Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) main page.

Note for navigation with support technologies: in this page you find 3 main elements: search engine (shortcut key 1); the highlights at the main area of the page (shortcut key 2) e main menu (shortcut key 3).

Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC)
Home  > Knowledge Networks  > Projects  > Fraunhofer – Portugal

Fraunhofer – Portugal

The Fraunhofer – Portugal Program focuses on the creation in Portugal of a Fraunhofer Center for Assistive Information and Communication Solutions, planned to evolve to be the 1st Fraunhofer Institute outside Germany.

The preparatory work for the Fraunhofer – Portugal Program was formalized on the 18th of April of 2007, with the signing of an agreement (Portugal-Fraunhofer: Memorandum of Understanding towards a long-term collaboration) between the Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), the Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) and the FhG – Fraunhofer Gesellschaft – the society that manages 56 applied research laboratories in Germany and is the largest applied research organization in Europe – focused on emerging technologies, exploring mutual interests in science and technology for social well-being, economic growth and quality of life.

The focal areas for this collaboration were identified on the basis of a preliminary opportunity assessment that was conducted in 2006 (Preliminary assessment conducted to launch a Fraunhofer Institute in Portugal). They include information and communication technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, advanced production engineering and logistics.

The core objective of the agreement is to establish a framework for systematic cooperation between Fraunhofer Institutes and R&D institutions in Portugal, and to set up a Fraunhofer Institute in Portugal in the short-term, dedicated to applied research in technology, applications and services for ambient assisted living. This will be the first Fraunhofer Institute to be set up outside Germany.

The Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) is part of the Joint Fraunhofer – Portugal Steering Committee, set up to supervise, manage and develop the Fraunhofer – Portugal Program, together with the Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), a representative of the Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education and three representatives from the FhG – Fraunhofer Gesellschaft.

The ceremony for the signature of the agreement was presided by the Prime Minister of Portugal. Germany was represented by the Secretary of State for Education and Research, Frieder Meyer Krahmer, the Vice-President of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, U. Buller, and a delegation of directors and researchers from different Fraunhofer Institutes. From Portugal, the participants included the Minister and the Secretary of State of Science, Technology and Higher Education, the Secretary of State of Health, the National Coordinator of the Lisbon Strategy and the Technological Plan, the President of the Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC), a Vice-President of the Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), and other directors and researchers from different public bodies, Associate Laboratories, other R&D institutions, and enterprises.

This ceremony was part of a larger session dedicated to Reaping the Economic Benefits of Scientific Knowledge – Cooperation with the Fraunhofer Society (text in Portuguese), where different Fraunhofer – Portugal Knowledge Networks were presented and the respective partnership agreements were signed, namely:

In June-July 2007, the Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), the Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) and the FhG – Fraunhofer Gesellschaft announced in Germany and Portugal the public call opened for Director and Qualified Staff for the Fraunhofer Institute in Portugal. On the 9th of July 2007, it was publicly announced (text in Portuguese) that this Institute would be set up next to the University of Porto.

The Fraunhofer Portugal research center AICOS – Assistive Information and Communication Solutions initiated activities in May 2008 at the University of Porto, under the direction of Dr. Dirk Elias, hired in the international call announced in June-July 2007 in Portugal and Germany. In November 2009, the AICOS Center was integrated in the Fraunhofer Portugal association which was then created by the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and the Portugal-Germany Chamber of Commerce and Industry to own and manage Fraunhofer ventures in Portugal.

Last updated ( 24/10/2011 )