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Colombia in line with the global scientific community


Juan Ernesto de Bedout, a Colombian alumnus from Purdue University

ANLLY TATIANA FLÓREZ OSPINA - EL UNIVERSAL | Cartagena, Colombia | Publicado el 10 Marzo 2012

The president of Purdue University, France Anne Córdova, and her team visited the facilities of El Universal to discuss the agreements they have made with several Colombian institutions. The partnerships will support collaborative research between the scientific communities of Colombia and the United States.

In 2010, Purdue made agreements with Colfuturo (a financing institution), Colciencias (a national science and technology board) and the Colombian Ministry of Education. The cooperative agreement will enable 60 Colombians to earn their doctorate and 20 young researchers to participate in scientific internships and technology consulting projects.

In the capital of the state of Bolivar, the University of Cartagena is also cultivating relationships with Purdue, as is the Technological University of Bolivar. Both Colombian institutions only recently began exploring the possibility of participating in exchanges and collaborations with their U.S. counterpart.

The 2010 agreement between Purdue and the Colombian government agencies created the Colombia-Purdue Institute for Scientific Research to enable an exchange of knowledge that will connect cultures and enhance academic efforts.

"The institute will support the development of doctoral training programs in strategic areas to Colombia, including nanotechnology, biotechnology and engineering—including postdoctoral fellowship," said Juan Ernesto de Bedout, a Colombian graduate of Purdue University, who facilitates Purdue’s partnerships in Colombia.



France Anne Córdova, president of the U.S.-based Purdue University.

The parties to the agreement will support conferences, workshops and other academic events. The purpose is to equip the Colombian community with tools and resources that will support education, collaboration and a stronger global image.

Internships and training opportunities for young researchers will be 6 and 12 months long.

The Ministry of Education and Colciencias will be co-organizers of the annual workshops. Colciencias will finance the Colombian workshops as well as the travel expenses of Colombian participants.

"Among the advantages of the Colombia-Purdue Institute for Scientific Research is access to technology, information, and the latest findings of the global scientific community,” said France Anne Córdova. “This provides up-to-date guideposts for Colombian researchers.

"Often, after socializing studies with researchers worldwide, students surpass their professors; they arrive at the forefront, meaning mentors need more expertise each day. Moreover, they should avoid repeating efforts by learning from the research ongoing in other countries,” explained the president of Purdue University.


Among the projections of the new Colombia-Purdue Institute for Scientific Research, are the following:

-Establish doctoral programs tailored to the research priorities of the best Colombian students.

-Connect the Colombian scientific community with academic networks around the world through the Purdue tool known as nanoHub.org. For more information, visit the Internet site: https://engineering.purdue.edu/cpiasr.

-Ensure that Colombian investments in science and technology reach all levels of society through Purdue’s educational services and programs. For example, the Ministry of Education plans to support research to bring energy to remote places of the country so that the Colombian people can access computers and a better education.

Likewise, Purdue and Colombia are advancing a botanical expedition to the state of Choco in order to conduct an inventory of existing jungle bacteria that might spur additional research.



The astronomer and astrophysicist France Anne Córdova, President of Purdue University, received the “Order of Merit Jose Joaquin Gomez in the Degree of Officer Cruz,” the highest recognition from the University of Cartagena.

The University of Cartagena awarded the astronomer and astrophysicist, France Anne Córdova, president of Purdue University, with the “Order of Merit Jose Joaquin Gomez in the Degree of Officer Cruz,” the highest recognition given by the institution.

For two years, Purdue University and the University of Cartagena have been strengthening relations in the areas of nanotechnology and life sciences.

German Sierra Anaya, rector (president) of the University of Cartagena, highlighted the internationalization of Colombia’s Caribbean public universities and announced another upcoming visit from Purdue University. Next week, professors and students from Purdue will engage in academic and cultural activities with their peers at the University of Cartagena.

Córdova's scientific contributions have been in the areas of observational and experimental astrophysics, multi-spectral research on x-ray and gamma ray sources, and space-borne instrumentation. She has published more than 200 scientific and public policy journal articles.

She was co-principal investigator for a telescope experiment that is currently flying on the satellite XMM-Newton, a cornerstone mission of the European Space Agency.

She is the winner of NASA's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, and was recognized as a 2000 Kilby Laureate for “contributions to society through science, technology, innovation, invention, and education.” Córdova was previously included as one of "America's 100 Brightest Scientists Under 40" by Science Digest magazine and recently appeared among the 101 Top Influential Leaders in Hispanic U.S. by Latino Leaders magazine.