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viernes, 9 de junio 2023
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UdeA, among the 31 Latin American Universities in the 100K Strong Innovation Fund

By: Carlos Olimpo Restrepo S.-Journalist
Thanks to an alliance with the University of Florida, UdeA was one of the 31 Latin American institutions to win the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund call for proposals. The project that the two universities are carrying out aims to provide research experiences for students that focus on the effects of climate change on food security, agriculture and natural resources. 

From left to right: Juan Camilo Gaviria, from the UdeA International Relations Office; Liliana González, from the UdeA National Faculty of Public Health; Jorge Ruiz Menjivar, professor at the University of Florida; Rosalie Koenig from the University of Florida, and Cristian Rodríguez, from the UdeA International Relations Office. They participated in the proposal. Photo: International Relations Office.

The alliance between Universidad de Antioquia and the University of Florida -from the United States- received a new incentive. One of the projects developed by both institutions was selected on February 10, 2023, among the winners of the recent call for proposals of the 100K Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund.

The two higher education institutions proposed developing a framework for sustainable student and faculty participation and exchange through a "project that will create integrated student research experiences around the effects of climate change on food, agriculture and natural resources. The program will focus on local food systems, agricultural production and communities and promote the range of career paths offered by agricultural and food sciences."

"Professors from the University of Florida can work with professors of ours in that call in light of the thematic area in which they have decided to work together, as the call seeks to foster academic and scientific cooperation between professors and facilitate student mobility in the field of knowledge they have chosen," said Marcela Garcés Valderrama, director of International Relations at UdeA.

Professors Diego Jarquin, Wagner A. Vendrame and Jorge Ruiz-Menjivar led the proposal on behalf of the University of Florida. Researcher Yadira Borrero and professor Iván Felipe Muñoz, from the National Faculty of Public Health, and professor Holmes Rodríguez Espinosa, from the School of Agricultural Sciences participated on behalf of UdeA.

The proposal from these two institutions seeks to "draw and retain a diverse professional workforce in agriculture that is well prepared to address a wide range of challenges in food production and distribution, natural resource management, food security and economic productivity in the United States, Colombia and the global marketplace," according to the project document.

"We worked with the University of Florida, which in recent years has established itself as an important ally for us. Although this initiative benefits students from the faculties of agricultural sciences and public health, other work axes are underway thanks to this great alliance," noted the director of International Relations.

Marcela Garcés added, "This is a response to Universidad de Antioquia's interest in strengthening academic and scientific cooperation ties and student and faculty mobility with the United States."

100K Strong in the Americas promotes innovative and inclusive training and exchange programs for students and professors in strategic areas from 31 higher education institutions in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. They partner with 23 U.S. universities to implement new exchange and training programs for more than 100 students and professors during 2023 and 2024.

Partners of the Americas and the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the U.S. Department of State lead the initiative. The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Colombia and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) support the project.

For Marcela Garcés, this new achievement results from the fact that the International Relations Directorate "has been able to know the strategic projects of the different academic units very well because of the close work with key actors of Universidad de Antioquia's internationalization ecosystem. These new ways of managing the internationalization of our University allow us to strategically unite the great opportunities that come from the global environment with the academic and scientific potential that we have both at the central level and in our campuses and branches. This union leads us to make our efforts increasingly fruitful."

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