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100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund Announces New Grant Winning Institutions

Buenos Aires, Argentina: The U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators announce new Innovation Fund grant winning teams as part of the “Argentina-U.S. Workforce Development” competition sponsored by Chevron and the U.S. Department of State.

With support from this public-private sector collaboration, this Innovation Fund competition will facilitate ten new higher education partnerships exclusively for universities and colleges in the United States and higher education institutions in Argentina. The ten grant-winning teams announced today will implement new ground-breaking academic and training programs for students to work together in both countries in the fields of Economic Development and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

“Public-private partnerships address society’s most pressing concerns by fostering innovation that builds 21st century’s workforce critical thinking skills to solve real-world problems,” said Edward C. Prado, U.S. Ambassador to Argentina. “The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund provides Argentina and the United States with dynamic partnerships that fuels economic prosperity for the region.”

Argentina now ranks fourth in this signature hemispheric-wide education initiative with 17 Innovation Fund partnerships between 36 institutions in 14 U.S. states and 7 Argentinian provinces.

The Innovation Fund inspires U.S. universities and colleges to team up with higher education institutions in the rest of the Western Hemisphere to create partnerships that construct bridges of connectivity, increase academic exchanges, provide access to training opportunities, and strengthen regional education cooperation and Competitiveness throughout the Americas.

Since January 2014, the Innovation Fund has awarded 178 grants to 350 teams of higher education institutions from 25 countries and 41 U.S. states. Innovation Fund partnerships provide more access to training opportunities for students to gain technical/linguistic/cross-cultural skills – critical for today’s global workforce. Innovation Fund grant awards are typically $25,000 each –  with grant-winning teams contributing more resources on average of 1.5 times –  to implement sustainable academic exchange programs and increase opportunities for students in the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere.


The new Grant-Winning Teams between Argentina and the United States are:

  • Forsyth Technical Community College, North Carolina, United States
  • Universidad Nacional de Villa María, Villa Maria, Argentina
  • Davidson County Community College, North Carolina, United States
  • Guilford Technical Community College, North Carolina, United States

Innovation Through Synergy: Developing a Globally-Educated Workforce Through Cultural Exchange

Forsyth Technical Community College, along with Universidad Nacional de Villa Maria (UNVM) in Argentina, and Davidson County Community College and Guilford Technical Community College in North Carolina, will facilitate cultural exchanges that will engage students and faculty from all four universities to interact and exchange ideas with one another. The STEM-focused program will expand study abroad programming to Argentina, increase the number of virtual exchanges among partner schools, provide professional development for faculty and administrators who are globalizing their campuses and curricula, and provide an opportunity for UNVM students to travel to North Carolina campuses.

  • University of Texas, El Paso, Texas, United States
  • Universidad Nacional de RosarioRosario, Argentina

Developing Multidisciplinary Global Skills to Prepare Engineering Students  for Leading Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and the Universidad Nacional de Rosario will develop a new, bilateral exchange program for engineering students that focuses on leadership and sustainability. Students will participate and gain broader international perspectives crucial to solving global infrastructure problems. While abroad, students will participate in networking meetings, field visits, and workshops, and will form bi-national teams to address specific problems and design collaborative, sustainable solutions. This program will help bridge the study abroad participation gap by prioritizing Hispanic and first-generation college students from UTEP by strengthening the capacities of both universities to offer opportunities abroad.

  • West Virginia University, West Virginia, United States
  • Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Neuquén, Argentina

Connecting Appalachia and Patagonia: WVU-UNCo International Student Exchange

West Virginia University (WVU) and Universidad Nacional del Comahue (UNCo) are located in regions of high exploration and extraction of shale oil and gas. The two universities will build upon these shared characteristics to implement a new program to allow engineering students to learn more in-depth practical knowledge about exploration and production of shale oil and gas. Students from both universities will travel to host institutions to interact with their students and faculty, participate in workshops, and gain more understanding of shared challenges and opportunities in this field of study.

  • University of Texas – Valle del Río Grande, Texas, United States
  • Universidad de Ciencias Empresariales y Sociales, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Sustainable Energy and Water Resource Management Program

The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley and the Universidad de Ciencias Empresariales y Sociales will create a long-term program centered on sustainability, water, and energy conservation. Students from each institution will work in teams to apply the concept of green buildings to water and energy savings according to the local contexts, while forming cross-cultural relationships and improving language skills through group work on course projects.

