21 July 2009

Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute: Conducts research and provides graduate training

The Executive Vice President and Provost of Carnegie Mellon University, Mark Kamlet, will be in Madeira on July 23 to sign a protocol with the University of Madeira to establish the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (MADEIRA-ITI). This initiative is the result of the successful dual degree professional master’s program in human computer interaction under the Carnegie MellonPortugal Partnership.

The Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (MADEIRA-ITI) will be an innovation institute as defined by the statutes of the University of Madeira and established as an associated independent non-profit R&D organization whose founding members are the University of Madeira, Madeira Tecnopolo SA, and Carnegie Mellon University. The goals will be to conduct research and provide graduate training in the domain of human-computer interaction, contributing to the development of the field. MADEIRA-ITI also aims to support collaborations with other research and higher education institutions and companies, including consulting services.

“Promote Madeira as a Living Lab for open innovation of companies.”

MADEIRA-ITI builds on the vision of the Carnegie MellonPortugal Partnership to consolidate a strategic plan that:
1. Enables the University of Madeira to create the first innovation institute in the strategic area of information and communication technologies by pursuing a distinctive theme around interactive technologies – including Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and its industrial applications;
2. Creates the conditions to take the current Masters in HCI program into a sustainable model that leverages the quality standards of Carnegie Mellon professional graduate education, providing the program with the necessary agile administrative support while maintaining the fundamental relationship with high-quality research and industry involvement;
3. Promotes the regional government’s goal of changing the economic development model of Madeira, leveraging the attraction of talent and industry involvement in key distinctive areas like HCI, thus generating critical mass to attract industry and develop new innovative services in Madeira;
4. Enables the development of new professional programs required to bring Madeira into the international landscape of interactive technologies while reassuring the quality standards of the small-class model of the MHCI. Areas of particular relevance currently being pursued are entertainment (with synergies for tourism) and service design (with synergies with the international business center);
5. Incorporates a new thematic area of Human-Computer Interaction in the network of Associated Laboratories accredited by FCT, thus contributing to the consolidation of critical mass at the national level in particular for emerging and non-traditional interdisciplinary areas in Portugal, like HCI, and promote Madeira as a Living Lab for open innovation of companies in Europe and elsewhere.

The ceremony will be held on July 23 at 20 p.m. at the University of Madeira. Present at the ceremony will be José Manuel Nunes Castanheira da Costa, Rector of the University of Madeira, Mark Kamlet, Provost of Carnegie Mellon University, José Fonseca de Moura, Director of ICTI@Carnegie Mellon, and Carnegie MellonPortugal Partnership, Nuno Nunes, Scientific Director of ICTI@Portugal, and members of national and regional government.

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