On Tuesday, May 15, the Chilean Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT: Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica) signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) to further scientific and educational cooperation between the two nations.
“CONICYT and NSF share the same views on the importance of science in our lives and of the pivotal role of international cooperation in pushing the boundaries of our knowledge,” said José Miguel Aguilera, president of CONICYT, as he hailed the significance that the MoU could have for the future of both the United States and Chile.
“We also believe that our strengths are complementary and that the bridges we can create through these instruments will not only benefit the collaboration between our scientists but will also inevitably lead to new discoveries and great advancement in the quality of life of our citizens in both countries.”
Not only will the partnership improve coordination of U.S. and Chilean investments in science and engineering, it will strengthen support for NSF science activities in Chile and mean better leverage for scientific investments in Chile.
Already, NSF’s single largest capital investment in a single facility is in Chile, for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), which is currently under construction in the high desert altiplano of northern Chile.
Current collaborations also extend into the areas of geosciences, polar sciences and cyber-enabled research, among others, and this new agreement is expected to pave the way for cooperative activities in a myriad of other sciences.
“This agreement further supports the close ties that the United States and Chile share in science and technology that Presidents Obama and Piñera highlighted during their meeting last year in Santiago,” said Alejandro Wolff, U.S. Ambassador to Chile. “We hope it will deepen cooperation across a wide range of endeavors to enhance our shared knowledge and contributions to mankind.”
The MoU was signed by NSF Director Subra Suresh and Aguilera, who met at the National Science Foundation to formalize and strengthen the partnership the long standing ties between the two countries.
“Since 1956, NSF has engaged in collaborations with Chile,” said Suresh. “Over the course of this long-standing relationship, the U.S. scientific community and Chile have benefited from millions of dollars in research investments in astronomy, oceanography, seismology and more. The Chileans’ enthusiasm for building on these existing activities and developing future partnerships has been inspiring.”