IEEE Foundation

Announcing The 2023 IEEE Entrepreneurship Impact Award Recipient

Hugo Plácido da Silva

Announcing The 2023 IEEE Entrepreneurship Impact Award Recipient

The IEEE Entrepreneurship Impact Award recognizes an individual who has had a significant impact on the engineering-driven entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The accomplishments of the candidate should be of “significant importance” and should have made a distinguishing contribution to the entrepreneurial ecosystem of a country/region.

The person/team will receive an honorarium of US$2000 and a plaque commemorating their achievement.

The IEEE Entrepreneurship Impact Award Judges identify individuals/teams that are building innovations geared towards benefiting humanity and building a strong inclusive ecosystem.

IEEE Entrepreneurship would like to offer the utmost gratitude for the volunteer time and effort of our 2023 IEEE Entrepreneurship Impact Award Judge team:

Award recipients are scored and selected based on the following judging criteria: 

  • Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • Value creation 
  • Impact
  • Sustainability
IEEE Entrepreneurship is excited to announce the 2023 IEEE Entrepreneurship Impact Award recipient:

Hugo Plácido da Silva is an award-winning inventor, researcher, and entrepreneur, having co-founded multiple innovative technology-based companies, operating in the fields of biomedical devices and data science for healthcare and quality of life.

He is also one of the founders of PLUX – Wireless Biosignals, S.A., a global reference in the field of medical devices, where Hugo is currently a Board Member and Chief Innovation Officer.

He has been actively working to make the world a little more physiological, through BITalino, a low-cost hardware and open-source software kit that currently has tens of thousands of users worldwide, and that allows anyone, from students to professionals, to develop projects and applications that incorporate biomedical signals.

Hugo’s Testimonial:

“Upon receiving the announcement it seemed unbelievable; I had to read it multiple times before the news really sank in. IEEE is a globally recognized flagship society for engineering, and being honored with the “IEEE Entrepreneurship Impact Award” is undeniably one of the highest appraisals in my line of work. This recognition currently stands as the pinnacle of my career, being even more notable when considering that, to the best of my knowledge, I am the first Portuguese citizen to be bestowed with such a prestigious award.

I’m fortunate to be among those who can say they’ve spent very few days “working” in their lives… not because of lack of employment (fortunately), but rather because when you do things you love and you’re passionate about almost every single day, there are virtually no boundaries between what is work and what is just pure joy. However, the path to reach this stage hasn’t always been easy, requiring countless hours of dedication to make my entrepreneurial endeavors successful. Despite the challenges and necessary compromises, recognitions like this one prove that the journey is following the right track and are an incentive to continue trailblazing.

It is important to note that, beyond individual recognition, this recognition also pays homage to a vast and dedicated team. A team that starts in my family, whose unconditional understanding and loving support is at the root of all my achievements. A team that extends to all the friends, colleagues, collaborators, students, and support staff – both current and past – whose collective efforts contribute to every success throughout the years. A team that spans the many institutions that have played a crucial role in my work. To all of them my sincere thanks and congratulations for this achievement which is also yours. 

Lastly, I would like also to extend a special word of appreciation to Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), for the support throughout the years, which has greatly contributed to this result.”                                          

BITalino derives from the Biomedical Innovation Toolkit initiative, originally developed at Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT) to enable students to gain hands-on biosignals experience in the lab, classroom, or wherever their learning journey brings them. It has later evolved to become an affordable & open-source biosignals platform particularly suitable for Education & Prototyping using physiological sensors. 

BITalino (r)evolution, the latest generation, is compatible with easy-to-use software (OpenSignals) & hardware blocks with sensors for electrocardiography (ECG), electromyography (EMG), electrodermal activity (EDA), electroencephalography (EEG), motion and more. It is easy to use for new & experienced users in any field. 

With BITalino, lecturers can rapidly set up virtual or in-person classes while ensuring that each student interacts individually with the biosignal acquisition platforms.

This way, students not only get hands-on experience but also experience biosignals at their own pace and creativity.