AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin and the government of Portugal have agreed to a five-year collaboration that will emphasize education and research in digital media, advanced computing, mathematics and commercialization of science and technology.
The agreement was signed by José Mariano Gago, Portuguese minister of science, technology, and higher education, and Juan M. Sanchez, vice president for research at the university, in Lisbon on March 2.
The government of Portugal has contributed $25 million to the collaboration. The University of Texas at Austin expects to receive more than $11 million over five years for its participation.
In addition to the Portuguese government, 15 Portuguese universities, two associate laboratories, four science parks and two governmental agencies signed a consortium agreement to conduct joint education and research projects with the university.
The collaboration is expected to help accelerate development of Portugal’s economy in emerging areas of technology and to add to The University of Texas at Austin’s knowledge base in creating economic growth from new, developing areas of research.
"This agreement will provide a unique opportunity to promote Portuguese research teams and institutions at an international level, together with the media industry," said Manuel Heitor, Portuguese secretary of state for science, technology and higher education.
"The University of Texas at Austin’s collaboration with Portugal is an important step in our effort to build global alliances that share research talent, technology and entrepreneurial innovation," said William Powers Jr., president of the university. "We look forward to a long and productive relationship with our newly affiliated institutions in Portugal."
The collaboration will operate through a joint virtual institution called the International Collaboratory for Emerging Technologies, or CoLab.
CoLab@UTAustin will involve professors, researchers and students from the colleges of Engineering and Communication, the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Sciences, Radio-Television-Film, the School of Journalism and research centers and institutes, including the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, Texas Advanced Computing Center, IC2 Institute and the Austin Technology Incubator.
CoLab@Portugal will involve a large consortium of Portuguese research and education institutions.
The directors of CoLab@UTAustin are Sanchez, Robert Peterson, associate vice president for research, and Dr. David Gibson, associate director of the university’s IC2 Institute.
CoLab@Portugal will be jointly led by Dr. Joao Sentieiro, president of the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation, Dr. Luis Magalhaes, president of the Portuguese Knowledge Agency, Dr. Antonio Camara, a professor at the New University of Lisbon and chief executive of Y-Dreams, and Dr. Jose Cardoso e Cunha, director of the CITI Research Center, head of the Department of Informatics, and coordinator of the Parallel and Distributed Processing Group at the New University of Lisbon.
"This is a unique opportunity to bring together outstanding academics and entrepreneurs in Portugal and at The University of Texas at Austin to foster scholarly and research excellence and ramp up Portuguese science and technology development for international markets," Dr. John Butler, director of the university’s IC2 Institute, said.
Beyond this academic collaboration, a program of cross-national industrial affiliations has been planned and a number of technology-based firms, including Y-Dreams, a leading Portuguese media company, have committed to helping define the collaboration’s strategy and direction.
The collaboration is the result of a process started about a year ago, when the Portuguese government approached The University of Texas at Austin, Carnegie Mellon University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to explore possibilities for joint education and research programs.
The commercialization aspect of the collaboration is the University Technology Enterprise Network (UTEN). It will be bring together technology transfer offices in Portuguese public universities and major science parks with the IC2 Institute and the Austin Technology Incubator.
UTEN will include an exchange of entrepreneurs and technology transfer officers to aid the promotion of technology-based business in global markets.
For more information contact: Tim Green, 512-475-6596.