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CMU-Portugal Programme

General InformationTypes Of Cooperation ActivitiesTarget GroupsFinancing
Country Code: P226
Name of Programme: CMU-Portugal Programme
Organisation responsible for the programme: FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (Foundation for Science and Technology) Under the scope of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education
Type of organisation: Foundation
Country: Portugal
Web Link:
Starting Date 2006
Ending date
Joint initiative involving more than one Ministry? (if applicable)

Programme Description
General and specific objectives
The Portuguese Government, through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, entered into a long-term collaboration with the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) focusing on basic research and education.
The objectives, framework and structure of the collaboration were developed during a six month assessment study conducted by CMU between March and September 2006, which recommends that CMU foster collaborations with Portuguese institutions.
The CMU-Portugal Programme is governed by an international virtual institution, the Information and Communication Technologies Institute (ICTI), which is focused on Information and Communication Technologies, with two Poles: ICTI@CMU, resident at CMU, and ICTI@Portugal, resident in Portugal. The Institute has a unified administration: a Board of Directors, an External Review Committee, and the directors of each Pole.
The Portuguese Government intends to strengthen the country’s knowledge base at an international level through a strategic investment in people, knowledge and ideas and the CMU-Portugal Programme was designed together with other international partnerships with renowned research and education institutions worldwide to contribute adequate funding to support the development of basic research and education and to foster a set of new and diversified institutional partnerships.
It should also be noted that the goals of the overall operation include launching and promoting new research-based consortia at a national level and the CMU-Portugal Programme contributes to this effort by involving 9 different universities, together with a large number of research centres and 4 Associated Laboratories. From CMU, there are 7 Colleges, 8 Departments, and 6 Research Centers and Institutes that have direct involvement in this Programme.
The CMU-Portugal Programme has the following overall goals:
1. Create in Portugal first rate, internationally recognized, education and research programmes in areas of great interest for the Portuguese society, including information and communication technology,software engneering, cuber security, human and computer interaction, entertainment technologies, telecommunication networks, critical infrastructures, technology, innovation, and policy, as well as selected basic sciences, in particular, applied mathematics;
2. Promote in Portugal a new generation of technology-based companies, involving telecom operators, software companies and related institutions able to foster new economic activities at an international scale;
3. Recruit in the national and international arena a large number of students, post-docs, faculty, and researchers to join the education and research programmes in Portugal;
4. Increase significantly the number of advanced degree graduates in a short period in highly relevant areas. Over 5 years, this collaboration will involve directly between 200 and 300 post-graduate students (of which about 80 doctoral students);
5. Immerse the Portuguese institutions in a symbiotic environment with a leading international research institution;
6. Leverage the research carried out in Portugal with the research carried out at CMU in the context of these collaborations with a corresponding multiplicative effect;
7. Promote change and adoption of best practices by Portuguese universities so they are able to rapidly recognize and respond to new challenges and opportunities;
8. Establish a productive working relation between universities and research institutions and high technology companies.

Priority actions
CMU-Portugal Programme is organized in three dimensions:
D1. Advanced degree programmes. These programmes are equivalent to “Professional” Masters programmes. They are four semesters long programmes. Usually, students spend one semester at Carnegie Mellon and three semesters at the Portugal partner university. These programmes usually combine technology with business and public policy areas. In a sense some of these programmes are the equivalent of “MBAs” for technology in their areas of focus.
D2. Doctoral programmes,
D3. Research projects.
The advanced degree programmes and the doctoral programmes are dual degree programmes, i.e., the graduates of these programmes receive two degrees – one awarded by Carnegie Mellon University and one awarded by the Portuguese partner university.
As such, the programmes are structured to satisfy the degree requisites required by Carnegie Mellon University and the Portuguese University awarding the degree. The advanced degree programmes are delivered by Carnegie Mellon University in partnership with a Portuguese University.
There are five such programmes:
1. Software Engineering, in partnership with Universidade de Coimbra, with faculty from other Portuguese Institutions;
2. Information Technology with focus on Information Security, involving Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, with faculty from other Portuguese Institutions; and;
3. Information Networking, with Universidade de Aveiro in collaboration with Instituto de Telecomunicações, with faculty from other Portuguese Institutions.
4. Human and Computer Interaction, with Universidade da Madeira
5. Entertainment Technology, with Universidade da Madeira
Doctoral degree programmes include PhDs in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Language Technology, Software Engineering, Engineering and Public Policy, Mathematics, and Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Research projects are in a number of areas and they complement well the educational programmes.
Students recruited to the different Advanced dual degree programmes and doctoral dual degree programmes have been recruited internationally by admissions committees from both Carnegie Mellon and the partner universities. Advanced dual degree programmes have been recruited from many companies. Students in advanced dual degree programmes spend usually one semester of their programme at CMU. Students of doctoral dual degree programmes spend usually two years at Carnegie Mellon and three years at the Portugeuse partner university. These students are co-advised by a professor at Carnegie Mellon and one professor at the Portugeuse partner university.
Besides the students enrolled in dual degree programmes,the programme also involves CMU and Portuguese faculty, graduate students, post-doctoral associates and research staff. The programme has established a striving faculty exchange programme. Several faculties from Portuguese institutions are spending one semester long visits at CMU where they participate in co-teaching, integrate research groups, and participate in all other activities of the hosting Department.
As of Fall 2009, about 170 students have been enrolled in the programme, of which about 50 are PhD dual degree students. The first 50 students from the first two classes of the several advanced dual degree programmes have graduated. The first “Diploma Ceremony” of the programme was held at Universidade de Coimbra in February 2010. This ceremony was chaired by the 4 Rectors of the Portugeuse partner universities (Universities of Aveiro, Coimbra, Lisboa, and Madeira) and the President from Carnegie Mellon University.
On the research front, besides the research carried out within the several dual degree programmes by the students and their co-advisors, both in the dual degree advance “professional” masters programmes and the dual degree doctoral programmes, the programme has launched several “seed” research programmes and has held two publicly contested research calls. There were over twenty proposals submitted in each of these two calls. Requirements of each call included that at least two different Portugeuse universities, one team at Carnegie Mellon, and one company be involved. The first call selected 10 projects for support. The second call is still under evaluation as of May 2010.
The CMU-Portugal programme is building a “virtual” campus where students enrolled in any of the dual degree programmes (advance “professional” masters or PhD degrees) regardless of where they are physically resident in each semester are fully enrolled both at Carnegie Mellon and in the Portugeuse partner university. The courses taken by dual degree programme students that are taught at a partner university in Portugal are vetted by Carnegie Mellon and are subject to the same scrutiny of any other CXMU course and are subject to the same review and approval stringent process. Likewise courses taken by these students while at Carnegie Mellon are accepted as regular courses by the partner university. Moreover, Portugeuse partner universities in the CMU-Portugal Programme have signed an agreement where they also accept courses vetted by the CMU-Portugal Programme as their owns courses, regardless which Institution is teaching them. CMU-Portugal students who are physically at one of the partner Universities in Portugal may take, through distance learning facilities, CMU-Portugal vetted courses offered at another partner university, including Carnegie Mellon or any of the other Portugeuse partner universities.

Students in the CMU-Portugal Programme have been recruited from thirteen different countries of all continents. Faculty recruited with support from the Programme by the Portuguese Universities have been recruited all over the World.

Management and coordination
Foundation for Science and Technology
Under the scope of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education

Expected or achieved outputs, outcomes and impacts
Over 170 students enrolled in the different dual degree programmes of which 50 students are in the dual degree doctoral programmes.
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