session, which brings useful information to help students handle the new language.

In this journey, students will not be alone. They will receive help from Diogo, Natália and Lincoln, characters inspired by real UFSC staff members. They will also have the company of Angela, Frederick and Paloma, fictional characters who, throughout the course, share their experiences as foreign students at UFSC. All the audios of the characters in the course were recorded by SINTER staff members (Bruno Wanderley Farias, Caroline Finatti, Diogo Robl, Guilherme Carlos Costa, Luciana Miashiro Lima and Paula Eduarda Michels).

For the Secretary for Distance Learning, Luciano Patrício Souza de Castro, every distance training initiative must be seen today as a great and proven opportunity to efficiently and effectively achieve real learning results. In this sense, the Brazilian Portuguese Survival Course, as a self-instructional course, is engaging in centering the learning on the participants through the use of technologies that facilitate course completion. The course contents, educational proposal, visual aids and navigability are impact factors that guarantee learning success for those willing to survive in Brazilian Portuguese.

“The course is visionary, totally innovative, and may attract students from all over the world who wish to learn Portuguese at UFSC”, says Professor Lincoln Fernandes, Secretary for International Relations. He presents data on the increase in the number of international students at the University as a result of remote learning. Before the pandemic, UFSC had approximately 250 international students on its campuses per semester. Now, with the virtual activities, the sum exceeds twice that number of students.

Characters interact with students for a better experience in the course (Image: Course screenshot).

The course is now in its testing phase. An initial version has already been released internationally and, according to SINTER, many foreign partners are looking forward for their students to register in the course. Professor Gisele Orgado, a graduate of UFSC, is responsible for conducting the pilot course with Portuguese students at the University of Birmingham, in the United Kingdom.

After this first test, the course will be reviewed and will undergo adjustments for improvements. Once everything is in place, it will become available on the Moodle platform to students around the world. “It is important to point out that this course is aimed at English-speaking people, but the idea is to soon adapt it to speakers of other languages: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Russian, among others” Lincoln says.

More information about the course can be found on SINTER’s website.


Translated by SINTER/UFSC

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UFSC Observatory is launched with more than 300 indicators on 21 areas of university activity

06/12/2021 21:54

On 30 November, the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) promoted the official launch of the UFSC Observatory, a platform for transparency and management support that integrates, in a single environment, data and information from various domains of the University.

Representatives of the Ministry of Education, the state government, the National Association of Directors of Federal Higher Education Institutions (Andifes) and the Santa Catarina State Foundation for the Support of Research and Innovation (Fapesc) participated in the online ceremony.

The Rector Ubaldo Cesar Balthazar, the Vice-Rector Cátia Regina de Carvalho Pinto, prorectors, secretaries, school deans, heads of departments, undergraduate and graduate program coordinators, students, faculty, and administrative staff from UFSC also participated. The web conference was streamed on YouTube.

The online ceremony was opened by the Rector, Ubaldo Cesar Balthazar, who greeted those present and shared an overview of the Observatory. “The purpose of this platform is to provide an overview of the most varied topics, relevant not only to university management but also to the academic community, control bodies and society as a whole.” The Observatory debuts this Tuesday with more than 300 indicators on 21 areas of activity at UFSC, and will be gradually expanded.

Dream and courage

UFSC’s Secretary for Innovation, Alexandre Moraes Ramos, said that the Observatory is a project linked to a dream and a courage. The dream of former Rector Luiz Carlos Cancellier de Olivo, who, upon taking office, expressed his desire to create a tool to modernize management and provide transparency to UFSC’s actions, and the courage of Rector Ubaldo Balthazar to move the project forward, bring the team together and implement the proposal.

Alexandre Ramos also stated that the Observatory will support medium and long-term strategic decisions to make management more efficient and prepare UFSC to be competitive at a global level. The Secretary for Innovation recalled the fact that UFSC was recently placed among the three most innovative universities in Brazil and stated that the moment is one of digital transformation.

Fernando Richartz, Secretary for Planning and Budget, presented some panels and data from the Observatory, which launched with 106 decision support dashboards and more than 300 indicators on 21 areas of UFSC, including teaching, research, outreach, administrative management, types of admission, among others. He mentioned UFSC’s initiatives to give back to society, informing that the outreach actions involved more than 3 million people from 2017 to 2021. He also highlighted the availability of UFSC’s budget data on the platform, meeting a demand from society and from governmental and non-governmental control bodies for transparency in the use of public resources allocated to the University.

Next steps

The Secretary also presented what the Observatory’s next steps should be, including automating the platform’s feeding processes as much as possible; incorporate new panels and themes according to user interaction; increase partnerships with other institutions and provide cross-referencing of information with other databases; and foster the internationalization of the Observatory, presenting the platform in other languages and incorporating Artificial Intelligence mechanisms. Fernando Richartz also informed that the Observatory will have a physical structure, located at the Rectorate Building Hall, for displaying the panels.

