Luso-American Research Network


(formerly "Portugal-USA Research Network" - PURN)

Proposal (November 1995, last revised October 1998) and News (last updated January 2004)

Goals | Agenda | Strategy | Organization | Activities Plan | Activities and Events | LARN History | Proponents

1. Goals:

  • To support cooperation programs and research projects between Portuguese and USA institutions;

  • To foster USA-related research in Portugal and Portugal-related research in USA;

  • To help create opportunities, linking researchers to host institutions and programs, and facilitate finding the appropriate funding sources, inclusive through combined sponsorship, in both countries.

  • 2. Agenda:

  • - Promote joint research projects, between USA and Portuguese Universities / Research Institutes (U/RI);

  • - Make available case studies with USA data / events to Portuguese U/RI and vice-versa;

  • - Promote cooperation between USA and Portuguese U/RI in building a solid curricula and keeping it up-to-date;

  • - Promote exchange programs, such as faculty from USA and Portuguese U/RI cross-teach modules of courses as guest lecturers;

  • - Support participation of researchers from USA and Portuguese U/RI in conferences and talks in both countries;

  • - Facilitate designation of referees and program evaluators for/from both countries;

  • - Raise funding from interested community groups and organizations;

  • - Finance aid for visiting PhD and MS, MA students;

  • - Finance aid for joint USA/Portugal research projects.

  • 3. Strategy:

    USA-based headquarters. Focus on MIT/Boston area Universities (MIT/BAU) to start-up; link with other existing related programs elsewhere in USA.

    4. Organization (proposal):

    Executive Committee (one President, one USA-resident Vice-President, one Portugal-resident Vice-President, one USA-resident Secretary, one Portugal-resident Secretary); Advisory Board (3 to 9 elements). Preferably, at least one Executive Committee member should be professional/paid staff (or then have a staff Assistant).

    5. Plan for recurrent activities (proposal):

    6. Activities and Events:

    • LARN collaborated with MIT and CITIDEP to support the field study trip to Lisbon of 8 students from the MIT course "Urban Field Experience" , taught by LARN proponent Pedro Ferraz de Abreu at the Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. The trip will take place between 15 and 22 January 2004. The students will make an informal presentation at the Museum of Republic and Resistance of Lisbon, 21 January 15.30 PM, graciously invited by Dr. João Mascarenhas, Director of the Museum.

    • LARN collaborated with MIT and CITIDEP to bring portuguese researchers to attend the International Conference on Public Participation and Information Technologies 2003 (ICPPIT03), that took place at MIT, Cambridge, USA, 10-12 November 2003. Attended the Conference the following portuguese researchers:
      • Eduardo Anselmo de castro, Univ. Aveiro, supported by U.A.
      • Elizabeth Chalinor, CEA-ISCTE and CITIDEP, supported by GRICES
      • João Joanaz de Melo, FCT-UN Lisboa and CITIDEP, supported by FLAD
      • Maria João Antunes, Univ. Aveiro, supported by U.A.
      • Marta Pinto, Univ. Catolica Porto, supported by U.C.
      • Pedro Ferraz de Abreu, MIT and CITIDEP, supported by FLAD
      • Tania Fonseca, E.S. Açores and CITIDEP, supported by GRICES
      Attended also the following LARN supporters in the USA:
      • Rui Ponte, AER and CITIDEP
      • Timothy Sieber, Univ. Massachusets/Boston and CITIDEP
      • Ambrizeth Lima, Harvard U. and CITIDEP

    • LARN collaborated with CITIDEP organizing the visit to Lisbon of Melvin King, Professor Emeritus from MIT, as a participant in the Colloquium "Public Libraries and New Technologies".

    • LARN proponents (Pedro Ferraz de Abreu, CITIDEP President, and Tim Sieber, U. Mass/Boston Professor and CITIDEP Science Coordinator) co-organized the first videoconference between the University of Massachusetts / Boston campus and the "Forum Lisboa", Lisbon Municipality, with the participation of several international experts and the President of U. Mass., Professor Bulger.

    • Cooperating with CITIDEP and the New University of Lisbon, LARN promoted the participation of Professors Gary Marx and Melvin King (MIT Emeritus) at the International Conference on Public Participation and Information Technologies (ICPPIT99). This meeting was also supported by FIIP.

