The George Winter award is established by the European Society for Biomaterials -ESB ( to recognize reputable scientists with outstanding research contributions in the field of biomaterials. The nominee must have contributed significantly to the knowledge in this area through basic, experimental or clinical research. It is considered to be the highest distinction for researchers working in the broad field of biomaterials research in Europe. João F. Mano, director of the COMPASS Research Group, was the recipient of the George Winter 2020 award. The award was received in the last ESB conference, that took place in September 2021 remotely from Porto, where João F. Mano presented the inaugural plenary lecture, entitle “Design of biomaterials/cells structures for bottom-up tissue engineering strategies – less is more”. In his lecture he emphasized the need to better control the biological performance of cells by improving their dialogue with (small quantity of) biomaterials. Prof. Mano highlighted the extraordinary work that have been developed by the members of the group, in particular under difficult circumstances, that have permitted to elevate the recognition of the COMPASS Research Group, CICECO and University of Aveiro in the field of advanced biomaterials and tissue engineering.