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Signed contract that renews FCT- MIT partnership for another five years

The Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) has renewed its partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The contract, signed this month, formalizes the launch of the second phase of the MIT Portugal Program, approved in late 2012. This pioneering collaboration in the area of education and research, which brings together universities, industry and government around a common agenda of excellence and innovation, is thus assured until 2017.

Launched in 2006, the Program focuses on the training of highly qualified human resources in science, technology, entrepreneurship and innovation, and on the development and implementation of projects with high economic and social impact, in emerging areas of systems engineering: sustainable energy systems, transportation systems, bio-engineering systems, and advanced production methods.

In this second phase, the emphasis is on strengthening innovation and entrepreneurship, through the development and implementation of larger projects, in areas of economic relevance, and the promotion of "living laboratories" that demonstrate, through concrete projects, the economic and social benefits of partnerships between universities and companies for the development of technology with high commercialization and export capacity.

In the same vein, the training of professors and students in MIT's unique and entrepreneurial environment aims to stimulate change in higher education in Portugal, with positive effects on the Portuguese economy.

Miguel Seabra, President of FCT, expresses his expectations for this second phase of the MIT-Portugal Program, "The challenges are considerable, since the program will have to operate in a context of a smaller budget, but we have every confidence that the potential, in terms of knowledge and products, created by the MIT-Portugal Program in the first phase will be realized in this second phase, through application to concrete situations in our social fabric, innovation and entrepreneurship".