    • On the same occasion, LARN supported the invitation to Vice-President Al Gore to adress this International Conference (ICPPIT99), promoting multiple contacts with Portuguese and American Embassies, the Portuguese Foreign Minister, the PALCUS (Luso-American Caucus at the USA Congress) and the White House. This initiative resulted in a special message from V-P Al Gore to ICPPIT99, read during the Conference.

    • LARN proponent Pedro Ferraz de Abreu promoted the following meetings towards institutional cooperation between MIT and Portuguese entities:

      • Prof. Joseph Ferreira (Head of PSS - Planning Support Systems, MIT, and President of URISA) and Eng. Trigo de Abreu (President of the Institute for International Cooperation of the Minister of Science and Technology - ICCTI ), with focus on the current status and potential of future collaboration in academic programs;

      • Prof. Joseph Ferreira and Prof. Marco Painho (ISEGI-UNL, GIS Planet), with focus on GIS research at MIT and ISEGI;

      • CITIDEP Science Council - Portugal Chapter, hosted a welcome dinner for Prof. Joseph Ferreira and his wife.

    • LARN proponents (Pedro Ferraz de Abreu and Tim Sieber), promoted the following meetings towards institutional cooperation between MIT, U.Mass/Boston and Portuguese entities:

      • Prof. Bish Sanyal (Head of DUSP - Urban Studies and Planning Dept, MIT), Dr. João Soares (Mayor of Lisbon), and Dra. Margarida Magalhães (City CouncilWoman), with focus on the housing market, low-income housing, drug problem in slums, EXPO'98 project, city planning and GIS;

      • Prof. Bish Sanyal and Eng. João Cravinho (Minister of Planning), with focus on strategic planning for Portugal and academia-public administration relationship in planning;

      • Prof. Bish Sanyal and Profs. Manuel Assunção , Carlos Borrego (Vice-Deans of the University of Aveiro), with focus on academic projects of potential common interest;

      • Prof. Bish Sanyal and Prof. João Joanaz de Melo (CITIDEP Science Council and Faculty at Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa), with focus on environmental policy issues.

    7. LARN History:

    • LARN proponents (then called PURN - Portuguese-USA Research Network) meet and discuss the first proposal. Proponents include researchers Rui Ponte (AER), Pedro Ferraz de Abreu (MIT), and the following faculty: Timothy Sieber (U. Massachusetts / Boston), Ana Coito (Harvard University).

    • LARN (PURN) proposal is presented to the following MIT faculty: prof. Joseph Ferreira, Ralph Gakenheimer (Urban Planning), Elizabeth Leeds (Center for International Studies) , Edith Ackerman (Media Lab), Paul Brown (Center for Advanced Engineering Studies), who give very positive feedback.

    • LARN (PURN) proposal is presented to Julius Fabos, faculty at U. Massachusetts / Amherst, who gives very positive feedback.

    • LARN proponent Pedro Ferraz de Abreu met with the President of the Executive Committee of FLAD (Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento), Dr. Rui Machete, and with the USA board Head of FLAD, Dr Buchanan, about the possibilty of creating an informal association (PURN - Portuguese-USA research Network) to foster cooperation between MIT and other Boston Area faculty and researchers and equivalent Portuguese Institutions, as well as to provide a support base for fund raising for research projects related with Portugal, for both faculty and students.

      Dr. Rui Machete expressed FLAD interest, and suggested that FLAD could help this association in two ways: creating a channel for USA funds that are dedicated to Portuguese-USA cooperation through FLAD, and helping to obtain funds from Portuguese Institutions for concrete projects. FLAD would also consider some direct support, as well as possible matching funds in more formal or large-scale projects. Dr. Rui Machete suggested also an informal meeting in Boston in the near future, to further discuss the matter, and meeting with the Portuguese ambassador to promote further dialog.

    • At 14 September 1996, took place in Lisbon the foundation of CITIDEP - Research Center on Information Technology and Participatory Democracy. The new Center, with Chapters both in Portugal and USA, included the support to LARN as part of its program and mission.

    • LARN proponents meet with several members of Boston-Area portuguese speaking community organizations, including active elements such as Joao Soares and Ambriseth Lima (Cabo Verde community), who are supportive of the idea of finding ways of linking the research community with local community initiatives in culture and education.

    • LARN proponent Pedro Ferraz de Abreu is invited to talk at the Portuguese Cultural Conference, Cambridge, promoted by the Continental Union, and presents the PURN - LARN proposal, with expressive support from the portuguese community members present.

