And what a year it has been! As we are about to bid farewell to another year, we can’t help but contemplate the last 12 months and realise what they meant for the UT Austin Portugal Program, what value we were able to create with the support of our ever-growing enthusiastic community and committed stakeholders.
This partnership serves as a living reminder that working together is the best way to craft long-term success and purposeful, impactful change. Although geographically confined to two epicentres – Portugal and UT Austin – the Program has been fostering successful international scientific and technology cooperation for more than a decade. And 2019 was no different.
This year, with reinvigorated ambition towards 2030, the Program:
1) Granted 8 Portuguese researchers the opportunity to benefit from a unique advanced training program at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), home to the fastest academic supercomputer in the world;
2) Welcomed the first Portuguese supercomputer, BOB, brought all the way from TACC to the Minho Advanced Computing Center (MACC). This machine is a unique infrastructure in the country serve not only top computational scientists but also a number of sectors that will greatly benefit from advanced computing techniques and resources. Additionally, it played a key role in Portugal’s successful application to host Deucalion, one of the 8 new European supercomputers;
3) Supported two competitive calls for projects proposals aligned with socially relevant international research agendas: one aimed at selecting and funding industry-driven R&D projects, the other at bootstrapping high-risk, high impact exploratory projects. Both types of projects had to foster team work between researchers and organizations in Portugal and at UT Austin. Besides promoting these calls, the Program launched its first profile cooperation database to facilitate partner search and matchmaking, which turned out to be a success;
4) Organized a number of training and networking events across all the scientific areas of the Program, including the 2019 Annual Conference, with top-notch speakers from UT Austin and Portugal’s R&D+I ecosystem. Over 400 people attended events organized with the seal or with the support of the Program since the beginning of 2019, allowing us to establish relations beyond the geographic scope of the partnership itself.
This sense of achievement comes with the acknowledgement that we must go on delivering on our commitments and meeting our community’s expectations and needs. The bar has been set high, but so has been our ambition to make a lasting impact on science and innovation.
We are very much looking forward to building on our ever-growing experience and go much further than before. May 2020 be another year leading us in that direction.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The UT Austin Portugal Program