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2008 MIT Europe Conference

 - 24/03/2008

Logo of MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology The 2008 MIT Europe Conference was held in Lisbon on 25-27 March 2008. It brought together enterprises and worldwide leaders and some of the main researchers and professors from MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology - and the Portuguese institutions involved in the MIT-Portugal Program to debate recent technological developments and management and organizational models in critical areas of business and industry, including energy, transportation, nanotechnologies and bioengineering.

The theme of the conference was "Global Strategic Frontiers: Research Imperatives and Organizational Change" and included the participation of representatives from companies such as Siemens, Shell, Eastman Kodak, BAE, BBVA and Corning.

The afternoon of the 25th provided an opportunity to discuss the development strategy of the MIT-Portugal program, one of the programs within the Knowledge Networks activities, and the results of its first 18 months, with emphasis on the development of innovative advanced training and its links to the business sector, and the energy sector in particular.

Several Portuguese companies associated with the MIT-Portugal Program presented some of their most recent developments, including presentations by Jorge Morales Cruz (Executive Director of EDP), Jorge Borrego (Executive Director of Galp Power), John Benedict (Executive Director of Brisa), and also Manuel Abecassis (Director of the IPO – the Portuguese Oncology Institute).

A partnership agreement between the Portuguese State and MIT was signed on the 26th, in a ceremony attended by the Prime Minister, under which Portugal became a member of the MIT Energy Initiative - indeed, as the first public member associated with this initiative. As a result Portugal now has a representative on the Program Governing Committee of the MIT Energy Initiative. This agreement was signed by Professor Ernest Moniz, Director of MIT's Energy Initiative and professor of Physics and Engineering Systems at MIT, by Prof. Paulo Ferrão, Director of the MIT– Portugal Program and the Minister of Science, Technology and Education. This agreement establishes a framework for cooperation in increasing knowledge of key energy systems and associated technological developments, including: the development and demonstration of innovative technologies for sustainable energy systems and transportation systems, decentralized energy, urban metabolism and green mobility, and advanced technologies and energy analysis.

At the same time a protocol was signed between the Portuguese State, represented by the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, and MIT, represented by the Dean of the Engineering School, to launch the Portuguese International Association of Science & Technology. This association has been set up in response to the opportunities that have been identified within the framework of the MIT-Portugal Program in the areas of engineering and management, and has the broader objective of promoting the involvement of companies in the internationalization of science, technology and higher education, as well as the strategic coordination of public and private investment to develop partnerships involving Portuguese institutions and internationally renowned institutions. The companies involved include BPI, BES, CGD, Energias de Portugal, Grupo José de Mello, VODAFONE, and REN, to which should be added the enterprises involved in funding other international partnerships, particularly Portugal Telecom and Novabase in the CMU-Portugal Program which is also underway as a Knowledge Networks activity. In this way new institutional arrangements are being established to foster the involvement of enterprises in promoting advanced education and research programmes at an international level.

A new research project for GALP in the area of Sustainable Urban Energy Systems, involving Portuguese and MIT researchers was also officially started.

Protocols were also signed linking various bodies to the MIT-Portugal Program, including the Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), the Portuguese Engineering Council (Ordem dos Engenheiros), the Portuguese Business Association (Associação Empresarial de Portugal), the Portuguese Industrial Association (Associação Industrial Portuguesa), the Forum for Business Directors (Fórum de Administradores de Empresas ), Proforum – the Association for the Development of Engineering (Associação para o Desenvolvimento da Engenharia), the Regional Agency for Energy and the Environment of the Autonomous Region of Madeira (Agência Regional da Energia e Ambiente da Região Autónoma da Madeira) and the Regional Agency for Energy and the Environment of the Autonomous Region of the Azores (Agência Regional da Energia e Ambiente da Região Autónoma dos Açores).

Last updated ( 04/08/2011 )