    • LARN proponent Pedro Ferraz de Abreu meets with the Consul of Portugal in Boston, Luis Barreiros, who is very supportive of the initiative.

    • LARN proponents (Tim Sieber, Rui Ponte, Pedro Ferraz de Abreu) participated at a CITIDEP "Brunch and Brainstorming", in which was also discussed the PURN/LARN proposal. Elizabeth Leeds was also present and made several suggestions regarding other MIT key people, since she was preparing her leave to Brasil, as head of Ford Foundation in this country.

    • LARN proponent Pedro Ferraz de Abreu is contacted by the office of Dean Rita Marinho, College of Arts & Sciences of UMASS DARTMOUTH, also the President of the Portuguese American Scholarship Foundation, to be included in the Foundation's mailing list.
    • Four portuguese students from MIT and Harvard constitute themselves as the "Executive Comittee" of a proposed PAPS - Post Graduate American Portuguese Student Association, with objectives that are in some aspects close to the PURN/LARN proposal, and invite people to register. LARN proponent Pedro Ferraz de Abreu, from MIT, registers and meets informally with PAPS proponent Nuno Vasconcelos, mentioning the PURN/LARN proposal as well as the contacts and support from FLAD to the idea, and suggests to discuss possible joining of efforts.
    • LARN proponent Pedro Ferraz de Abreu send email to PAPS proponent Nuno Vasconcelos, including the full text of the PURN/LARN proposal, and suggests again a meeting to join efforts between LARN and PAPS initiatives. Nuno Vasconcelos replies agreing in principle with the meeting [note: the meeting never ocurred].
    • LARN proponent Pedro Ferraz de Abreu meets in Aveiro FIP proponent Edgar Cruz e Silva (FIP/FIIP - Forum Internacional de Investigadores Portugueses) and informs FIP that LARN supports this initiative and is willing to join efforts, to the point as to give priority to the promotion and organization of the Forum , given its international scope and common goals. Pedro Ferraz de Abreu proposes also to invite PAPS organizers to the next Forum meeting planned for September 1998, University of Acores, having in mind to facilitate coordination of all initiatives. Edgar Cruz e Silva agrees and Pedro Ferraz de Abreu calls Nuno Vasconcelos from PAPS Committee inviting them.

    • Invited by the Organizing Committee of the International Forum of Portuguese Researchers (FIP/FIIP - Forum Internacional de Investigadores Portugueses), a PAPS representative, José Duarte travels to the II FIIP Meeting at Açores and presents the PAPS project.

    • LARN proponents decide to fully support the organizing of the International Forum of Portuguese Researchers, and give priority to help this organization over building up LARN itself, to avoid the dispersion of efforts, although LARN has a wider agenda than FIIP, not being limited, as FIIP, to portuguese membership and constituency.

    • LARN proponent Pedro Ferraz de Abreu is elected to the Organizing Committee of the International Forum of Portuguese Researchers (FIIP), at the II International meeting, University of Acores.

    • Pedro Ferraz de Abreu proposes within FIIP Organizing Committee to make an effort to approach PAPS Organizing Committee and try to coordinate the roles and missions and intervention of both organizations. FIIP Organizing Committee does not pursue the matter, considering that each organization is independent and should not interfere in each other

    • Pedro Ferraz de Abreu, as a PAPS member himself and in his personal name, proposes to PAPS Organizing Committee the same (to try to coordinate the roles and missions and intervention of both organizations). PAPS Organizing Committee does not pursue the matter.

    • Several PAPS members, including (but not limited to) a few that were also FIIP members, such as Pedro Ferraz de Abreu and Nuno Crato, criticize some deficiencies in the democratic process towards the constitution of PAPS. Three PAPS members, including one member of PAPS Organizing Committee, send messages to PAPS mail list, insulting the critics and accusing them of "sabotage", and insinuating some rivalry between FIIP and PAPS.

    • LARN proponents conclude that there was no interest in cooperation from the majority of leaders of both FIIP and PAPS, and decide to put on hold any more efforts in that direction, keeping however their (LARN) cooperation with both organizations.

    8. Proponents:

    Principal supporters since 1995:

    We are grateful to all who expressed their support to the iniciative of creating such a Luso-American Research Network, including: visitas: