Strengthen multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary scientific cooperation to address issues of binational interest, along with the mobility processes of researchers and students, in addition to positioning science and innovation as the basis for the design of policies that respond to country issues.
These are the main objectives of the first Chile – Italy Forum, a meeting of experts from both countries’ universities that will meet in Concepción on May 22nd and 23rd.
The topics to be discussed? In this first bilateral meeting, top-level researchers will address country challenges that concern both nations, such as the Environment and socio-natural disasters, Energy and Natural resources, Food and Health, Art and Heritage, and Social Sciences and Humanities.
Through meetings, panels and workshops, more than 90 specialists will discuss these matters and seek ideas that contribute to developing relevant public policies to be applied in both countries. All this, under the watchful eye and participation of ministerial authorities of our country.
Thus, the event will bring together academics who already have previous collaborations, and who, due to their topics and after presenting their research, will be able to coordinate future meetings, projects and international initiatives, in a way that has already yielded results from previous experiences with other countries such as the Chile-Japan, Chile-Sucia and Chile-France meeting.
As noted by Universidad de Chile’s President, Ennio Vivaldi, it is part of “a long relationship that Chilean researchers have had with Italy, and is also part of a State policy to develop these binational forums, which have already been developed with very successful with Japan, France and Sweden”. All this under the premises of cooperation and the internationalization of Chilean universities. President Vivaldi also relied on the realization of this meeting in regions, particularly in the University of Concepción, in precisely its centenary.
“For the Universidad Católica it is very relevant to be part of the organization of the first Chile Italy Academic Forum, actively working in conjunction with Universidad de Chile and Universidad de Concepción. It seems to me that the main value of these forums is to link academics from different countries, with common interests and areas of work. These spaces are extremely fruitful, since they generate synergies, new questions, ideas and also the possibility of applying for funds, internships and collaboration opportunities, which otherwise would not be produced “, emphasized Universidad Católica’s President, Ignacio Sánchez.
Carlos Saavedra, Universidad de Concepción’s President, explained that for this house of studies it is especially important to be the hosts of the Chile and Italy Forum, in collaboration with the houses of studies of Chile and Pontificia Universidad Católica, “which has the purpose of strengthening the existing links between Chilean and Italian researchers, but also between institutions. In our particular case, these links are strong in the field of environmental sciences, given that 30 years have passed since the installation of the Center for Environmental Sciences, better known as EULA. Therefore, it is a double occasion: to celebrate the 30 years of permanent collaboration that this center and Italian institutions have existed, and also because it takes place within the framework of the Centenary of our institution. We hope that it will develop in the best way and that the existing working relationships will be strengthened and, eventually, we will review the possibility of creating new articulations ”.
Collaborative Work History
The event has as a precedent one, in a long history of relations between both nations. To this, is added the “Chile-Italy Joint Action Plan”, signed in Santiago on March 26th, 2009, which constituted a significant advance in bilateral cooperation and coordination in the political, commercial, environmental and cultural spheres. This agreement was put into effect on January 27 and 28, 2011, when the 1st Meeting of the Chile-Italy Joint Working Group was held in Rome, which allowed for an important launch of relations between the two countries and established a general framework for the development of these.
Then, on March 2nd of the same year, the memorandum of understanding, establishing the Chile-Italy Mega-Project was signed. The main objective was to promote mutual understanding and knowledge through the development of cultural, educational, and cultural, scientific and technological relations. For this, the REUCHI network was established (made up of 9 Universities from both countries).