Science and Technology policy seminar brought together the University of Melbourne and Cruch

Within the framework of the academic and scientific collaboration agreements between the universities of Australia and Chile, the meeting between the delegation of the University of Melbourne, led by its rector Glyn Davis, was held on Monday, March 25, at the University of Santiago. , and academics from CRUCH universities.

The purpose of the seminar was to share research and financing strategies as well as learn about our realities, strengthen alliances and initiate academic collaboration alternatives, advancing in common projects in the areas of earth sciences, sustainability, architecture, engineering and climate change. 

On the part of the Council of Rectors, the meeting was chaired by the Vice President

Executive of the CRUCH and rector of the University of Santiago, Juan Manuel Zolezzi, who welcomed by highlighting that "we know the importance of Australia and its universities, we know its progress and we know that it is a land of discoveries and innovation." The rector Ignacio Sánchez of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and the rector Alberto Loyola of the University of Antofagasta also attended. 

The first part of the seminar was focused on sharing information on research funding policies and the challenges faced by Chilean and Australian universities in the various fields of higher education.

In his presentation, the rector of the University of Melbourne Glyn Davies placed special emphasis on the future role of universities: will the university of the future continue to be a campus for learning or just an operator for the transmission of knowledge? He also presented the e-Learning program “Coursera” which currently teaches 7 courses for a total of 110,000 enrolled students, thus placing topics for future debate. The first panel opened with the presentation by Rector Alberto Loyola on development of scientific research at Cruch universities, followed by a presentation by the president of CONICYT, José Miguel Aguilera, who presented the policy for financing research in science and technology of this Institution. There was also a presentation from CORFO by the deputy director of technology transfer, Darío Morales, on the InnovaChile program. This first panel was closed with a presentation by the Director of the Nanoscience Center of Excellence (CEDENNA), Dora Altbir, who presented the successful advances in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology of the Associative Research Program.

The second panel was led by academics from the University of Melbourne, opening the Vice Chancellor for Research Jim McCluskey with a presentation on the possibilities of collaboration in scientific research between UMEL and CRUCH universities.

Four academics then made brief presentations from their respective areas: Rick Roush in Agriculture and the Environment; Tom Kvan in Architecture; Iven Mareels in Engineering and Rod Keenan in Climate Change.


After sharing a lunch, the second part of the meeting began with 4 parallel workshops, in which Australian and Chilean academics shared their experiences focused on 4 topics: agriculture and the environment, architecture, engineering and climate change. These workshops facilitated direct contact between academics in their respective areas to explore the possibilities for future collaborations to enhance scientific research.

At the end of this seminar, the dialogue between researchers was valued, which allows new projects to emerge, recalling the words of the rector Zolezzi, “that our responsibility as universities is not only the generation and dissemination of knowledge, but that knowledge becomes practical and improve the quality of life of citizens ”. 


Photo credit: U. de Santiago