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100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund Announces New Grant Winning Institutions Between Colombia and the United States

13 Innovation Fund teams for 100,000 Strong in the Americas.

September 10, 2019: Bogotá, Colombia:  The U.S. Department of State and Partners of the Americas announce new grant winners in the latest Innovation Fund grant competition sponsored by Colombia’s Department of Science, Technology, and Innovation (COLCIENCIAS) and the U.S. Department of State.

The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is the U.S. Department of State’s signature education initiative in the Western Hemisphere region for leveraging commitments from public and private sectors, regional governments, and higher education networks to expand academic mobility, strengthen regional education cooperation, and enhance workforce development in the Americas.

The Innovation Fund inspires U.S. universities and colleges to team up with higher education institutions in Latin America to create partnerships to provide students with access to new exchange and training programs. Innovation Fund partnerships provide students with more opportunities to work in teams, gain skills, solve real-world problems, and become better prepared for today’s workforce.

Since January 2014, the Innovation Fund has awarded 224 grants to teams of 387 higher education institutions (HEIs) in 25 countries and 43 U.S. States. Colombia is one of the leading countries in this hemispheric-wide initiative to form dynamic partnerships with U.S. colleges and universities to provide students with access to academic exchange programs in both countries. To date, 15 Colombian departments and 26 U.S. states benefit from Innovation Fund partnerships.

This competition—sponsored by Colciencias and the U.S. Department of State—will provide 13 teams with grants of up to $35,000 each to support new partnerships between universities and colleges in the United States and Colombia. These Innovation Fund partnerships will provide access to groundbreaking exchange and training programs for students in both countries to strengthen research-creation skills through internships and practicums. It also aims to support Colombian and U.S. institutions to build academic networks, develop strategic alliances, internationalize, and strengthen sustainable partnerships around areas of mutual interest between the countries, like the creative industries.

“[The Colombian] government recognizes research-creation as a new activity of science, technology, and innovation. For this reason, we at Colciencias propose different strategies that promote the development of the creative and cultural industries based on knowledge, which constitute a mega sector of constant growth that contributes significantly to social inclusion, cultural diversity, and human development,” stated Diego Hernández Losada, Director of Colciencias.


The new Innovation Fund grant-winning teams sponsored by Colciencias and the U.S. Department of State are:

Corporación Universidad de Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
University of Oregon, Oregon, United States

Women as Agents of Change in the Context Situated in the Colombian Conflict of False Positives

This project between Corporación Universidad de Medellín and the University of Oregon aims to involve participating students in inter-institutional research and creation processes linked to documentary film, with a focus on gender studies and social change. Activities developed in the project will culminate with the creation of a short documentary. Students will participate in seminars and enroll in courses focused on documentary, multimedia, and photojournalism production.

Fundación Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogotá, Distrito Capital, Colombia
Arizona State University, Arizona, United States

Academic Research-Creation Program to Explore Regional Material Cultures in Colombia as Base to Enable Post-Conflict Autonomous Design Processes

Fundación Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano (UTadeo) and Arizona State University (ASU) will conduct an international exchange program for students to advance and develop tools and research-creation skills that support the implementation of regional material cultures in Colombia as a way to emerge new creative cultural industries. Students from UTadeo will participate in a full-time internship at ASU to prepare them to connect speculative design techniques to their work on Autonomous Design in order to strengthen regional material cultures in post-conflict conditions, while ASU students will participate in a full-time practicum at UTADEO, where they will partake in fieldwork in Cartagena and apply the Autonomous Design methodology with selected local indigenous communities.

Fundación Universidad del Norte, Atlántico, Colombia
Purdue University, Indiana, United States

Translanguaging: A Writing Laboratories Academic Exchange

Fundación Universidad del Norte (UniNorte) and Purdue University (Purdue) present an innovative model for strengthening research on Translingualism and the development of academic and creative writing. The main goal of the program is to establish a symbiotic relation between writing labs at both institutions through the mobility of students interested in doing research in both creative and academic writing. Purdue students will participate in all planning and development of activities and materials for the Writing Center, and workshops that comprise all the disciplinary knowledge. UniNorte students will take part in tutoring sessions as interns in the writing lab, be part of the training sessions, update seminars for Purdue Writing Lab tutors, and gather information on the writing process for their research.

