04 August 2009

New Interactive Techologies Institute Kick off in Madeira

The University of Carnegie Mellon, the University of Madeira and the Madeira Tecnopolo signed, on July 23, a protocol establishing the Madeira - Interactive Technologies Institute (Madeira - ITI), the first institute of innovation in the archipelago, devoted to the area of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
The ceremony was attended by more than 70 people, including the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Mariano Gago, the Secretary of State for Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, the vice president of the Regional Government of Madeira, João Cunha e Silva, vice president and Provost of Carnegie Mellon University, Mark Kamlet, rector of the University of Madeira, Castanheira da Costa, director of the Carnegie MellonPortugal Partnership at Carnegie Mellon, Fonseca de Moura, and Nuno Nunes one of the scientific directors of the Carnegie MellonPortugal Partnership and the initiator of Madeira—ITI.

This Institute will operate as a separate department, with the primary objective of maintaining relationships and projects for sustainable and long-term cooperation with other institutions of Carnegie Mellon University. The Institute follows the success achieved in the dual Professional Master's Degree in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), under the Carnegie MellonPortugal Partnership.

“Madeira—ITI focuses on HCI, Entertainment and Services”, says Nuno Nunes.

Two years after the beginning of the partnership between Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Madeira, the professional Master program proved to be essential to attract talent and build critical mass in interdisciplinary areas such as HCI.
"This is a project of strategic leadership, resulting in a high-level partnership. An example to be followed by other Portuguese universities", noted the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education. The view was shared by Provost of Carnegie Mellon University who compared the situation of both universities (Carnegie Mellon and Madeira): "We are small universities with big ambitions, that choose areas where we can make a difference, in regions known as centers of know-ledge and which can be engines of the economy." About the Institute, Mark Kamlet emphasized: “this is a very natural step in what has been the partnership”. Castanheira da Costa stressed that this initiative demonstrates that "we are able to innovate." Fonseca de Moura was very pleased to see in only two years such initiatives: an Institute, real projects, recruitment of researchers of international renown, and the attraction of students around the world." Nuno Nunes explained that the aim is "to attract the best students of the World."
Foto 1. (left to right) Mark Kamlet, Provost Carnegie Mellon University, Castanheira da Costa, Rector Universidade da Madeira, and Raul Caires, president of Madeira Tecnolopolo.

Video of the Madeira-ITI quick off ceremony is available at http://www.uma.pt/portal/video/.

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