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Engagement with Colombia

President Daniels and President Santos

Photo: Purdue University's Chief Global Affair Officer Suresh Garimella, Purdue President Mitch Daniels,Colombian Minister of National Education María Fernanda Campo and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos January 2014.

Colombia presents a unique opportunity for Purdue University to have a deep impact in an entire country. Purdue has developed strong relationships (and recognition) from President Santos and various ministers including those of Treasury, Agriculture and Education, as well as with agency heads of Colciencias (their science foundation), Corpoica (an Ag group), the National Planning Development group, and others.  Besides key relationships with all the top universities, we are also exploring partnerships with the private sector.

Colombia offers Purdue a venue where we can satisfy the the goals of the Office of Global Affairs while having a differentiated and significant impact.

Unique nation-university partnership begun in 2010

In late October 2010 three agreements were signed; the first between Purdue and the Ministry of Education of Colombia, and the second between Purdue, Colciencias, and the Ministry of Education of Colombia and the third between Purdue's College of Engineering and Colfuturo. These agreements effectively established the Colombia-Purdue Institute for Advanced Scientific Research (CPIASR).

The goals for the CPIASR are threefold:

  • to advance research in key areas of shared interest, including nanotechnology, biotechnology/biodiversity, agriculture, engineering against natural disasters, and sustainability;
  • to help develop the next generation of community leaders in Colombia's economic development, entrepreneurship, and research enterprises, while evolving the notion of a traditional PhD to a "relevant PhD";
  • to explore the ways in which a research university and a country with a growing economy can work together to have an impact on education, research, and economic development.

A Purdue delegation led by President Mitch Daniels visited Colombia this month to further this partnership. Accompanying Daniels were Suresh V. Garimella, chief global affairs officer and the R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Leah Jamieson, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering and Ransburg Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Arvind Raman, the Robert V. Adams Professor of Mechanical Engineering and faculty lead for the CPIASR.

Key events from Purdue University's January 2014 visit to Colombia:

  • Meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, his ministers of Agriculture, Education and Treasury, heads of related agencies, and select university rectors to discuss Purdue’s potential engagement in planning for the Orinoquía region. 
  • Agreement with Colciencias to firm up continued partnership and support for PhD students, joint workshops, conferences, and research visits. Colciencias is the Colombian agency for science, technology and innovation, which is the equivalent of the U.S. National Science Foundation.
  • The unveiling of Purdue’s Latin American Technical, Research, and Administrative Leaders (LATeRAL) program. The initiative is designed to build strategic partnerships with select universities in Latin America in the training of students at the graduate level (M.S., MBA, Ph.D.). These students will be future leaders ready to meet 21st century challenges as they help transform education and research in Latin American universities, and technological innovations in companies.
  • Six agreements to foster research, exchange programs and supercomputer collaboration with Universidad Nacional, Universidad de los Andes, EAFIT and Universidad de Antioquia.
  • Announcement of Liliana Gómez Díaz as director of Purdue’s new Colombian Partnerships and Engagement Office. Gómez is from Colombia and has an extensive resume as a corporate and academic leader. Among her many accomplishments, she has served as dean of the Business School at the Universidad del Rosario.
  • Meetings with top government officials, CEOs of companies and thought leaders including Purdue alumni. Executives came from leading businesses such as Grupo Aval, Grupo Empresarial Antioqueño, Empresas Públicas de Medellín, Grupo Corona, Grupo Mundial, and Grupo Carvajal.

Purdue University News Release: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/purduetoday/releases/2014/Q1/purdue,-colombia-advance-broad-based-partnerships.html

For additional news releases: https://www.purdue.edu/globalaffairs/strategic/region/latinamerica/colombianewsreleases.html