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

Fundación Televisa Funds New U.S.-Mexico Higher Education Partnerships for Workforce Development

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO: September 28, 2017: The U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators announced the latest 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grant winners sponsored by Fundación Televisa.

“I see resilience in the way U.S. and Mexican institutions of higher learning, businesses, NGOs, and governments overcome challenges in increasing student exchanges and mutual understanding between our two neighboring countries and our increasingly connected people,” said the Ambassador of the United States to Mexico Roberta Jacobson.

With Fundacion Televisa’s support, the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grant competition will facilitate eight new higher education partnerships designed exclusively for universities and community colleges in the United States and institutions in the Tecnológico Nacional de México (TecNM) network in Mexico. Innovation Fund grant-winning teams will create new student training opportunities in the fields of aeronautics, agroindustry, automotive industry, energy, and information / communications technology.

100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grants fuel strategic partnerships among higher education institutions in the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere. The 20 new institutions announced today will provide groundbreaking exchange programs that will allow students to work in teams, gain technical skills, and become more competent for the global workforce. Innovation Fund grants are $25,000 each, and grant-winning teams contribute additional resources to leverage and implement sustainable short-term student exchange to and from Mexico. To date since 2014, a total of 76 higher education institutions in Mexico and the United States have been awarded Innovation Fund grants that are supported by the public-private sector collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassies, Partners of the Americas, NAFSA, companies, and foundations.

The Innovation Fund provides grants to higher education institutions which strengthen institutional capacity for exchange programs, increase student mobility, provide more student training opportunities, and enhance regional education cooperation and collaboration throughout the Americas. Since January 2014, the Innovation Fund has awarded 126 grants to teams of 246 higher education institutions from 25 countries in the Western Hemisphere region. A total of 38 U.S. states and 18 Mexican states have benefitted from Innovation Fund grant partnerships. More than 1700 higher education institutions form the the Innovation Fund’s hemisphere-wide network, including 1000 U.S. universities and community colleges. 100,000 Strong in the Americas — the leading higher education initiative in the Western Hemisphere — aims to increase the annual number of U.S. students studying in Latin America and the Caribbean to 100,000, and bring 100,000 students to the United States by 2020.

New Innovation Fund grants sponsored by Fundación Televisa will be awarded to:

Farmingdale State College, State University of New York, New York, United States / Instituto Tecnológico de Zacatepec, Mexico

Exchange to Promote Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to Students in Mexico & the U.S.

Farmingdale State College-SUNY, together with Instituto Tecnologico de Zacatepec (ITZ), will develop a program in technology and computer systems designed to strengthen US-Mexico relations through an immersive cohort model leading to educational and cross-cultural business collaboration. Located in a rural area in the southern state of Morelos, ITZ aims to increase low-income indigenous students’ prospect for technical product innovation, business development, and future international careers. Through this grant, Farmingdale State College and ITZ will be able to promote a global workforce through quality software management and production curricula. The grant will also enable both institutions to strengthen international relations and cultural exchange through the offering of collaborative, bilateral study abroad courses for years to come.


Instituto Tecnológico de Chihuahua II, Mexico / Mississippi State University, Mississippi, United States

Preparing Multicultural Engineers to Cope with Global Challenges: An Innovative Analysis of a Virtual Manufacturing Training Cell Project as a Gateway to Success

Instituto Tecnológicode Chihuahua II (ITC II) will expand its study abroad program in collaboration with Mississippi State University (MSU) by creating a program to equip low-income students with cultural literacy to compete in the globalized workforce. ITC II and MSU will engage students to participate in learning experiences that closely connect their English/Spanish knowledge to the field of engineering on an international scale. The grant will allow ITC II to formally establish an International Programs Office in order to develop strong, lasting, bilateral relationships. Students will collaborate on a final project for a virtual manufacturing training cell and will assist professors in simulation laboratories before presenting results to employees at the manufacturing company.


Instituto Tecnologico de La Laguna, Mexico / Monroe Community College, State University of New York, New York, United States / Instituto Tecnológico de Carrillo Puerto, Mexico / Instituto Tecnológico de Durango, Mexico

Design of Production Units to Dry Regional Products (Vegetables, Fruits And Aromatic Plants) Using Solar Energy in a Sustainable Rural Microenterprise Model

Instituto Tecnologico de La Laguna (ITL) and partners at Monroe Community College (SUNY), Instituto Tecnológico de Carrillo Puerto, and Instituto Tecnológico de Durango will task students to curate sustainable solutions for a low-income community through a small production business model. The goal of the program is to improve income generation for families, support empowerment of women, and provide better nutrition for children in Petronilas, a rural community located in the state of Coahuila in northern Mexico. Students and faculty of the partnering institutions will work collaboratively to create prototypes to overcome food poverty using solar energy to power a rudimentary drying oven. Through this grant, students will be able to study product commercialization and methods to grow produce year round.


