UMass Dartmouth begins ocean science and technology partnership with Portuguese government

DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WLNE) – UMass Dartmouth and the Portuguese Republic signed a Memorandum of Understanding on promoting and developing programs for the coastal, ocean science and technology classes.

Signed this Thursday, December 17 by UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Mark A. Fuller and Helena Margarida Moreira de Oliviera Viera, Director-General of Maritime Policy for Portugal, the agreement focuses on endeavors in coastal and ocean policy, cultural activities, and development within the Blue Economy.

“Here at UMass Dartmouth, our scholars and scientists are national leaders in fields crucial to marine health and conservation, including assessing environmental impacts and improving key technologies,” said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Mark A. Fuller. “It is critical we share our knowledge with our Portuguese partners, who are doing so much to promote sustainability and marine science. This memorandum of understanding is a testament to the power of discovery, partnership, and collective academic accomplishments.”

“Southeastern Massachusetts is the hub for the Blue Economy, offshore wind energy, and Portuguese culture in the United States, and this MOU further demonstrates that our region is recognized for its strengths not only nationally, but internationally,” said Congressman Bill Keating. “I am grateful for the leadership of Chancellor Mark A. Fuller and Director-General Helena Margarida Moreira de Oliveira Vieira in bringing this MOU to fruition and look forward to seeing the dividends that this scientific diplomacy will produce for years to come.”

“The UMass Dartmouth and Portuguese Republic partnership is a terrific opportunity for cutting-edge research and development, economic growth, and deeper cultural ties. I applaud this effort to bolster our Portuguese-Bay State relations,” said Congressman Jake Auchincloss.

This Memorandum will develop the Maritime strengths of Portugal and the expertise of UMass Dartmouth , who is currently collaborating with industry, military, and government partners on various projects. Researchers are studying the impacts of offshore wind farms, developing underwater land vehicles for the U.S. Navy, and studying the breakdown of microplastics in the world’s oceans.  This agreement also allows for the exchange of researchers, scholars, and students from UMass Dartmouth and Portuguese higher education institutions. Other collaborations include research studies, seminars, and conferences.

“The strategic partnership that this memorandum formalizes will greatly benefit our region,” said State Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “An exchange of knowledge and expertise will strengthen the foundations of the Blue Economy, higher education, and scientific research in the SouthCoast. I applaud Chancellor Fuller and the UMass Dartmouth team for this milestone achievement.”

“The signing of this MOU is a testament to the cultural, maritime, and economic ties between the South Coast of Massachusetts and Portugal. The collaboration between our communities is rooted deeply in our histories but has also evolved over time to meet new global challenges,” said State Representative Antonio F. D. Cabral. “This agreement cements UMass Dartmouth as an internationally recognized incubator for the Blue Economy. Researchers from the School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST) and the Marine & Undersea Technology (MUST) program will collaborate closely with their Portuguese counterparts on wind technology, marine & ecological sustainability, and coastal and ocean policy – the effects of which will be felt for generations to come.”

“This auspicious occasion marks an important first step towards expanding the vital academic and scientific connections between Portugal and UMass Dartmouth,” said Michael Goodman, Acting Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “The collaborations envisioned in this agreement promise to advance our educational and research mission, support important efforts to promote coastal and oceans sustainability, and help position both the SouthCoast and the Portuguese Republic to benefit from the substantial economic opportunities presented by the Blue Economy.”


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