Celebrating the fifth centenary of Vespucci's discoveries, the Vespucci Initiative recaptures his spirit of multi-disciplinary intellectual inquiry to explore new frontiers of knowledge and new territories. To that end since 2003 it has organized a range of research and teaching activities, bringing together senior scientists and promising young researchers from various fields and from around the world. This unique interdisciplinary mix creates what has been called the Medici Effect and perhaps it is no coincidence that most Vespucci institutes to date have been held in Florence, Italy! All participants share a special interest in the locational aspects of societal challenges. These aspects are being studied and exploited in the emerging field of Geographic Information Science and are being implemented within the GIS, Location Based Systems, Applied Geography and related industries (see www.giscience.org, www.agile-online.org, www.ucgis.org).

The institutes and other events sponsored by the Vespucci Initiative are open to post-graduate researchers at all stages of their careers in the academic, public, not-for-profit, and private sectors, selected on a competitive basis through an open call for expression of interest.

The 2014 Vespucci Institute on Brain and Space follows the new trends established in the second decade of Vespucci Institutes in varying both its location and timing. This Vespucci Institute will be held in the beautiful capital of Portugal, Lisbon. A place with a long history in exploring the world. Particularly the institute's venue will be the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, located at the point where the River Tejo meets the Atlantic and from where the great Portuguese navigators once set sail. This setting and the unique architecture provides an inspiring and productive opportunity for peer-to-peer interaction with leading international experts in the field. Participants will:

  • Learn the state of the art in the sciences related to brain and space
  • Understand and explore tomorrow's research and market challenges
  • Be challenged to think laterally outside their daily work setting
  • Present their own work and ideas to receive feedback and advice
  • Get one-on-one access to experts in a relaxed and productive setting
  • Improve presentation and team work skills
  • Return home refreshed and newly motivated


The Vespucci format is multi-faceted and will include:

  • Topical presentations and group projects
  • Analyses of case studies
  • Discussions and critiques of methodology
  • Opportunities for working on
    • joint publications in international journals
    • project proposals to funding agencies or management
    • business plans


Vespucci Institutes are not-for-profit activities. 

Who should apply?

  • University researchers, faculty, and graduate students at all levels, from GI Science, Spatial Cognition, as well as other related spatial disciplines
  • Thought leaders and researchers in industry, the not-for-profit, and government sectors
  • Developers of GIS and e-Government solutions