Innovative Projects Give Positive Advantages to Portugal

On March 1, 2011, the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program held the ICT Portugal Workshop: New Project in Networking, Software, Energy and Security, at Centro Cultural e Científico de Macau, in Lisbon. The event gathered more than 30 researchers, dual degree Ph.D. students, and entrepreneurs to discuss the link between academia and business, leveraging the knowledge creation and the exportation growth of high technology evolution of the most recent research projects.

Throughout the day, the 12 principal investigators who were awarded funding in the second Call for Proposal revealed the main ideas and objectives, to be achieved by 2013. These 12 selected projects include, for example, the development of software systems to ensure the reliability of infrastructure and services to prevent aircraft accidents or combat a highly damaging bug, the creation of systems that anticipate errors and adapt automatically, or the management of next generation networks applied to television and video services we know today.

João Sentieiro, president of the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), opened the workshop with a positive message about the progress that these new projects represent, as "a way of demonstrating that this partnership [with CMU] should continue." Additionally João Barros, national director of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program, took stock of the last five years and the growth of the partnership, whose "excellent performance was evidenced by the external evaluators of the program."

"The international assessment of new projects has revealed the high quality of many research groups in Portugal and the bonds of trust established with many national companies and renowned researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)," said João Barros. "We believe that these projects will bring great benefits not only for the various stakeholders, but also for society in general."

João Barros also spoke about the crucial importance of the investment in research and development carried out by the FCT, "by focusing on creating advanced knowledge in consortia with strong business participation and in close cooperation with a very strong American partner. The Carnegie Mellon Portugal program allows exploring Portugal’s new ways to create value in areas such as software, energy, next generation networks and cyber security, where the country can develop comparative advantages."

These 12 projects are the result of the last Call for Proposals that took place between 2009 and 2010. They were selected from a total of 22 that were evaluated by a panel of four international experts: Sir John O’Reilly, Luigia Carlucci Aiello, Tariq Durrani, and Joel Moses.

The projects are developed by researchers from six Portuguese institutions of higher education (Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, Fundação da Faculdade de Ciências, Faculdade da Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra, Instituto Superior Técnico da Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto do Instituto Politécnico do Porto, Universidade Católica Portuguesa), Carnegie Mellon University, and more than 10 companies, including Portugal Telecom, Novabase, Nokia Siemens, Critical Software, OutSystems, EDP, EPRI, ISA, Autonomy - Renewable Resources, Logica, Observit, among others.

João Barros said that this program "also contributed to the strengthening of national competence in information and communication technologies and has had a greater international impact of the work of many researchers, students and industry professionals."

March, 2011