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Catarina co-founded Open Materials (do-it-yourself smart materials), Everywhere Tech (open source technology transfer), and AltLab (Lisbon's hackerspace). She has taught numerous hands-on workshops on hi-tech materials and simple circuitry with the goal of encouraging people with little to no science background to take an active interest in science, technology and knowledge-sharing. Previously, she co-chaired the Open Hardware Summit 2012, served on the board of directors of the Open Source Hardware Association, taught as an adjunct faculty member at ITP-NYU, and was a fellow of the National Science and Technology Foundation of Portugal.

Catarina recently wrapped up her PhD dissertation on the social impact of open and collaborative practices for the development technologies. She is Research Chair at the Open Source Hardware Association and a TED fellow.