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Fresno ,  February 14, 2019

President of Government opens University Institute in California

The President of the Government opened Wednesday the Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute (PBBI) at the University of Fresno, highlighting the contribution of this institute to strengthen the relation between the Azores and the state of California.

"One of the key goals underpinning the creation of this institute is not only a means of disseminating the history of Azorean presence in California, but also a means of projecting this history for the benefit of the common future," said Vasco Cordeiro.

According to him, the Regional Government is ready to "take part in this challenge. It counts on the collaboration of the University of Fresno and the Director of the Institute, Diniz Borges, to carry out this task for the benefit of the Azorean Community in California, the relation between Portugal and the USA, and the special relation that the Azores maintains with this State."

On the occasion, the President of the Government announced that the Government will support the PBBI by providing about 500 books and materials on various formats as well as by promoting exchange programmes for teachers and students.

"These are two areas where the Regional Government will collaborate with PBBI," in addition to the support already provided by the University of Fresno and the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD), stressed Vasco Cordeiro.

On the third day of the official visit to California, the President of the Government also delivered the inaugural lecture of PBBI, defending that the development of the Azores also involves the balance between the more traditional sectors of the economy and the investment in new areas that project the archipelago as a gateway to Europe and a hub for the Atlantic.

"We seek to project the Azores in the future. Our goal is to promote a balance between the most traditional sectors of our economy and the main developments in new strategic areas, projecting the Region and its geographical position as a gateway to Europe and a hub for the Atlantic," said Vasco Cordeiro.

In this lecture on the "Azores in the 21st Century," Vasco Cordeiro highlighted the role of space, sea, information technology and the archipelago's geostrategic position in the development strategy of the Region.

In the case of space, an emerging area in Europe, the "Azores are taking a leading role in this new frontier, receiving the attention, investments, projects and infrastructures that will ensure a key role in the research and knowledge that is being developed in this sector," said the government official.

In this regard, Vasco Cordeiro recalled that the Azores International Satellite Launch Programme was recently launched with the aim of inviting public and private companies and organisations from all over the world to collaborate with Portuguese companies and research laboratories to create, install and operate a space port on Santa Maria Island.

"After all phases of evaluation and analysis of feasibility conditions and procurement processes, our expectation is that the first launch services will start operating in the Azores in 2021," said Vasco Cordeiro.

The Atlantic is another area offering great potential for the future of the Azores as defended by the President of the Government. In this regard, he noted that, if the whole Azores sea were land, the Region's land territory would have approximately the same area as France and Germany together.

"The Azores are probably one of the places in the world where the knowledge of the sea floor is more advanced due to the research conducted by our scientists, but also by the scientific partnerships established in the last two decades with other research centres," said the government official.
The Atlantic Observatory, an international research institute to be soon created on Faial, will provide an important contribution to continuing this path," said Vasco Cordeiro, who invited Californian institutions to participate in this international effort towards science and development.

In this inaugural lecture, the President of the Government stated that the Regional Government has been investing in the development of Information and Technology in the Region, highlighting the Terceira Tech Island project that is being developed on Terceira Island.

Another area where the Azores have increasingly played a central role concerns their geostrategic position, said the President of the Government. According to him, this has been the Region's heritage since the time of Discoveries and it "will a crucial role in the ongoing redefinition of interests in the North Atlantic."

"Space, the Atlantic, the technology industry and our geostrategic location will be the four pillars that will help shaping what we will become as a Region in the 21st century world," said the President of the Government.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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