The National Coordinator of the MIT Portugal Partnership, MPP 2030, Prof. Pedro Arezes, was in Singapore to meet with the responsibles for two partnerships established between Singapore’s institutions and MIT.
The first meeting was at SUTD (The Singapore University of Technology and Design) where he met with Prof. Yeo Kiat Seng, the Associate Provost for Research and International Relations at SUTD. SUTD is an autonomous university in Singapore offering Bachelor, Master and PhD degrees in areas defined as the 4 pillars of SUTD: Architecture and Sustainable Design (ASD), Engineering Product Development (EPD), Engineering Systems and Design (ESD) or Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD). SUTD was created in 2009 and had as founding president Thomas L. Magnanti, a MIT Professor and former Dean of the School of Engineering. SUTD's collaboration with MIT includes several initiatives, such as the development of the undergraduate curriculum, co-teaching of subjects by MIT faculty, student exchanges, among others.
The second meeting was held at the Create Campus of Singapore at the headquarters of SMART, the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology. Pedro Arezes met with Janelle Thompson, the Associate Director for Outreach and Principal Investigator at the Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling. SMART is a major research enterprise established by the MIT in partnership with the National Research Foundation of Singapore (NRF) in 2007 (following previous cooperation through the Singapore-MIT Alliance established in 1998). SMART is MIT's first, and to-date only, research centre outside the United States. It is also MIT's largest international research programme. This program involves research at MIT faculty research laboratories in Singapore, mentoring postdoctoral associates and graduate students, and collaboration with researchers from several universities, research institutes and industries in Singapore and Asia.
The goal of this visit to Singapore was to get in touch with other similar MIT international partners and their management structures. The visit allowed also to outreach the planned (and ongoing) activities of MPP 2030, which will be developed during the 3rd phase of the partnership, between 2018 and 2030.
During the meetings the managers of the international partnerships discussed also the different partnership models and explored the possibility to set a network that can be used to share good practices and ideas among them. These meetings also served to pave the ground for the establishment of some kind of exchange programs for Portuguese and Singaporeans students and faculty.