By Ciaran Moynihan, on 31 May 2016
Professor Michael Arthur, President and Provost of UCL, hosted a successful Chilean Guest of Government Event earlier this month.
The event provided an opportunity for the public to directly engage with project and programme leads from a range of companies, UK research funding agencies and UK universities, to explore the vast range of UK-Chile collaborations underway.
The event was held in conjunction with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Chilean Embassy London and the International Unit, Universities UK.
Guests included a high level Government of Chile Delegation, led by Heraldo Muñoz, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Professor Robin Grimes, Chief Scientific Advisor to the FCO and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Chile, Fiona Clouder joined the Event on behalf of the British Government.
Mutually beneficial collaborations
The event began with a Project Showcase – the FCO’s first joint Newton-Prosperity Showcase displaying a range of UK-Chile initiatives that have been funded through the Newton-Picarte and Prosperity Funds.
This was followed by a roundtable discussion on education, science and innovation, focusing on how the UK and Chile can work more closely together in future.
Minister Muñoz welcomed the strong approach to partnership between UCL and Chile, which was outlined by Professor Michael Arthur in his welcome words at the roundtable. He highlighted the importance of such funding opportunities in developing mutually beneficial projects between the two countries.
The Minister stated that Chile’s upcoming removal from the DAC List of ODA Recipients must not result in an immediate removal of access to such funding sources and that the Chilean Government would be discussing this with key stakeholders over the coming months.
Supporting national priorities
Minister Muñoz and Minister Gómez-Lobo outlined a number of national priority areas, which they noted could benefit further from partnerships with UK institutions, including astronomy, energy, the use of satellite technology to prevent illegal fishing along Chile’s coast and city transport initiatives.
Professor Michael Arthur said: “It was wonderful for UCL to host this fantastic event with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Chilean Embassy London and the International Unit.
“The event highlighted the exciting range of projects that are already underway between UK and Chilean institutions and the scope for further partnerships. Chile is one of UCL’s priority countries for development of partnerships that can lead to the creation of wise solutions to global challenges – the commitment of the Chilean and British governments to supporting development of such links is inspiring and I hope will lead to further engagement between UCL and Chilean institutions in future”.
Building shared approaches
Her Majesty’s Ambassador Fiona Clouder added: “The event at UCL demonstrated the vibrancy of collaborations already underway between the UK and Chile. Since I began my posting in Chile, I have seen a strong increase in UK and Chilean universities working in partnership to address challenges that not only affect Chile but also the UK.
“I hope the discussions at UCL will add to the momentum already developing around building shared approaches to benefit both nations in the future.”
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