Tampere Ambassador: Florentino Santos

Where are you from?
I am originally from Porto, Portugal and have lived there for 23 years.

What would you like to tell about yourself?
I “landed” in Tampere in September 2011. I got an Erasmus internship scholarship to do my master´s degree internship and thesis in TUT. I had two choices: Milan or Tampere. Chose the latter as the project suited my field more specifically: medical image processing. Currently I am doing my PhD in TUT also in medical image processing. If curious here’s the link for the project: http://www.tut.fi/en/about-tut/departments/electronics-and-communications-engineering/research/research-labs/vasim/index.htm

During my studies of engineering and biological sciences, I have come in contact quite often with entrepreneurship activities and courses that have molded my view and have incited me to create a strong desire to take my scientific knowledge into industry and the creation of innovation, both personally and with colleagues, friends and family.

Also I think that, since I moved to Tampere, the number of hobbies that I have grew exponentially. One thing that I was taught was to never get bored. I had already as hobbies reading, swimming and saxophone. Now I also added hiking, photography and cycling. Tampere differs from my home city as it is much easier to get out of the house and be in contact with nature. I think that Tampere has an amazing life-quality that I have never seen anywhere else.

Why is Tampere the best place to live?
Tampere suits all my requirements to become a great city. I love to live here as, not only all my friends are here, but it has a very cultural and laid back attitude. Also the people are friendly, always willing to help you and everyone speaks English. I am ashamed that, after 5 years in Finland, I still lack the language J Also, the work environment is really great. Everyone is open to new ideas and it is more social and flexible than in other countries.

What are your professional activities?
Currently I am a PhD researcher in TUT but have also started in Portugal a SME that is giving its first steps in the market.

What is your involvement in international activities?
Nowadays I do not have a strong presence internationally. I am used to travel to my home country at least three times per year and, whenever I can, to attend conferences abroad. In Portugal I still have quite a broad network and try to maintain it both in academia and industry.

What is your mission as a Tampere Ambassador? How do you want to help?
My mission can be divided into two topics: represent the city abroad, both in Portugal and the countries I visit by my work and to help bridge Finnish companies, industry and academia to Portuguese and South American and African countries’ counterparts. I believe that together we can grow stronger, faster and more sustainable.

What potential do you see for Tampere in the future?
Tampere is an active evolving city. I am aware of the expansion and development plans for the future of the city. I think that the value that they will bring will help, not only to create intra and inter-connections but also to make a more competitive and flexible city. Tampere has a lot to offer, both internally but, most critically, internationally. When we observe all the value that is created in this city we become amazed of the potential underlying the peaceful appearance of the city.

Link with Florentino on LinkedIn >>

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