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Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC)
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Development Days: Knowledge, Empowerment and Technology Transfer

 - 20/04/2010

Logotipo de “Os Dias do Desenvolvimento” The 3rd “Development Days” (site in Portuguese), an initiative of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, sponsored by IPAD – Portuguese Development Support Institute, IP, were held on 21-22 April 2010 in the Pavilhão do Rio at the Centro de Congressos de Lisboa, Junqueira. As part of the programme, the “Knowledge, Empowerment and Technology Transfer” Conference (text in Portuguese) was held on 22 April, from 3pm to 5pm for all interested parties in the Pavilion. It was organised by The Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC), of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, in partnership with IPAD. This Conference focussed on different aspect of Portuguese development cooperation in the fields of science, technology and higher education knowledge, empowerment and technology transfer.

Programa da Conferência (/images/stories/noticias/Programa.pdf)

The importance of empowering human resources and institutions was highlighted at the conference, as was creating and transferring knowledge and technology for scientific development in general and for development policy in particular.

Special attention was given to the innovative PhD and post-doctoral initiatives the Global Science Programme, launched by Portugal in the framework of setting up the UNESCO Centre for Advanced Training of Scientists from Portuguese-Speaking Countries. This was proposed by Portugal and supported by the CPLP (Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries) countries and is orientated towards countries’ needs and not just those of individual researchers, looking at the issue from a structural perspective and involving institutions from different countries.

Portugal, which is responsible for this year’s CPLP presidency, took the initiative of proposing the establishment of a UNESCO Centre (text in Portuguese) at the Meeting of CPLP Science, Technology and Higher Education Ministers that was held in Lisbon on 29 August 2009. Ministers at this meeting decided to welcome, support and monitor the groundbreaking initiative setting up the UNESCO Centre for Advanced Training of Scientists from Portuguese-Speaking Countries as a shared body, marrying top-level advanced scientific training with scientific responsibility, public dissemination of Science, knowledge of conditions for scientific activity in the country of origin, participation in international networks and projects and innovative independent  international scientific evaluation (see the final declaration (text in Portuguese) from the Ministers’ Meeting).

Portugal handed UNESCO’s Director-General the letter formalising the suggestion to set up a UNESCO Centre on 18 September 2009, together with the Lisbon Declaration by ministers from CPLP countries. Portugal further informed UNESCO of the intention to launch an initial advanced training programme immediately in accordance with the stated objectives and principles. The Global Science Programme (text in Portuguese) was launched by the Science and Technology Foundation - FCT in October 2009 with the opening of a call for PhD and post-doctorate research grant awards. It is intended to pre-empt the UNESCO Centre, which is being prepared, coming on stream. The programme encourages institutions and researchers from Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé e Príncipe, and Timor-Leste to start activities suggested for the UNESCO Centre through cooperation between Portugal and these countries.

Other activities falling in the scope of Portuguese Development cooperation in the fields of science, technology and higher education were presented and discussed at this conference, namely those regarding support for the establishment of a polytechnic institute in Angola and for the polytechnic institute in São Tomé e Príncipe, along with the establishment of a technology transfer centre in Cuanza Sul, Angola, for future University Development cooperation activities and prospects, for cooperation between the national civil engineering laboratories of Portugal, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Macau, Mozambique, São Tomé e Príncipe and Timor-Leste, and for e-Science cooperation in the CPLP (see programme at “Knowledge, Empowerment and Technology Transfer” Conference (text in Portuguese)).

Following on from the “Knowledge, Empowerment and Technology Transfer” Conference, a session was organised by the IICT - Scientific and Tropical Research Institute, IP (site in Portuguese) State Laboratory, also from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, and by the CPLP Executive Secretariat on the topic Networks promoting mutual knowledge in the CPLP (text in Portuguese). The session was held in the same auditorium from 5pm to 6.30pm and took stock of the current situation three years after the Bissau Declaration on the UN MDGs—Millennium Development Goals.

To mark the 3rd "Development Days" (site in Portuguese), the Portuguese Development Support Institute (IPAD) (site in Portuguese), with the collaboration of the Directorate-General for Innovation and Curricular Development (DGIDC) (site in Portuguese) from the Ministry of Education and UMIC - Knowledge Society Agency, IP, from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, launched the “Vamos Esmiuçar o Desenvolvimento (Let’s Get the Low-Down on Development) Competition, which was open to secondary-school and university students until 15 April 2010 who were interested in taking part through work on the topics chosen for the 3rd "Development Days" (text in Portuguese). The objective of this competition was to raise the awareness of students, the educational community and the general public of Development issues, chiefly by identifying the central challenges facing mankind on the cusp of the new millennium. The projects presented under the competition focussed on Portuguese Cooperation with Developing Countries, particular those with Portuguese as an official language, covering the core topic of “Citizenship and Development”, or the sub-topics: Communication and Development, Knowledge, Empowerment and Technology Transfer; Democracy, Rule of Law, Security and Development; Citizenship and Education for Development. The projects were assessed by a jury and the first two winners received a trip to São Tomé e Príncipe—one for the secondary-school entrants and one for the university entrants. This should enable the winning students to gain more in-depth direct knowledge of Development Cooperation issues.

Last updated ( 12/08/2011 )