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100,000 Strong in the Americas Announces New Innovation Fund Competition

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Partners of the Americas is pleased to announce the launch of the latest Innovation Fund competition in partnership with Cementos Progreso and the Department of State.

The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is the Department’s signature hemispheric-wide education initiative.  The Innovation Fund is the trusted mechanism that creates enduring links between governments, academia, and business to build institutional capacity, increase academic mobility programs, champion the power of education in transforming societies, and provide opportunity to more students in the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere.

Innovation Fund partnerships between the United States and Latin America provide more students with access to dynamic academic exchange programs, short-term programs to work in teams, and to gain technical skills critical for today’s workforce. As of March 2019, the Innovation Fund has awarded 198 grants to teams of 370 higher education institutions (HEIs) in 25 countries and 42 U.S. States.

This new Innovation Fund Grant Competition for the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador will award up to eight (8) grants to support new HEI partnerships between universities and colleges in the United States, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

The 2019 Innovation Fund Competition for U.S.-Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador Higher Education Partnerships is supported by investments from Cementos Progreso and the U.S. Department of State.

“We are very pleased to participate in the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund initiative of the U.S. Department of State, which reaffirms our commitment to strengthening the capacities of our youth. In this way, Cementos Progreso continues to contribute to building the country we want to live in,” adds José Raúl González, CEO of Cementos Progreso.

Teams of HEIS are invited to submit Innovation Fund grant proposals to focus on exchange and training programs in academic areas of Environmental Studies, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Natural Resource Management, STEM, or Entrepreneurship with emphasis on addressing solutions to environmental issues in the eligible countries.

Innovation Fund grants are typically $25,000 each—with matching contributions from grant-winning teams that average $1.80 for every grant dollar—to implement new student exchange and training programs in the United States and Latin America.  Currently, over 1,880 higher education institutions subscribe to the Innovation Network – including 1,000 universities / colleges in the United States.

The deadline to submit proposals for this Innovation Fund grant competition is August 15, 2019. For more information, see the Request for Proposals here.

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The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is a public-private sector collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassies, Partners of the Americas, NAFSA, corporations, foundations, and regional governments working together with academic networks to facilitate new partnerships between higher education institutions the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere.

Since its inception in January 2014, the Innovation Fund has been the trusted mechanism to support this hemispheric-wide education initiative of the Bureau of the Western Hemisphere Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.   This public/private sector partnership builds bridges of connectivity, strengthens institutional capacity, increases student exchanges, and stimulates regional education cooperation throughout the Americas.  As of March 2019, the Innovation Fund has awarded 198 grants to over 370 teams of universities and colleges in 25 countries and in 42 U.S. states.

LEARN MORE: www.100kStrongAmericas.org

The mission of Partners of the Americas is to connect people and organizations across borders to serve and to change lives through lasting partnerships. These partnerships create opportunity, foster understanding, and solve real-life problems. Inspired by President Kennedy and founded in 1964, under the Alliance for Progress, Partners is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, D.C.  Learn more at www.partners.net or via Twitter @partnersamerica.

Cementos Progreso is a Guatemalan company that has been in operations for 120 years.  Throughout its history it has striven to be an excellent corporate citizen aiming at capturing economic, social and environmental values to achieve sustainability, through the implementation of a set of strong values and principles.  Cementos Progreso is characterized by its modern industrial process, its high environmental standards and respect towards the communities in which it operates.  It has been recognized as one of the best places to work in Guatemala and Central America by the Best Place to Work Institute, as one of the 128 most ethical companies in the world by the Ethisphere Institute and as a company of excellence on workplace health and safety by the British Safety Council.  Cementos Progreso has contributed to the social and economic development of Guatemala through its corporate social responsibility commitment, its philanthropic work and the production of quality and innovative products and building solutions.  The Company considers the human element key for achieving sustainable development. Therefore, it is only fitting that Cementos Progreso would contribute to the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, and by doing so, support the creation of more capacity that would allow Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to thrive and be more prosperous societies.  Additional information on Cementos Progreso is available at www.cementosprogreso.com.

Press contact: Rachel Falek | rfalek@partners.net