LARSyS reflects a clear purpose for promoting an active alignment with the regional strategy for Lisbon and Madeira regions, where the activity of LARSyS is directly located. Lisbon has significant responsibilities, as it is the most dynamic regional economy in Portugal with a very important contribution to a successful achievement of Europe 2020 challenges. Madeira, on the other hand, is an outermost region of Europe with levels of R&D and innovation significantly lower than Lisbon. It provides unique opportunities for LARSyS, in particular, for the smart specialization of the region.
The contribution of LARSyS to the process of regional development has been designed in terms of the strategy for the entire country and its regions (as adopted through PNPOT, by Law no. 58/2007) and considers three tiers:
The first one related to the regions in which it is directly located, Lisbon and Madeira;
The second related to its responsibilities with various regions at a national level;
The third with international relations in science and technology and fluxes of researchers with other regions worldwide. Accordingly, LARSyS has a major role in order to:
“attract and keep young people”, because Lisbon is increasingly considered a university destination at a European level;
“attract and keep talent”, providing adequate host conditions, and promoting a better cooperation between universities and research institutions;
The knowledge developed by LARSyS will be useful in implementing the Lisbon strategy also in what concerns a more efficient and safe urban environment (as established in “Lisbon-2020, Lisbon during the Next EU Programming Period”). LARSyS considers the development of urban systems and sensors stimulating smarter citizens and Lisbon will be a major test bed for applied research in coming years.
In addition, the research strategy of LARSyS, through ITI, for the region of Madeira is well aligned and highly synergistic with the regional strategic plan for RTD+I, as described in the ongoing Operational Program for Europe 2020. Under this framework, ITI was identified as the research institution leading the ICT area and, therefore, holds a formal responsibility in defining Madeira’s smart specialization strategy – aging population, tourism and sustainability.
But LARSyS has also national responsibilities as a quite large and comprehensive centre, hosted by the main engineering school in Portugal, doing research in the broad areas of robotics and engineering systems, including related areas of technology, management and policy. Two other main regional strategies should be emphasized:
the strategic cooperation between LARSyS and EMBRAER, which will be particularly important for the strategy of Alentejo region, in Southern Portugal;
the strategic orientation of LARSyS towards ocean systems, which will contribute to foster the current Lisbon Strategy towards promoting the Atlantic boundaries of Portugal.