The MIT-Portugal Program is an international collaboration seeking to demonstrate that an investment in science, technology and higher education can have a positive, lasting impact on the economy by addressing key societal issues through quality education and research in the emerging field of engineering systems.
The program is supported by a national initiative involving seven Portuguese universities and 14 research centers that has targeted bio-engineering systems, engineering design and advanced manufacturing, sustainable energy systems, and transportation systems as key areas for economic development and societal impact. The high-level partnership represents a strategic commitment by the Portuguese government to science, technology, and higher education that leverages MIT’s experience in these important areas in order to strengthen the country’s knowledge base through an investment in human capital and institution building.
Similar programs have been established by the Portuguese government with UT Austin – which has a focus on digital media, advanced computing and math; with CMU – whose focus is on IT, critical infrastructures, innovation and applied math; and with Harvard focusing on biomedical sciences. These international programs are an investment in human capital, designed to make Portugal a relevant partner for future joint ventures in the emerging knowledge-based, global economy.
Dr. Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Chairman Emeritus, IBM Academy of Technology and Visiting Professor of Engineering Systems, MIT, who delivered the second MIT Portugal Program Distinguished Lecture on June 5th says:
Portugal is working hard to carve its proper role in our increasingly competitive global economy. It must figure out how to best compete against larger and more developed countries, as well as against countries with significantly lower labor costs. It is not an easy task, and there are no silver bullets or shortcuts. The only answer, – recommended by just about every panel that has looked into the problem, – is to promote a climate of innovation in the country through a strategic commitment to develop talent, investments and infrastructure. This will enable the country to find its proper role in the world’s economy. This is what Portugal is aiming for.
But why partner with MIT and other international universities? In today’s global environment, it is not enough to just be good within your own boundaries. You must be part of the world’s knowledge eco-system. MIT, UT Austin, CMU and Harvard are among the leaders in that knowledge eco-system, which is why Portugal has chosen to partner with them.
- MIT-Portugal Program
- Dr. Irving Wladawsky-Berger: “Technology, Engineering and Innovation in the Services Economy,” (PDF file)
- Tony Knopp, Senior Industrial Liaison Officer, MIT: “Universities as Economic Engines: The MIT Experience” (PDF file)