Subsequent to the signing of the Host Country and Bilateral Agreements between UNU and the Portuguese Republic on the establishment, location and operation of UNU-EGOV on 23 May 2014 in Lisbon, UNU-EGOV commenced its operations in Guimarães on 1 July 2014.
The start of operations followed the appointment and relocation from Macao to Guimarães of three former members of the EGOV Programme at the UNU International Institute on Software Technology in Macao (UNU-IIST): Tomasz Janowski was appointed as the Head of UNU-EGOV, Elsa Estevez was appointed as Senior Academic Programme Officer of UNU-EGOV, and Sara Fernandes was appointed as PhD Fellow of UNU-EGOV. In addition to the staff and theme, UNU-EGOV also received books, hardware, projects and unspent project-generated funds from the EGOV Programme at UNU-IIST.
UNU-EGOV commenced its operations in the premises provided by the University of Minho, in the historical city of Guimarães in the north of Portugal. Established in the 9th century, the city is considered the “cradle of the Portuguese nationality” due to its role in the foundation of the country. The premises are located in the Postgraduate School of the Couros Campus of the University of Minho, adjacent to the historical center of Guimarães which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The school building was reconstructed in 2013, together with the Science Center, Institute of Design and Jordão Theater as part of the urban regeneration project aimed at transforming the old leather processing industry located in the Couros Area into a space for education, research and creativity.
In coordination with the University of Minho, the Guimarães City Hall assigned UNU-EGOV premises the street address “UNU-EGOV, Campus de Couros, Rua Vila Flor 166, 4810-445 Guimarães, Portugal”.