The Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, visited on February 1st Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) on an official visit, along with a delegation of 15 people including the President of Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT), Paulo Ferrão; Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program National Co-Director, Nuno Nunes; representatives of Industry, including REN and Altice; and faculty members of several Portuguese universities and research centers.
The visit was focused on strengthening the cooperation in ICT between the Portuguese Government and CMU through the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program (CMU Portugal), by promoting strategic networking meetings among the Portuguese delegation and research groups, faculty, and leaders of CMU. The visit was hosted by the Director at CMU of the CMU | Portugal Program José Moura and included discussions with James Garrett, CMU’s Provost, and Farnam Jahanian, CMU’s President.
On January 31st, the Portugal delegation had a chance to discuss their research on one-to-one meetings with CMU researchers to identify synergies and break new ground for future collaborations.
On February 1st the agenda was more inclusive and provided an overall approach to CMU research and education initiatives. The Portuguese delegation had a warm welcome from CMU Provost James H. Garrett during a working lunch where the Portuguese Minister presented the national strategy for Artificial Intelligence “AI Portugal 2030.”
CMU Portugal Directors, Nuno Nunes and José M. F. Moura, presented an overview of the program (link to presentation ) and announced some of the future initiatives such as the launch of new Executive Training Programs, the takeoff of both Faculty and Student exchange programs between Carnegie Mellon and Portuguese universities, and a call for large research projects that will launch soon. This call for projects will be the first launched in Phase III of the CMU|Portugal Program under the Global Science and Technology Partnerships (GoPortugal) initiative. The planned global budget is 18 M€ and will fund collaborative R&D projects between companies, non-corporate entities of the R&D system under the scope of the Portuguese international partnerships, which includes the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Portugal partnership. For this call, CMU Portugal projects will focus on the broad ICT area with a focus in Data Science and Engineering; Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; Autonomy and Mobility; Cloud Computing; Design in a Variety of Societal Settings and Applications. The expected opening date for the call is February and more information will soon be available at our website and social media pages.
The presentations were followed by a lively discussion with a full room of CMU Faculty and Portugal visitors with interest in exploring new opportunities in research, education, and innovation between Portugal and CMU through the CMU Portugal partnership, in particular, through the call for projects that will soon be launched. Furthermore, Altice and REN representatives, Luís Miguel Silva and João Afonso, respectively, discussed some of the technological challenges that their companies would be interested in tackling in the next few years.
Following lunch, the Minister for Science, Technology, and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, and the President of Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Paulo Ferrão, had a private meeting with CMU President Farnam Jahanian where it was reinforced the commitment of both sides towards the success of the CMU Portugal program in exploring new research frontiers in ICT towards a global innovation ecosystem.
Besides Minister Heitor and President Ferrão the Portugal delegation included from Industry: João Afonso, Head of the Asset Management at REN and Luís Miguel Silva, Director at Altice Labs; from Academia: António Cunha, Full Professor, Polymer Engineering Department, University of Minho (UMinho); Cristina Santos, Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial Electronics (UMinho) and at Research Center CMEMs; Eduardo Tovar , Head of CISTER Research Center from Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto – ISEP; Fernando Silva, Associate Professor, Computer Science Engineering Department, School of Technology and Management of the Instituto Politécnico de Leiria; Jorge Fernandes, Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (DEEC) of Instituto Superior Técnico and a Senior Researcher of INESC-ID; Luís Caires, Full Professor of Computer Science, Head of the Department of Informatics at Faculty of Science and Technology of Nova University of Lisbon and also one of CMU Portugal Scientific Directors; Paulo Leitão, Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering at Instituto Politécnico de Bragança; Ricardo Machado, Full Professor, Department of Information Systems (UMinho); and Rui Oliveira, Associate Professor, University of Minho, and member of the board of INESC TEC.
On January 31st and February 1st the Portuguese delegation met with CMU leaders, faculty and researchers including: Barnabas Poczos, Associate Professor, Machine Learning Department; Cameron Riviere, Research Professor, Robotics Institute; Gauri Joshi, Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Giulia Fanti, Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Hartmut Geyer, Associate Professor, Robotics & Biomedical Engineering; James C. Hoe, Interim Department Head, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Javad Mohammadi, Systems Scientist, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Jeff Schneider, Research Professor, Robotics Institute Website; John Zimmerman, Professor, Human-Computer Interaction Institute; Jon M. Peha, Professor, Engineering and Public Policy, and Electrical and Computer Engineering; Justine Sherry Martins, Assistant Professor, Computer Science; and Electrical and Computer Engineering; Kyle Miller, Project Scientist, Auton; Mario Berges, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Pei Zhang, Associate Research Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering; Peter Steenkiste, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science; Richard Scheines, Dean, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences; Ruben Martins, Assistant Professor, Computer Science; and Srinivasan Seshan, Department Head, Computer Science. Many more additional faculty members that attended the open session on the lunch of February 1st .