Then, the floor was passed to the representatives of the entities present. The president of FAPESP, Fábio Zabot Holthausen, told the Rector that having a tool like the Observatory is every manager’s dream. FAPESP provided the “seed capital” for the project, funded through resources from a Call for Proposals in support of the State’s Technological Innovation Centers (NITs). “We are very happy when we see the use of resources bringing innovation, bringing effectiveness and efficiency,” said Zabot.

Professor Gustavo Balduíno, Executive Secretary of Andifes, highlighted that UFSC managed, in this period of difficulties, after several months of pandemic, to present a quality project. “The resources allocated at the university bring concrete results to society,” said Balduíno. He informed that Andifes intends to launch the Ecograd system shortly, a panel that will gather information about all federal universities in the country.

Social Accountability

The State Controller General, Cristiano Socas da Silva, representing the state government, congratulated UFSC for carrying out the project. A graduate of the institution, he called the Observatory “a magnificent platform”. “UFSC is already a source of pride for being a reference in research, teaching and outreach, now it presents this model of good management practices and public transparency”, he said. The Controller also mentioned initiatives by the state government to make management transparent. “Social accountability is the best and least expensive of controls,” he said.

Eduardo Gomes Salgado, Secretary for Higher Education at the Ministry of Education, pointed out that, in addition to transparency, the Observatory brings an immense opportunity for research on UFSC’s own data. “UFSC’s governance and transparency are growing and the governmental and non-governmental control bodies have noticed this”, he said.

Vice-Rector Cátia Regina de Carvalho Pinto said that, as a manager, she was very pleased to participate in the launch of the Observatory. She highlighted that UFSC has been innovative over the years, especially during the pandemic period. “We continue dedicating ourselves to science, knowledge and the defense of life”, said the Vice-Rector.

At the end of the virtual ceremony, the Rector Ubaldo Balthazar made an analogy with the world of theater: “Open the curtains and let the show begin”, said the Rector. He mentioned the former Rector Cancellier again. “It was during his administration that everything started and, with a lot of work and competence of the teams involved, in our administration we implemented this project”.

According to the Rector, the Observatory represents a new era in university management, “which increasingly strengthens our mission, which is to produce, systematize and socialize philosophical, scientific, artistic, and technological knowledge, broadening and deepening students’ education for the professional practice, critical thinking, and national and international solidarity with a view to building a just and democratic society and also guaranteeing quality of life”.

Watch the launch ceremony.

Translated by SINTER/UFSC.

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UFSC is one of the three most innovative universities in the country

03/12/2021 14:10

The Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) was a finalist in the Startup Awards 2021 and was ranked among the three most innovative universities in the Brazilian innovation ecosystem. There were over 44 thousand indications for the 15 award categories, and three finalists were chosen for each category based on the largest number of votes. In the University category, UFSC competed for the award with the Universidade de São Paulo (USP) and the Pontífica Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUC-RS), with USP taking first place. The trophy award ceremony took place on 19 November 2021.

The motivation to participate in the event began with the SINOVA UFSC Startup Mentoring Project, which connects the university to the innovation ecosystem in Santa Catarina. For Professor Alexandre Moraes Ramos, Secretary for Innovation at UFSC, the recognition of the award allowed for a historical retrieval of the innovative and entrepreneurial culture existing at the university.

According to Professor Ramos, the project, which started with a small unit on the Florianópolis campus, is now present on all UFSC campuses, with the objective of promoting ideas and creating innovative startups. He stresses that the project is exclusively aimed at the academic community, and that many researchers feel welcome to participate and promote new business ideas with high social impact.

The SINOVA UFSC Startup Mentoring Project seeks to encourage business ideas arising from research projects or ideas from the UFSC academic community to be mentored by market and academic experts so that they become high-impact innovative solutions. According to Ramos, there is a virtuous circle in this process and each idea proposed by a student, a professor or a staff member at UFSC can give rise to a startup that grows and generates knowledge, wealth and jobs.

The recognition of UFSC as one of the most innovative universities in Brazil demonstrates that actors in the country’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem perceive the university as an engine of technological development, sought to create solutions that meet the demands of various sectors of civil society. The Office of Innovation (SINOVA) is also responsible for managing the intellectual property assets from the institution’s organic body, and has been working on prospecting projects with the potential to become startups.

Closer to society

In 2022, SINOVA plans on pursuing an even closer relationship with innovative projects that have as goals reducing poverty, dealing with social vulnerability and achieving a sustainable balance with the environment. With the aim of applying the human knowledge generated within the university  towards constructing business ideas with significant social impact, the first edition of SINOVA UFSC Social Mentoring launches in November. The event is a new branch of SINOVA UFSC Startup Mentoring focused on business ideation aligned with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

The idea of the SINOVA UFSC Social Mentoring project is to connect UFSC with the communities, thinking and generating ideas for the eradication of poverty and protection of the environment. Ramos emphasizes that the project follows the same line of reasoning as a business ideas competition, but focused on innovation and social entrepreneurship.

With information from the Office of Innovation (SINOVA).


Translated by SINTER/UFSC.

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