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Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute Declared Public Service Institution

The multidisciplinary Institute is recognized for its contribution to the region Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute Declared Public Service Institution

The Portuguese Government declared the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (M-ITI) a public service institution that “provides and develops activities of public interest through research and development in the field of human-computer interaction in Madeira” and “organizes and carries out its activities, without profit, for the benefit of the entire region” as of February 12 th 2015.

The resolution, published in the Official Journal of the Madeira Autonomous Region, further justifies the decision by arguing that the M-ITI creates and supports “advanced training initiatives for human resources and provides services in the same sphere, cooperating with higher education and research institutions in the human-computer interaction area”.

According to Prof. Nuno Nunes, president of M-ITI and scientific director of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program, the Institute had an impact “of 10 million euros in project portfolio in the recent years, which means employment, services and taxes for the region”, he declared in an interview to the Diário de Notícias Madeira in February. The official statistics show that the Institute “represents 15% of the R&D expenses of the region.” Prof. Nunes goes on to illustrate that this number means that “if it wasn’t for the M-ITI, Madeira would be 15 years behind in terms of science and technology intensity, back to 2001 numbers.”

The M-ITI is an Institute of Innovation as defined by the statutes of the University of Madeira, established as a non-profit private associate, whose founding members are the University of Madeira, Madeira Tecnopolo S.A. and Carnegie Mellon University. It is the result of the institutionalization of the international partnership Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program, with the support of the regional government, dedicated to research and education in the area of computer science and human-computer interaction.

Over the course of the five years of its existence, the M-ITI has enjoyed the support of the Regional Government of Madeira, the CMU Portugal Program, of several companies, and of the North-American University, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). It is an association of research and development public, non-profit, which is part of the associated LARSyS laboratory, which develops interdisciplinary research in Robotics and Engineering Systems, bringing together four R&D units, involving the University of Lisbon (through IST-Instituto Superior Técnico) and the University of Madeira.

In 2013, the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute experienced two major accomplishments: inaugurated its new facilities and received a European Research Area Chairs ( ERA Chairs) grant of €2.35 million for the following four years, under the pilot program of the European Commission’s (EC) Horizon 2020 Framework Program. It was awarded to the Portuguese project LEAPFROG HCI-DI , presented by the Madeira-ITI. This was the only grant awarded to Portugal.

February 2015