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Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC)
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Carnegie Mellon – Portugal

The Carnegie Mellon – Portugal Program focuses on Internet of the Future Technologies, namely New Generation Networks (NGN) for high quality reliable services, cyber-physical systems for ambient intelligence, human-centric computation, technological change in ICT analysis and public policy.

This Programme was launched on 27th October 2006 in Aveiro, focusing on Information and Communication Technologies and is based around the joint development of a virtual international institute by Carnegie Mellon University and Portugal, called the Information and Communication Technologies Institute (ICTI), which will operate out of two campuses: ICTI@Portugal and ICTI@CMU.

The adopted cooperation model is based on advanced education programmes and research programmes, namely three annual advanced Professional Master training programmes with a joint degree awarded by Carnegie Mellon University and a Portuguese university (Software Engineering, Information Networking, Information Security), five PhD programmes with a joint degree (Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Language Technology, Technical Change and Innovation, Mathematics) and research programmes (Software Engineering, Information Networking, Information Security, Critical Infrastructures and Risk Assessment, Computational Language, Technical Change and Innovation, Mathematics).

The Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) signed the respective collaboration agreement which encompasses 12 higher education institutions (11 universities and 1 polytechnic institution) and their respective affiliated research centres and units in the thematic areas involved, 4 Associate Laboratories, the ISQ – Institute for Welding and Quality, the FCCN – Foundation for National Scientific Computation and UMIC. UMIC is principally involved in the Technology, Innovation and Public Policies area, in particular in the subarea of Public Policies for Online Industries and Software and in the topic of Telecommunication Policies and Management.

A series of agreements was also signed between the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation (FCT) and key enterprises that have been selected as Entrepreneurial Partners for the new Institute and the Carnegie Mellon – Portugal Programme:

  1. With Portugal Telecom, which assumes the coordination of the industry partners, having pledged to co-fund the program, but more importantly having, for the first time in Portugal, assumed the commitment to allocate human and material resources to R&D projects in such a way that its internal R&D spending will be doubled by the end of 2009, with the R&D expense reaching 1.5% of the total turnover by 2011. In this way, Portugal Telecom is aligning in technological intensity with the reference international telecom operators. Portugal Telecom is also supposed to increase its involvement in European R&D programs, doubling its participation in R&D projects under the European R&D Framework Program. The number of highly-qualified executives recruited by the Portugal Telecom Group shall converge towards international best practice, with the hiring of 5 new PhD holders by the end of 2009, as well as assuming the commitment to sign 12 new contracts with specialists who will conclude Professional Master or equivalent programs over the next 5 years, namely from the pool of specialists to be trained under the Carnegie Mellon – Portugal Program.
  2. With Novabase, SA, which co-funds the program and assumes the commitment to increase its internal R&D spending to reach 1.5% of total turnover by 2009. The number of highly-qualified executives recruited by Novabase shall converge towards international best practice, with 3 new PhD holders to be hired before the end of 2009, together with 12 new contracts for specialists to be recruited from the Professional Master equivalent programs over the next 5 years, namely from the pool of specialists to be trained under the Carnegie Mellon – Portugal Program.
  3. With Siemens Networks Portugal, which promises to increase its internal spending on R&D to reach at least 5% of total turnover, and to ensure that the number of PhD holders recruited attains levels similar to international best practice, providing 10 new contracts for PhD holders up to the end of 2009, as well as 25 new contracts for specialists over the next 5 years.
  4. With a group of 16 Portuguese technology-based SMEs which shall be affiliated to the new Institute established in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, and which assume the commitment to assure the percentage of PhD holders in their staff to reach 5% of the total or to hire at least one new PhD holder up to the end of 2009, guaranteeing similar figures to international best practice, as well as to double their internal spending on R&D up to the end of 2009 or so that it accounts to at least 5% of total turnover.

After the launching of the Carnegie Mellon – Portugal Program, an additional Professional Master was created: the Master of Human Computer Interaction, organized by the Human Computer Interaction Institute and the School of Computer Science (SCS) of Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Madeira. An additional PhD program was also established in February 2008: the Doctoral Program in Engineering and Public Policy: Networked Systems, organized by the Department of Engineering and Public Policy of Carnegie Mellon University and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of IST (DEEC-IST), and with connections with other public bodies such as the ANACOM – National Communications Authority and the Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC)

Within the Carnegie Mellon – Portugal Program several research projects are developing on topics including the fight against “phishing”, critical infrastructure protection, protection systems in electrical power networks with dispersed and intermittent power generation units, management and operation of fault tolerant networks, control and interaction in multi-agent decisions. 

At the 1st Carnegie Mellon – Portugal Annual Conference: "Boot and Re-Connect", held on June 22, 2009, the new strategy document prepared by the Program directors was presented and discussed, after being analyzed at the 5th Meeting of the Carnegie Mellon – Portugal Program Board of Directors, convened at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA, on 27-28  of May, 2009. 

On July 23, 2009, the University of Madeira, Madeira Technopole and Carnegie Mellon University signed a protocol to create a new private R&D institute in Information and Communication Technology, the Madeira – Interactive Technologies Institute (Madeira – ITI), which had also been presented at the 5th Meeting of the Carnegie Mellon – Portugal Program Board of Directors. This initiative stems from cooperation within this Program and, in particular, from the success of the dual degree Human-Computer Interaction Master program which was sponsored by the University of Madeira. The Madeira –  Interactive Technologies Institute is the first institute created in the framework of the new University of Madeira statutes, and it will bring together three Master courses in Computer Engineering, Interaction and Entertainment, the last two offered as double degrees with Carnegie Mellon University. The institute will be housed in premises provided and adapted by the Madeira Technopole, bringing together some 20 professors and senior researchers and more than 80 Master and Doctoral programs. It will also support several R&D projects involving enterprises.

Last updated ( 24/10/2011 )