UNU-IIST is a branch of the United Nations University, founded in 1973 as the academic arm of the United Nations, an international university dedicated to the UN Charter objectives of peace and progress.
In 1989, the Council of the United Nations University decided to establish in Macau the United Nations University International Institute for Software Technology (UNU-IIST) as a research and training centre of the University. As part of the United Nations, the Institute was to address the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare by international co-operation, research and advanced training in software technology.
At that time, Macau was a Chinese territory under Portuguese administration, and would remain so for another decade. The unique cultural, geographical and political role of the small city in Southern China brought UN members China and Portugal together to contribute to the development of emerging countries. Through the generosity of these two countries, as well as the government of Macau, UNU-IIST opened its doors in 1992.
The Macau Government has provided generous support to the institute, including the donation and renovation of a historic colonial style Portuguese world heritage building as UNU-IIST’s headquarters. Situated on the slopes of Guia Hill, the magnificent Casa Silva Mendes was expanded and reconstructed in 1999 to become an ideal setting for the pursuit of intellectual excellence.
Over the years, the institute has brought some 500 young researchers and lecturers from 50 countries - mostly developing countries – to Macau. Many of them have become leading computer scientists and chief software engineers in their home countries after working and learning with the faculty of the institute. UNU-IIST has a strong record of diverse contributions in the areas of Formal Methods in Software Engineering and in E-Governance. Through its significant contributions in research, education, policy support, and capacity building, UNU-IIST has established itself as a leader in championing the use of ICT to serve the needs of developing countries. True to the mandate entrusted to us by the United Nations, UNU-IIST continues to build on our strengths with innovative research and hands-on projects to find innovative ways to harness the power of computing in the cause of sustainable development.
UNU-IIST former and current directors