  • Fox Valley Técnica College, Wisconsin, United States
  • Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Innovation Accelerator

Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) will work with University of Buenos Aires to develop an intensive immersion exchange experience. The goal of this program is to develop and enhance global competencies and entrepreneurial skills of participating students from each university. Site visits will consist of local business tours and other excursions related to global markets. Following the international travel portion of the program, students will participate together in a Business Model Design Boot Camp at FVTC to gain real-world experience and receive professional guidance in entrepreneurship.

  • Auburn University, Alabama, United States
  • Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Fertilizer Technology – Existing and New Generation Novel Materials for Crop Use

Auburn University and Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata will combine the fields of engineering and agriculture to create a collaborative project in fertilizer technology and use. Graduate students from each university will enroll in a capstone course and spend time at the host institution developing and testing slow-release fertilizers for use in commercial field crop production systems, as well as conducting field trial research through internships with the participating universities. The program will enable students to acquire skills in lignin and polymer synthesis, processing, and characterization of materials necessary to pursue research careers in materials science, in addition to cross-cultural competencies.

  • Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Northwestern University, Illinois, United States

Managing Water, Energy & Environmental Resources to Enhance Prosperity in the Americas: An Environmental Engineering Partnership

Universidad Nacional de San Martin will generate, develop, and strengthen relations with Northwestern University through a new program that will focus on energy and water conservation. Ph.D. students from Argentina will travel to the U.S. to attend weekly research seminars, rotate through research labs, participate in field trips, and attend weekly graduate student seminars at Northwestern. This bilateral exchange will strengthen institutional collaboration between the two universities, while also allowing Ph.D. students to explore environmental issues and engineering solutions at the international level.

  • Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Wisconsin, United States

UNMdP-UWPLATT International Exchange Project for Energy Efficiency Education

Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (UNMdP) and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville will promote a culture of energy efficiency among engineering students through bilateral exchange. Argentine students will travel to UWPLATT to visit research facilities, enroll in courses in the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Program, participate in field trips and projects, and interact with their U.S. counterparts. The U.S. students will later travel to Argentina, where they will participate in the XXV Meeting and International Seminar of Energies of the Academic Energy Commission/Association of Montevideo Group Universities (CAE/AUGM), attend lectures and presentations, present research, and participate in field trips.

  • Universidad Católica de Argentina, Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,Virginia, United States

UCA-VT Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Program

Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA) and Virginia Polytechnic and State University (Virginia Tech) will create a three-pronged program to address accessibility in study abroad that will include STEM courses for international students, service learning, and faculty/researcher exchange, all of which aim to promote science and innovation collaboration among the partnering institutions.

  • The University of New Mexico, New Mexico, United States
  • Universidad Nacional de la Plata, La Plata, Argentina

Peace Engineering, Entrepreneurship, and Renewable Energy

The University of New Mexico, in collaboration with Universidad Nacional de la Plata, will design a bilateral exchange program focused on peace engineering and renewable energy. Students and faculty from each university will travel to the partner university to study renewable energy via lithium batteries and smart grid technology. This program will provide students with a dynamic, intensive international experience in peace engineering while also serving to deepen the relationship between faculty members at both universities. These new connections are expected to lead to the creation of joint and/or dual degree masters and doctoral programs between the two institutions.

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The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is the dynamic public-private sector partnership between the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassies, Partners of the Americas, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, companies, and foundations working together to stimulate and support connectivity between higher education networks throughout the Americas. The Innovation Fund inspires U.S. universities and colleges to team up with higher education institutions in the rest of the Western Hemisphere to work together to create sustainable partnerships, provide more access to student exchanges/training opportunities, and strengthen regional education cooperation and Competitiveness in the Americas. To date since January 2014, the Innovation Fund has awarded 178 grants to teams of 350 higher education institutions from 25 countries and 41 U.S. states. Over 1,850 higher education institutions form part of the Innovation Network – over 1,000 universities and colleges in the United States.

LEARN more and JOIN the Innovation Network: 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, DC. Visit www.partners.net and follow on Twitter.


With 10,000 members worldwide, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the largest non-profit professional association dedicated to international education programming and policy. For more information about NAFSA, visit www.nafsa.org or follow NAFSA on Twitter and visit www.connectingourworld.org or follow Connect our World on Twitter.

Chevron is one of the worlds leading integrated energy companies. Through its subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide, the company is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemicals and additives; generates power; and develops and deploys technologies that enhance business value in every aspect of the companys operations. Chevron is based in San Ramon, California. For more information about Chevron, visit www.chevron.com.

Press contact: Rachel Falek | rfalek@partners.net