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Portugal and The University of Texas at Austin Collaborate on Education and Research Initiatives

Published on March 23, 07 by Faith Singer-Villalobos

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 Jose 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@Portugal will involve a large consortium of Portuguese research and education institutions.

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, IC2 Institute, the Austin Technology Incubator, and the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC).

Role of the Texas Advanced Computing Center TACC will collaborate with Portuguese institutions in advanced computing, specifically in the area of distributed and parallel computing. This collaboration will include joint research and development and information exchange in deploying and operating large-scale computing systems. Initial research topics include application frameworks and runtime environments for creating distributed applications, and techniques for optimizing the performance of parallel and distributed programs. TACC staff members will also work with Portuguese students studying at The University of Texas at Austin.

"TACC is pleased to have this opportunity to work more with our colleagues in Portugal and we look forward to a productive collaboration," said Warren Smith, manager of TACC's Distributed and Collaborative Computing group. "I hope this agreement forms the basis for a broad collaboration in computational and computer science between UT Austin and Portuguese 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.

For more information on the overall Portugal and UT Austin collaboration, contact: Tim Green, 512.475.6596.

For more information about TACC's involvement, contact: Faith Singer-Villalobos, 512.232.5771.


Faith Singer-Villalobos

Communications Manager | 512-232-5771

Aaron Dubrow

Science And Technology Writer

Jorge Salazar

Technical Writer/Editor | 512-475-9411