Expanding the level of innovation across the Americas can enable the economic growth required to support peace, prosperity and sustainable development across the region. While initiatives are in place to move toward more knowledge-based economies, a foundational capability — namely, a research and education ecosystem supporting innovation — is lagging in Latin America. Networks of excellence will accelerate participation in the global ecosystem of innovation and create leapfrog platforms for more robust and sustainable economies.


Research and education ecosystems, foundational components of knowledge-based economies, are relatively underdeveloped in Latin America. The entire ecosystem of a research university — including resources, corporate partnerships, and research — must capitalize on a symbiosis between the research, education and commercialization missions. A university cannot transform unilaterally nor can universities sustain the required transformation without government and industry participation. Initiatives to accelerate the development of research university ecosystems are critical for the realization of knowledge-based economies and resilient civil societies.

To accelerate the development of research and education ecosystems across the Americas, the authors propose to establish “Networks of Excellence” in key focus areas. Each Network of Excellence will be multi-institutional, multi-sector (university, corporate, government, NGO) and multi-national. These multi-faceted networks will allow participants to define and share programs, policies, and content, significantly leverage the resources provided for related programs, and identify opportunities to leapfrog existing programs. Proposed themes for networks include regional grand challenges and cross-cutting capabilities.


networks of excellence, multi-institutional, multi-sector, multi-national, ecosystem, education, research, university, Latin America, Purdue, development, accelerate

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