The implementation of a coherent development strategy for Portugal in the years to come will depend crucially on the introduction of new mechanisms and practices of governance at a national, regional, municipal and sectoral levels, supported by digital platforms and Information and communication technologies.
Electronic Governance (EGOV), understood as the empowerment of digital technologies for the transformation of public governance, aiming at greater efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and democratic scrutiny, constitutes a multidisciplinary area of investigation with an enormous impact for the future.
Over the years, the University of Minho has been playing an important role in this area, especially in the design of citizen cards and in the area of computer security.
As of May 2014, it became the host institution of the United Nations University Operating Unit on Policy-Driven Electronic Governance (UNU-EGOV), the first institutional presence in Portugal of the United Nations University.
At the same time, it hosted a new Development Unit of the Agency for Administrative Modernization (AMA), which intends a laboratory for prototyping new solutions and pilot projects in EGOV.
The strategic potential of these initiatives promoted the launch of a synergistic cluster in innovation platform under the name EGOV Innovation Hub.
The University of Minho also created a Special Project, known as UMinho-EGOV, which acts as a catalyst in this area, promoting its scientific consolidation within the University and articulating partnerships and innovation projects with the Public Administration, the private sector and the countries member of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).
The establishment of a chair in Smart Cities & Smart Governance in the Department of Informatics of the University of Minho, generously supported by two reference institutions in the country, FLAD and PT, is a natural development of this path.
The PT-FLAD Chair represents an extraordinary opportunity to consolidate this scientific area, promote its internationalization, namely through privileged partnerships with American universities and companies, as well as with Altice’s innovation and research centers, and to develop research, teaching and training projects, mainly in areas not covered by the current academic offer.
The PT-FLAD Chair in Smart Cities & Smart Governance is established in the Department of Informatics of the School of Engineering of the University of Minho, and articulated with the Special Project for the Electronic Governance UMinho-EGOV.