Fundación Universitaria del Área Andina, Bogotá, Distrito Capital, Colombia
Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, United States
Fundación Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogotá, Distrito Capital, Colombia

Cine Clubs in Community: Video as a Tool of Knowledge, Creation, and Identity

Fundación Universitaria del Área Andina, Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, and Fundación Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano came together to create a study exchange program that will focus on audiovisual production and cultural diversity. Puerto Rican students will work with communities in Bogotá and evaluate the impact of film clubs as a tool for social cohesion. Colombian students will partake in a research-creation internship, where they will study the link between creative and cultural activities and social problems. As part of the program, students will create an audiovisual product that will be presented to communities in both Colombia and Puerto Rico as a way to recognize cultural diversity and to impact social reconstruction.

Purdue University, Indiana, United States
Universidad de Antioquia, Antioquia, Colombia
Instituto Tecnológico Metropolitano, Antioquia, Colombia

Open Estudio

“Open Estudio” is a bidirectional bridge between students from Purdue University, Universidad de Antioquia (UdeA) and Instituto Tecnológico Metropolitano (ITM). Students will be introduced to a course in 3D animation and programming graphics to develop interactive and context-based projects, and will partake in projects reflecting course topics, leading to an exhibit of the resulting projects at the Cultural Center of the Universidad de Antioquia. Colombian students from both UdeA and ITM will be working on a four-month practicum at Purdue where they will conduct research on creative technology development and display their projects at Purdue University as a final exhibit.

Purdue University, Indiana, United States
Universidad de Caldas, Caldas, Colombia

Intercultural Communication through Devised Theatre

Thes program between Purdue University and Universidad de Caldas (Caldas) will target students from various backgrounds, such as dance, music, and theatre. It will provide both a cross-cultural learning experience and a unique opportunity to engage in an intercultural practicum. Activities for this program will center around the design, coordination, and implementation of the final product. Students will coordinate to design and produce theatre work, will develop a promotional plan, and use department resources for the final production.

Stockton University, New Jersey, United States
Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Distrito Capital, Colombia

Student Exchange Internship Program

The student mobility initiative, presented by Stockton University and Universidad del Rosario, is an interdisciplinary curriculum that combines service-learning, community-based research, and creative-research strategies. Students will be expected to identify local, national, and transnational implications of human migration as a global megatrend, and to expand their understanding of and empathy for various populations. The internship program will require students to interact through online platforms as well as in visiting scholars’ lectures, workshops, and field trips in the U.S. and Colombia. The concept of “museumization”, the process by which origins are historicized to installation art or are examined through its aesthetics and functions as a museum and an archive, will also be investigated.

Universidad Católica de Manizales, Manizales, Caldas, Colombia
DePaul University, Illinois, United States

Educational Digital Game to Prevent Cyberbullying in 8-to-13 Year-Old Children

The project between Universidad Católica de Manizales and DePaul University will impact 8-to-13-year-old children through an educational digital game to teach, prevent, and control the cyberbullying phenomenon and to help decrease its prevalence during adolescence. Students from both institutions will work together to design the game and also create an assessment mechanism that can be applied in schools in Manizales to measure its impact on children. The digital game will be executed as a literacy tool to provide children with a fun way to learn about cyberbullying.

Universidad de La Sabana, Cundinamarca, Colombia
Purdue University, Indiana, United States

Partnering for Prosocial Digital Campaigns: A Student Exchange and Faculty Collaboration

The proposed project is a collaboration between the Universidad de La Sabana and Purdue University to facilitate institutional partnerships and innovation in the creative industries. Students will engage in workshops, training, and an internship focused on skill and knowledge development in areas of customer requirements, viral media techniques, social media analytics, user-centric design thinking, and audience psychographics. This project will also engage the academic community through experiential learning opportunities, the generation of real-life creative products between urban Colombian populations and coffee-farmers experiencing climate change, and a research seminar and scholarly publication.

Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Distrito Capital, Colombia
University of California, Santa Cruz, California, United States
Purdue University, Indiana, United States

Information Visualization and Digital Fabrication with Applications to the Creative Industries Field

Universidad de los Andes (UniAndes), the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), and Purdue University will establish an international research internship exchange program for students interested in the creative use of new information and communication technologies. The program will focus on Data Visualization and Digital Fabrication, and provide a unique opportunity for the institutions to share the state of research and results through professors and student interactions. UCSC and Purdue students will spend one month of the summer working at the UniAndes School of Architecture and Design, while Colombian students will spend four months working at the Shape Lab at Purdue.

Universidad Ean, Bogotá, Distrito Capital, Colombia
University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas, United States

MappEAN Cultural Expressions: The Observatory for Creative Economies

The partnership between Universidad EAN (EAN) and University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) will build student and institutional capacity for enhancing cultural and creative industries and its social impact. Students will collaborate to develop a matrix of variables, and then map out San Antonio and Bogotá’s cultural and creative industries ecosystem through field research and data collection. EAN students will conduct research in the various sectors of cultural activities to identify the processes and value chains to analyze the territorial influence in San Antonio. UTSA students will explore the challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurship in the creative industries, while also developing a deeper understanding of Colombian culture, history, and sociopolitical change.

Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia
University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Innovation Challenges with Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for Health

The goal of the program between Universidad Industrial de Santander and University of Missouri-Kansas City is for students to learn the fundamentals and acquire the skills needed to design and develop Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality applications, and to implement interactive products. Students will attend a seminar and take part in a research-creation practicum where they will be assigned to facilitate the technological transfer to other student research groups.

Universidad Santiago de Cali, Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia, United States

International Research-Creation Internships and Práctica in the Creative and Cultural Industries through a Joint Digital Storytelling Program

Universidad Santiago de Cali (USC) and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) seek to increase the participation of students in scholarly activities that address research, innovation, language, and cultural immersion. USC and VCU students will partake in an inventive Media Studies program to bring to life the vibrant cultural settings in their respective communities to readers around the world. The proposed program will expand on these topics through virtual student collaborations, generating/creating inputs, and learning diverse forms of system communications to raise the visibility of the culture and art scenes of each city. Students will also have the opportunity to improve their Spanish or English through language enhancement activities.


The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is the public-private sector collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassies, Partners of the Americas, NAFSA: Association for International Educators, regional governments, companies, and foundations working with academic networks to stimulate and support new higher education institutional partnerships between the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere.

Since 2014, the Innovation Fund has become the trusted flexible mechanism to support this hemispheric-wide education initiative to build connectivity, enhance institutional capacity, increase student exchange and training opportunities, and strengthen regional education cooperation throughout the Americas.

As of July 2019, the Innovation Fund has awarded 224 grants to teams of 387 teams of universities and colleges in 25 countries and in 43 U.S. states. Currently, over 2,100 higher education institutions have joined the Innovation Network— with 1,200 universities and colleges in the United States.

JOIN and LEARN more: www.100kstrongamericas.org  //   Follow: #100KStrongAmericas

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.  Learn more at www.partners.net or via Twitter @partnersamerica.

Under the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia, Colciencias serves as the public entity that leads, guides, and coordinates the national policy in science, technology, and innovation, as well as the National System of Science, Technology, and Innovation. Through this role, it seeks to generate and integrate knowledge into the social, economic, cultural and territorial development of the country by focusing its efforts on four main areas: education for research, research, innovation, and scientific culture. For more information about Colciencias, visit www.colciencias.gov.co/.

Press contact: Rachel Falek | rfalek@partners.net