New agreement comes after 2013 trip to Brazil with Tampa Bay area leaders, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn
TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 29, 2016) – The University of South Florida and Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (PUCRS) have entered into a new partnership to collaborate on future innovation, research and entrepreneurship activities.
USF System President Judy Genshaft and Joaquim Clotet, president of PUCRS, have signed a formal agreement, the first international research park agreement for USF, recognizing the institutional mutual interests in education and research. The agreement also focuses on research-driven economic development to be shared and promoted by the USF Research Park and PUCRS’s research park TECNOPUC.
The build up to the agreement dates back several years, with USF working with PUCRS to establish a strong, interdisciplinary and sustainable relationship. In 2013, USF representatives visited PUCRS during the Tampa Bay Trade and Business Development Mission to Brazil, where Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and the mayor of Porto Alegre, Jose Fortunati, signed a Sister City Agreement.
“Our agreement with PUCRS establishes future collaboration among faculty, increases opportunities for student exchanges, and allows us to share best practices in connecting university research to economic development,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft.
Although PURCS is a private university, it has discipline strengths very similar to USF. There has already been an exchange of scholars in pharmacy, engineering and social sciences and USF has hosted administrators and researchers from TECNOPUC. Joint research will range from pharmacy, public health, engineering, computer science, sociology and political science to the work of the USF Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean. Two USF faculty members, from English and Global Studies, will travel to PUCRS in July in advance of Brazil’s hosting of the 2016 Summer Olympics.
In addition to 2013’s trade mission, in 2012 the Colleges of Pharmacy at USF and PUCRS began to work together, followed by PUCRS professors of engineering and computer science serving stints as visiting professors at USF.
During 2015, many USF and PUCRS faculty members and graduate students visited back and forth for study and collaboration.
The scope and terms of the new agreement include exchanging visiting scholars for research and exploring entrepreneurial opportunities, exchange of scholarly information, and developing opportunities for “soft landing” of research park companies interested in conducting business in Brazil or the United States.
The agreement is effective for five years, after which it can be renewed.
The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 25 research university among public institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving over 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.