The Conference Theme Explained
The UT Austin Portugal Program is about to complete its third funding cycle. The ideation exercise about the future, which started in 2021 with the support of the Program’s Governing Board and the External Review Committee, gathered pace in 2022. The main stakeholders in this exercise agree that future directions must consider the Program’s accomplishments over its 16-year journey and the main challenges Portugal faces now and in the coming years as a member of the international community.
What accomplishments has the Program generated that can be used to design scientific action for the most pressing societal problems? Drawing on its past outcomes and impact, where can the Program continue to make a difference in the future? Sixteen years may be considered a long time to have a return on investment with public funds. Still, one must remember that research, incredibly collaborative and international, takes a long time to establish: first, to build trust and communication, then to produce results. Moreover, impactful change in science and technology does not happen overnight.
The Partnership’s framework is in place and has been tested, fine-tuned and proven to benefit the Portuguese community and the country’s international standing. But what lies ahead? Where should the Program be looking to go on delivering unique value and expanding the breadth of its impact?
The 2023 Annual Conference wraps up Phase 3 of the Program with an agenda that offers a platform to ideate on an ambitious future for Portugal drawing on UT Austin Portugal Partnership’s strengths.