CICANT – The Centre for Research in Applied Communication, Culture, and New Technologies results from the combined efforts of faculty of the School of Communication, Architecture, Arts and Information Technologies (ECATI) of Lusófona University towards the goal of creating a unit which allows for the integration and harnessing of the research activities conducted within it. CICANT is geared towards innovative and interdisciplinary research in the field of communication and media research, promoting theoretical and applied research in its three main subject areas: Media Technologies and Literacies (MTL); Media, Society and Culture (MSC); and Media Arts and Creative Industries (MACI), that are a natural follow-up to previous work developed in the unit CICANT was a part of (CIC.Digital).
The research line titled MTL includes the following topics: ‘Media, Children and Youth’;‘Media and Health’; and ‘participatory audiences/Netactivism’.
The research line MSC encompasses, in turn, the following topics: ‘Media and Gender’; and ‘Media and Journalism’. Lastly, the research line MACI, deals with topics around the subjects of ‘Cultural Heritage and Visual/Sonic Cultures’.
The center’s work is highly focused on knowledge transfer and exchanges with research and industry stakeholders that, in Portugal and abroad, work in areas transversal to the study of the media, arts, society, culture and technologies.
CICANT has a large past experience, having participated in over 35 international projects supported by different EU programs, such as Fp7, H2020 or E+, in different areas, ranging from Media Literacy to Smart Media Technologies and Audience Research. The unit also has extensive experience in coordinating national research projects. CICANT moreover, hosts internal calls for projects so as to promote areas of research which have yet to be externally funded and to maximize the participation of all researchers.
Between 2012 and 2017, CICANT was one of the four poles of the inter-university and multi-located research unit CIC.Digital.
Within this remit, CICANT developed the thematic lines ‘Media, Information, Technologies and Societal Challenges’, and ‘Culture, Globalization, Mediation and Arts’. Upon the four years of inter-university collaboration, CICANT decided to sustain itself on an increasingly autonomous level and in a less fragmented spatial context. In line with the unit’s original objectives, it thus decided, since 2017, to harness its research activities independently from CIC.Digital.
CICANT’s general objectives are:
- The promotion of media and communication research both in Europe and in the Lusophone region;
- The development of original and innovative research activities in the area of media and communication research, focusing on the subject areas mentioned above, crossing both theoretical and applied research and resorting to novel research methods and, when applicable, to the intensive and experimental use of media technologies;
- The dissemination at national and international level of the research results stemming from research activities being carried out within the unit;
- The support to advanced training activities carried out at Universidade Lusófona in this area;
- The implementation of knowledge transfer mechanisms based on the outcomes of projects carried out under the subject areas mentioned above;
- The engendering of relevant societal impacts that can deepen the synergies between the social sciences and communication research, by contributing to new and effective responses to emerging societal challenges;
- The development of intensive research on the challenges emerging as a consequence of the greater role pervasive media and related discourses have in our culture and societies;
- To actively collaborate with relevant international organizations in the field, namely ECREA, ICA, CILECT and IAMCR and in national sphere with Sopcom, the National Communication Association.