The Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD)

FLAD's mission is to support Portuguese progress and to serve a bridge between Portugal and the United States.

The Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD) is a private, non-profit, financially independent Portuguese institution.

Its main goal is to contribute towards Portugal’s development by providing financial and strategic support for innovative projects by fostering cooperation between Portuguese and American civil society.

History and Mission

The Luso-American Development Foundation was created in 1985, from a decision made by the Portuguese government to create a private institution that, on a permanent and independent basis, would promote relations between Portugal and the United States. The expectation was that this type of exchange would further Portugal’s economic, social, and cultural development. Its initial assets were formed by transfers of funds from the Portuguese government and resources resulting from the Cooperation and Defense Agreement between Portugal and the USA in 1983. Its initial endowments were €85 million, and since 1992 it has lived exclusively from the income on its assets, which now total around €150 million.

As one of the most important Portuguese foundations, FLAD, has been opening doors for almost 35 years while supporting (individual and institutional) projects with recognized value.

As a result of FLAD’s political role and extended-standing support of educational programs, the Foundation has a special relationship with Portuguese universities, municipal and national governments, businesses, and Portuguese cultural, historical and arts, and social welfare institutions. FLAD has had an extended mission of support of international educational exchange initiatives, with FLAD directly supporting experiments in study abroad and eventually founding its program, Study in Portugal Network (SiPN).

Member of the main national and international networks of foundations (The Portuguese Foundation Center – CPF; The European Foundation Center – EFC), FLAD is recognized as one of the most important Portuguese foundations. It has opened doors to the United States for 35 years, developing Portugal, the Portuguese, and Portuguese descendants, in partnership with leading institutions, while supporting projects of recognized value.

FLAD's Priority Areas

Science and Technology: FLAD aims to actively contribute to the development and internationalization of Portuguese Science, for which the relationship with the United States is a vital asset. FLAD’s strategy aims to facilitate the Portuguese scientific production for Portuguese-based students, researchers, scientists, and faculty, by providing resources and networks for innovative projects with the potential to overcome barriers and generate concrete solutions. Some examples:

    • Programs, such as RAEGE, a project for the installation of a geodetic and spatial stations network in the Azores for the study of radio-astronomy, geodesy, and geophysics;
    • Grants, from FLAD which includes Papers@USA, to present Portuguese papers in US conferences; USA@PT, for US professors and researchers to participate in Portuguese-based conferences; and, R&D@PhD, for Portuguese PhD students to develop research internships in the US. In addition, FLAD also sponsors grantees in conjunction with Fulbright, for Portuguese post-graduating students to undertake a research internship in the US;
    • Awards, with the FLAD Science Awards, being the edition of 2020 focused upon the research within the Atlantic – FLAD Science Award Atlantic.

Art and Culture: FLAD works as one of the primary incubators of Portuguese culture and art, both in the national and international cultural space, by collaborating with a large number of initiatives that strengthens the presence of our culture in the USA, and also promoting the exchange of knowledge, artists and curators between the two countries. In addition, it is worth mentioning the importance of FLAD’S Contemporary Art Collection, one of the most important contemporary art collections in Portugal. The collection holds a representative set of contemporary Portuguese art production of the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000’s, now undergoing a process of revitalization to be show-cased in 2020.

Transatlantic Relations: FLAD is convinced that the relation between Portugal and the US is sustained by the links between citizens and institutions from both countries. Due to this reason, every year, FLAD organizes the Luso-American Legislators’ Dialogue, a 2-day meeting in Lisbon that entails a very comprehensive agenda with meetings between Portuguese-American legislators in the US (both at the state and federal level) and various Portuguese personalities from various sectors – an effort to inform and update the legislators on the current national situation, as well as to promote a dialogue between the two countries at the highest political level. Also, in an effort to maintain close and regular contact with the Portuguese-American community, FLAD funds different institutions such as, CPAC (California-Portuguese Coalition of California), the Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute, as well as, PALCUS (Portuguese American Leadership Council in the United States), among others.

Education: FLAD believes that Portugal will be stronger as more people discover Portuguese culture and master the Portuguese language (one of the most spoken in the world). For this reason, FLAD awards US researchers with grants to conduct their work at Torre do Tombo (National Archive) and Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (National Library). Likewise, FLAD funds Visiting Professorships, such as Brown University, and Portuguese Studies Programs and Centers that consolidate Portugal’s presence in the US. At the University of California, FLAD has seeded and sponsored the Center for Portuguese Studies at UC-Berkeley since its inception (nearly 2million dollars awarded thus far). More recently, since 2015, FLAD, in partnership with various academic and non-academic stakeholders, created the Study in Portugal Network (SiPN) – a study abroad program completely geared for North American Higher Education – a proactive contribution to put Portugal on the radar as an academic destination to US students and faculty, accelerating the internationalization of Portuguese universities, and promoting a higher presence of Portuguese language and culture in the North American academic community. It is a very innovative and flexible approach that aims to deliver high-quality academic programs with an unparalleled value proposition.


Visit FLAD’s website to know more about the regular scholarships, programs, and calls the Foundation promotes.