Instituto Tecnologico de Mexicali, Mexico / San Diego State University, Imperial Valley Campus, California, United States

Sustainable Energy Technologist Program

Instituto Tecnologico de Mexicali (ITM),in cooperation with San Diego State University, Imperial Valley Campus (SDSU-Imperial Valley), will create a bilateral exchange program in the area of renewable energy that will give students the foundation to become the next generation of clean energy engineers. This grant will allow students to visit alternative energy plants in addition to hosting guest speakers working in the field of energy conservation. SDSU-Imperial Valley students will be able to to expand their scope of work to include renewable energy training on the local, national and international level with Mexican institutions.


Instituto Tecnológico de Tijuana, Mexico / University of California, San Diego, California, United States

Student Mobility and Research Collaboration

Instituto Tecnológico de Tijuana (ITT) and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and will implement a program to promote and sustain student mobility through research collaboration within the field of aeronautic engineering. The program will equip students with the opportunity to become leaders across nations and strengthen US-Mexico relations. Upon completion of the program, students will earn a certificate for their research internship and present their findings at a professional summit.


Pima County Community College District, Arizona, United States / Instituto Tecnológico de Hermosillo, Mexico

Sustainable Energy Exchange Program: Benefiting Binational Communities, One Community at a Time

The grant will facilitate collaboration between Pima County Community College (PCC), Instituto Tecnológico de Hermosillo (ITH), as well as community partners to offer participating students the knowledge and practical skills of sustainability leadership. Through the program, students will be exposed to theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of clean energy and sustainability in a global context. With the support of this grant, students will have the opportunity to launch a service learning campaign to educate the community on energy saving tools and techniques.


University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Texas, United States / Instituto Tecnológico de Matamoros, Mexico

Beyond Engineering Education Program (BEE): Cross-border multidisciplinary talent sharing science, technology development and innovation

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) and Instituto Tecnológico de Matamoros (IT Matamoros will develop a collaborative project focused on agroindustry, automotive industry, energy, information and communication technologies. Hosted in the diverse metropolitan region of Rio Grande, the program emphasizes technology development and innovation, connecting students to internships in manufacturing in addition to project-based learning. The grant will allow bidirectional mobility for Mexican and U.S. students to work in partnership with a unifying goal of advancing their respective engineering industries.


The University of Texas at El Paso, Texas, United States / Instituto Tecnológico de Campeche, Mexico / Instituto Tecnológico de Hermosillo, Mexico / Instituto Tecnológico de Tlalpan, Mexico

Technology and Innovations for Building Resilient & Sustainable Community Development: A Binational Faculty and Student Exchange Program

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), in partnership with Instituto Tecnológico de Campeche, Instituto Tecnológico de Tlalpan, and Instituto Tecnológico de Hermosillo will create an exchange program for students to learn sustainable, human-engineered practices that are environmentally friendly and that promote social justice. The grant will allow students and faculty to focus on water, energy and architecture projects. Students will work on community-driven projects to identify and implement engineering solutions for a more sustainable economy. UTEP and its partners hope to foster resilient communities that will meet the developmental needs of societies. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a certification of leadership and entrepreneurship.

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100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund — The Innovation Fund is the public-private sector collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, corporations, foundations, regional governments, and Embassies working together to inspire U.S. universities and colleges to team up with universities and technical education institutions in the Western Hemisphere to create new student exchange and training programs. Innovation Fund grants build institutional capacity, increase student mobility, stimulate regional education cooperation, and contribute to workforce development. Since January 2014, the Innovation Fund has awarded 126 grants to teams of 246 higher education institutions from 25 countries in the Western Hemisphere region. Innovation Fund grants facilitate partnerships between universities and community colleges in the United States and higher education institutions in the Western Hemisphere to increase student exchange and training opportunities and to strengthen connectivity and collaboration between higher education networks throughout the Americas.  Learn more:  www.100kStrongAmericas.org. Follow the Innovation Fund on Twitter and Facebook via #100KStrongAmericas.

Partners of the Americas — 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:   www.partners.net or via Twitter @partnersamerica.

NAFSA — With 10,000 members worldwide, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the largest non-profit professional association dedicated to international education program and policy. Learn more: www.nafsa.org and www.connectingourworld.org or via Twitter @NAFSA and @ConnectOurWorld. 

Fundación Televisa — The main objective of Fundación Televisa is to promote access to better education and to improve the quality of life for the largest number of people possible. It targets its social investments to reach the largest number of people possible, using their media assets to achieve this goal. Fundación Televisa is engaged in a variety of initiatives aimed at improving the lives of Mexico’s people, and believes that working with companies, non-governmental organizations, and the federal government allows Fundación to combine resources and multiply its effect for the economic, social, and cultural development of México.

Press Contact: Taylor Nelson | tnelson@partners.net | (202) 637-6206

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