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CMU Portugal Program hosted the 2nd Board of Directors Meeting of the 3rd phase

The Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program held its annual Board of Directors (BoD) Meeting on June 17th. The BoD is part of CMU Portugal’s governing structure and is responsible for policy oversight and discussion of the CMU Portugal Program plan of activities. The Meeting proceeded with the online presence of:

  • José Paulo Esperança, Chair of the Board of Directors, Vice-President, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
  • James H. Garrett, Provost, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Paulo Jorge Ferreira, Rector, Universidade de Aveiro, Representative of the Council of Portuguese Rectors
  • William H. Sanders, Dean, Carnegie Mellon University, College of Engineering
  • Rogério Carapuça, President of the Portuguese Association for Development of Communications (APDC), Representative of Industry.

The Meeting’s agenda started with opening Remarks by José Paulo Esperança (FCT), James H. Garrett (CMU), and William H. Sanders (CMU), followed by the presentation of the CMU Portugal Progress Report (2018-2019) by the CMU Portugal Directors.

CMU Portugal strives to be the main data-economy driver promoting an ecosystem with a tight coupling between cutting-edge research, world-class graduate education, and highly innovative companies. During these past two years, the Program has addressed these goals by deploying a set of new instruments:

1. Talent Development – revamping the dual-degree Ph.D. programs and preparing a new generation of advanced executive training for companies, while also promoting the exchange of faculty and students with CMU.
a. 14 new Dual Degree Ph.D. students
b. 10 Visiting Faculty and Researchers in 2019
c. Advanced Training Courses

2. Knowledge Creation – by launching seed funding research projects that bootstrap small-scale research collaborations, in high-risk, frontier research topics.
a. 7 new Exploratory Projects will start this year and in 2021

3. Innovation and Entrepreneurship – establishing and renewing the industry affiliates program and launching a new call for industry co-funded flagship projects.
a. 14 new research Industry Affiliates
b. 10 new Large-Scale projects starting in 2020 led by innovative companies

4. Communication and Outreach – by renewing the Program’s image as a platform for international scientific collaboration that positions Portugal at the forefront of the Digital Economy, and raising awareness about the potential of the country, its scientific community, and the ecosystem of highly innovative companies in the digital domain.

The highlight of 2019 was launching an ambitious call for research projects under the CMU Portugal Program. The international evaluation panel recommended the funding of 10 Large-Scale Collaborative Research Projects with a total public and private investment of 21M€.

The Board of Directors learned and evaluated the initial ideas and progress of five of these projects (CAMELOT, GOLEM, iFetch, MAIA, WoW) and discussed the unique challenges and opportunities these projects represent. Due to time restrictions, it was not possible to discuss the remaining projects, but this was scheduled for a subsequent opportunity. In particular, the directors will soon hold individual meetings with each of the remaining teams (AIDA, BEE2WasteCrypto, lntelligentCare, Safeforest, TAMI).

The Board Meeting also counted with the participation of a Representative of the External Review Committee, Sir John O’Reilly; the CMU Portugal National Directors, Nuno Nunes and Rodrigo Rodrigues; the CMU Portugal Director at CMU, José M.F. Moura; the Executive Director in Portugal, Sílvia Castro; the Associate Director at CMU, Megan Flohr; and Ricardo Araújo from the International Partnerships Office at FCT.