> LNEC´s mission
The basic missions of LNEC, as a public institute having the status of State laboratory, are to contribute to pursue the public policies, which are under the responsibility of the various ministries, and to provide expert support to the public authorities in the various Public Administration sectors, particularly as regards the quality and safety of works, the protection and re-qualification of the natural and built patrimony, as well as the technological upgrading and innovation, namely in the building construction sector.
Thus, we are well aware that LNEC, as a public Science and Technology institution, plays a relevant Government role, being responsible for providing both unbiased and competent scientific and technical support to the executive power, in the broad field of Civil Engineering. Reference is also made, as a result of their particular importance, to the activities related with inspection, execution and observation of the behaviour of major projects, especially with a view to ensure their safety, and to the activities related with research and dissemination in the areas of maintenance and re-qualification, of both the built and the natural patrimony, from a viewpoint of quality and sustainability.
Another LNEC mission is also to endorse the public interest by providing science and technology services to public and private bodies, both in Portugal and abroad, thus ultimately contributing, as previously mentioned, to technological innovation and transfer.
Our mission has always guided our resolve to achieve excellence in providing assistance to the productive fabric that is commonly designated as building construction sector, by upgrading it and by giving the technological support it requires.
LNEC action has been steadily based on public-service oriented values, which are integrated in a culture that calls for high ethical standards and that involves a continuous demand for improving our knowledge so as to be able to give a proper response to the constant technical and scientific evolution.
Indeed, those values are fully internalised and are well recognised by the Portuguese community. Actually, the way LNEC is regarded by society is reflected on the way it is respected by it. For us, it has become quite obvious that when a crisis or a problem arise, the public attention is drawn to LNEC, awaiting for its ultimate opinion; a reliable opinion.
LNEC, within the principle of research freedom, is responsible for undertaking, supervising and promoting scientific research and technological development, as well as other scientific and technical activities necessary for the progress and good practice in Civil Engineering.
LNEC’s future is inevitably linked to its commitment in carrying out the planned research activities, as a strategic operation agent. In fact, that research activity imposes the establishment of plans integrating the needs for evolution of knowledge, based on the increasing participation in national and international projects and in strategic partnerships with other prestigious research institutions. That activity is also expected to encourage a closer connection with users, in an attempt to co-operate in projects with companies that regard the technological innovation as an essential factor of their development.
Actually, LNEC’s mission will only be dully fulfilled if its activities are evenly distributed. This presupposes a reduction in the increasing pressure, felt in the last few years, for obtaining our own revenue based on the execution of studies under contract.
Thus, considering LNEC’s mission, as well as the values that regulate LNEC’s activity, the present LNEC Board, by being fully aware, not only of all the conditioning factors and difficulties faced by the institution, but also of its huge vitality, which is based on its main asset – human resources – and on all the accumulated knowledge, has chosen for its Commission, the main objectives as follows:
- Strengthening its scientific research and technological development capabilities, with the ever-present concern for increasing the innovation potential of its results, integrated in an overall policy of co-operation with other research institutions and, in particular, with Universities;
- obtaining the necessary resources to renew its staff;
- achieving a more flexible financial and property management regimen;
- reinforcing LNEC’s presence in major projects;
- improving LNEC’s relationship with society through a new communication strategy.
LNEC’s structure has enabled it to carry out its activity from an interdisciplinary viewpoint, represented by both the team practice and the team spirit encouraged by LNEC ever since its establishment. Indeed, that interdisciplinary viewpoint has been one of the main strengths of the institution.
Thus, we shall continue to be fully committed in pursuing that strategy, by proceeding with the work done by previous Boards, in an attempt to reinforce LNEC’s prestige and its effective presence in a few key areas of the development of the country.
Lastly, we would like to express our wish in continuing to be regarded as a trust-worthy institution by our community. Indeed, we are fully aware that this will only be possible by steadily maintaining the principles followed by our predecessors. Undoubtedly, we firmly believe that our past legacy shall only remain alive if associated to our commitment in stimulating the future.