Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT) is celebrating its 30 years since its inception. IT is a private, not-for-profit organisation, a partnership of nine institutions with experience in research and development in the field of Telecommunications. IT mission is to create and disseminate new knowledge and support advanced training in the broad field of the Technologies of Information, Communications and Electronics (TICE), with a special emphasis on Telecommunications. As an Associated Laboratory, IT mission addresses societal challenges by enabling TICE through transdisciplinary cooperation with specialists in relevant fields, namely, Wireless Technologies, Optics and Photonics, Information and Data Science, Networks and Services, and Basic Sciences and Enabling Technologies.
Back in 1992, IT was one of the major products of “Programa Ciência”, the governmental instrument that boosted science unlike no other in Portugal. At that time, several professors united efforts to raise buildings, hire clerks and technicians, overcome the traditional barriers that prevented scholars and companies from working together, and built an innovative research institution from scratch. IT born through three contracts signed in that year, 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.
Since its birth, IT has been the incubator and home for many young engineers and scientists, gaining a prominent role in the scientific research and development of telecommunications in Portugal. Therefore, it was naturally granted the status of Institution of Public Utility in 1995, and of Associated Laboratory of the Portuguese State in 2001.
Although IT always preserved the values of academic research, such as democratic and distributed management, and the freedom of thought and scientific topic selection, it also wanted to actively contribute to society, long before the nowadays buzzwords of public policies support and response to societal challenges. Moreover, as IT inscribed in its mission statement the creation and dissemination of scientific knowledge, as well as technology transfer, IT soon opened its doors to national and international companies for services and mostly collaborative research, which culminated in 2018 when IT was recognised by the National Innovation Agency a Center of Technological Interface.
Today, IT is proud of its vast team of permanent researchers, which exceeds 300 of the number of Ph.D. and Masters’ students, around 400, the quantity and quality of its projects, more than 140 national and 50 internationals, in fundamental areas, and more than 53 active patents. Moreover, IT hosts projects with a massive impact on our society.
Thankfully, there is a lot to celebrate. It has been a significant journey, full of achievements.
In our IT NEWS - 100th Special Issue, launched this month, we bring you glances at that remarkable journey that shaped the way we all live nowadays. We share seven testimonials from our researchers on these highlights since 1992. Read it below or check it in your inbox.
For all these 30 years of IT service to science, high education, and technology transfer in Portugal,
IT Board, April 2020