Nowadays, Higher Education Institutions (HEI) are facing several challenges. Therefore, innovation and adaptability are required.
In recent years, ISAL has paid attention and has developed initiatives that stimulate and increase the scientific documents and actions.
The following general principles are defined in the Article 4 of the Statutes of ISAL:
a) Independence from any political, social, economic or religious power or institution;
b) Scientific, educational and cultural autonomy;
c) Increase and strengthening of relationships with companies and other organizations, in order to make education and the scientific research carried out effective and efficient;
d) Cooperation and exchange with similar institutions, the national and the foreign ones;
e) Continuous adequacy to the scientific and technical needs of the Autonomous Region of Madeira.
The whole activity, namely the scientific research, has been shaped by these principles.
All the cultural and scientific initiatives are developed within a sustainability culture, based on innovative practices that promote efficiency, competitiveness, participation, cohesion and complementarity of knowledge and that values openness to society and an active policy of knowledge and innovation transfer – Article 5 No. 2 of the Statutes of ISAL.
In 2013, the Higher Institute of Administration and Languages Research Centre NIISAL – Núcleo de Investigação do Instituto Superior de Administração e Línguas, was created for the purpose of asserting and positioning itself strategically as a national and international benchmark research unit in the fields of business, tourism and hotel sciences. This research centre has been a place for research and public intervention in the domains of Management and Tourism.
Its mission has been to catalyse and promote pioneering research in the business, tourism and hotel world, integrating knowledge and methods in all the fields of tourism business science. Therefore, ISAL Research Centre aims at achieving this high level of scientific merit, international benchmark, promoting quality in research and developing new national and international collaborative networks to improve the profile of the R&D unit in the context of regional, national and international research.
Thus, this Research Centre seeks to support research strongly related to companies from the tourism, hotel and business sectors in general, as well as other institutions operating primarily in the Autonomous Region of Madeira. It also aims at increasing the internationalisation level through the promotion of scientific studies, as well as the creation of partnerships for research and advanced education or contributing with national and international scientific research projects. All the professors at ISAL are members of this Research Centre.
This Research Centre’s objectives are the following ones:
a) Preparation of scientific papers and their respective submission to publication in national and international journals;
b) Preparation of other publications, namely books, book chapters, working papers;
c) Participation and presentation of communications in conferences and national and international meetings;
d) Organisation of seminars, lectures and conferences;
e) Intervention in the mass media.
In September 2017, the SRL – Scientific Research Laboratory was implemented. It aims at strengthening students’ scientific communication skills, written or spoken, through scientific stimulation activities. Within the scope of this initiative, ISAL sponsors the Award for ‘Best Scientific Paper’, in order to encourage students and former students’ scientific research. The works developed in the Scientific Research Laboratory have already been published in benchmark journals, namely the journal 33 – Economy, Companies and Entrepreneurs Journal.
Thus, this Laboratory intends to lessen the effect that the scientific reading and writing practices cause among students when they join the academic context. The SRL – Scientific Research Laboratory aims at helping the students’ training process as readers and writers in the academic textual universe.
In January 2019, the SSTRG – Sustainable Tourism Research Group was created. This research group aims at encouraging the development of multidisciplinary research activities in the several dimensions of sustainability – namely the social, environmental, cultural, heritage and economic dimensions – and promoting, in general, knowledge in its areas of activity and the excellence of the teaching and learning process in ISAL.
Research at ISAL sets as priority the regional development, being evident the articulation between the educational and research processes.
The strategic challenge of ISAL Research Centre embraces the increase of the scientific research results, in order to assume a national and international positioning as a recognized benchmark of R&D in the fields of Tourism, Hotel Business and Management. In this context, the Strategic Program defined by ISAL for 2019-2023 is based on the following strategic priorities:
a) Increase scientific productivity and the overall and regional contribution to the international academia in the fields of business management, tourism and hotel business;
b) Contribute to the promotion of activities and knowledge sharing in these fields of study;
c) Strengthen the relationship between Academia-Industry as a regional strategy;
d) Carry out the advanced level scientific development and training.
The objective of these strategic priorities is to encourage and stimulate the scientific skills of ISAL’s research members, to enable them to respond to the new trends and boost the organizational knowledge sharing with society in creative and innovative ways.
Even though the previously outlined strategies were already defined, ISAL is trying to develop a partnership with another scientific research centre of excellence in the tourism and similar areas, in order to obtain competitive advantage in terms of research.
Research only survives thanks to the cooperation and the networks that are created. In order to cooperate with other excellent researchers and also to invest in applications for funded research projects, that strategic goal is defined.
ISAL is developing partnerships with other Higher Education Institutions. The objective is to carry out joint research and to create networks, as well as to participate in the existing research centres.