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New Year message from the Rector of NOVA

João Sàágua

In 2020, we will naturally continue as well as further increase our triple activity of teaching, research and creation of social and economic value. Moreover, we know that we count on each of our Schools to grow the level of excellence of this activity in each of their respective areas.

New Year also means change, renewal and construction of the future. It is an opportunity to develop other projects.

At the end of the recently finished year, NOVA approved its Strategic Plan for the next 10 years. It is this Plan that will frame our new projects. We have a vision to make NOVA a truly 21st century university - global and civic. Global because its teaching and research is absolutely international in its quality, agendas and partners; and civic, because it is deeply committed to the development of society, culture and economy of the Greater Lisbon region, where NOVA is inserted, of the country, of Europe and also of the Portuguese-speaking countries to which we are connected throughout centuries of common history.

The training and research initiatives included in our Strategic Plan are in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Wherever possible, they will be delivered through knowledge and innovation missions whose success will have a real and positive impact on society and people. Europe is the only region in the world capable of creating knowledge and innovation that has adopted this strategic orientation, with which NOVA is fully aligned.

We will therefore have in our Strategic Plan initiatives and missions in the area of ​​Health and Welfare (SDG 3), Gender Equality and Opportunities (SDG 5), Renewable and Affordable Energy (SDG 7), Industry, Innovation and Infrastructures (SDG 9), Inequality Reduction (SDG 10), Promotion of Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11) and Climate Change (SDG 13), among others.

Effective participation in these missions requires joining forces. Firstly, within NOVA, among its various Schools. Then with our national and international partners, academic and non-academic - universities, companies, social institutions, cultural institutions, municipalities, NGOs, and others. Only in this way will we gather the interdisciplinary skills and impact capacity required for the success of the missions in which we will be involved.

In carrying out these missions we will also address current and important topics such as the digital transformation at the service of people, lifelong learning, technological innovation at the service of industry 4.0 and national competitiveness, social innovation and inclusion, the creation of collaborative laboratories with companies and social institutions aiming at useful innovation and territorial cohesion, health research ranging from the laboratory to the patient and the populations, the interface between art and technology as a way of creating value and inclusion, and interdisciplinary issues concerning the future of hospitality and tourism.

Absolutely essential is, in this context of change, the profound transformation of the campuses where NOVA is located in order to adapt them to this ambitious Strategic Plan, making them 21st century international models of campuses, and simultaneously opening them to the community, in order to operate in this common territory the intended development and innovative impact.

None of this can be done without people. In this context, it is crucial that NOVA continues and improves its policy of attracting, developing and retaining talent, both nationally and internationally. The same applies to recognition and reward of merit. And it must be done all levels: faculty, researchers, students and staff.

This is how NOVA will continue to serve the country and society in general through knowledge, fulfilling its mission as a Portuguese public institution, which it is proud to be.

By 2020, we will therefore move towards a better and more sustainable future. We will also encounter many challenges, and it is easy to anticipate that they will be quite large.

We count on everyone's talent and commitment. It is together that we will make this path and together we will build this future.

I wish you all a 2020 full of health and successes!

João Sàágua

Reitor da Universidade NOVA de Lisboa