Setting up of IT was the result of a 7.5 million Euro grant from Programme CIÊNCIA, through three contracts signed in 1991, one for each of the university members (Universidade de Aveiro, Faculdade de Ciência e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra and Instituto Superior Técnico). A separate and complementary agreement was signed between the Universidade de Aveiro and Portugal Telecom. This investment enabled new infrastructures to be built and research laboratories to be equipped. IT research centres were built in the premises of the three University partners. Installation was concluded in Aveiro in 1993 and in Lisbon and Coimbra in 1994.
As a consequence of the initial contracts, all IT infrastructures (buildings and equipment) legally belong to its university members. Yet, as another consequence of the rules imposed by CIÊNCIA, the founding members provide IT with most of the human resources required for its mission.
In recognition of its achievements, IT was awarded the status of Associate Laboratory of the Portuguese Ministry for Science and Technology in 2001.
Later on, other University partners as well as an industrial partner joined IT: Nokia Solutions and Networks in Nov 2004, Universidade da Beira Interior in Dec 2008, Universidade do Porto in Dec 2009, ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa in Dec 2010 and Instituto Politécnico de Leiria in Dec 2013.