UNESCO awarded Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, through the Portuguese Centre for Global History (CHAM) with the chair "The Ocean's Cultural Heritage".
Several countries are associated with this pioneer chair – Cape Verde, Spain, Colombia and Brazil, as well as several national entities and the UNESCO National Commission. Among these entities are Instituto de Estudos de Literatura e Tradição (IELT), Instituto de Estudos Medievais (IEM) and Instituto de História Contemporânea (IHC).
UNESCO Chairs are awarded each year to individual colleges, universities and research institutions to initiate programs that further research and training in one of UNESCO's fields of competence. A Chair may be established by reinforcing an existing teaching or research program and giving it an international dimension, or one may be established as a new teaching and research unit.