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Coimbra and Macao partner on new laboratory

The oldest university in Portugal has partnered with Macao Polytechnic University to create a new research laboratory and encourage more higher education exchange.

The University of Coimbra is the oldest in Portugal, and one of the oldest in Europe. Photo: Pexels

Im Sio Kei said Macao Polytechnic “actively supports the construction of the Sino-Portuguese platform”

As part of an overarching partnership involving technological initiatives, the agreement will see collaboration with the University of Coimbra in fields like computer science, artificial intelligence and IT through the establishment of a joint research laboratory in “advanced technologies for smart cities”.

“[The laboratory] can cultivate young researchers for the societies of both sides and promote international academic and research exchanges between the two universities,” the Macao government said in a statement.

“[It will] help to establish an ecosystem which can further develop advanced technologies in a collaborative way,” it continued.

“The objective of the laboratory… is to promote international academic partnerships between UC and MPU and support the training of young people and researchers from both sides,” the Portuguese university said.

The memorandum of understanding was attended by over 100 students and professors in a hybrid ceremony.

During the ceremony, Im Sio Kei said Macao Polytechnic “actively supports the construction of the Sino-Portuguese platform”, having established a series of courses to “cultivate Chinese-Portuguese bilingualism and innovative technologies” and placing equal emphasis on teaching and research.

“The partnership will cultivate young researchers for the societies of both sides and promote international academic and research exchanges”

According to Coimbra’s rector Amílcar Falcão, Macao Polytechnic has already “played an indispensable role in strengthening the connection between Macao and Portugal” – with students pursuing exchange studies in Portugal and hosting Portuguese students.

“With the experience of working together for many years, MPU and UC are confident that the creation of this Joint Research Laboratory will be yet another successful move which produces fruitful academic and scientific accomplishments,” he said.

Previously, Macao Polytechnic had opened a Portuguese Training Centre of Conference Interpreting, as well as an engineering research centre promoting international collaboration.

“[The lab] also provides a platform for technical innovations and training of talented engineers and scientists, who can make contributions to other scientific projects between China and Portuguese-speaking countries,” the government said.

Macao became part of China after 442 years under Portuguese rule in 1999, but collaboration still continues as Portuguese still remains an official language in the region.

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