Accelerators are behind many major scientific and technological breakthroughs giving a gigantic contribution to unveil the mysteries of matter. This quest continues nowadays using the high-energy machines operating at large research centres like CERN, GANIL and FAIR, among others. Meanwhile most of the small and medium size accelerators running in laboratories located in universities and research institutions around the world begin a new life making available the powerful nuclear-based techniques for multidisciplinary research in several domains. Furthermore, the small and medium size accelerator facilities still play a major role in keeping and providing knowledge in Nuclear Science and training the new generations. The two electrostatic accelerators at Instituto Superior Técnico of the University of Lisbon are devoted to multidisciplinary research as well as education and training students in nuclear-based experimental techniques. The history and work carried out in the laboratory and its role in areas with great societal impact such as materials science, energy, biomedical sciences as well as nuclear experimental physics in support of the large-scale facilities, will be highlighted in the manuscript.