President Sebastián Piñera recently travelled to Rome to officially launch an “educational megaproject” uniting the major universities of Chile and Italy. The institutions of higher learning involved in the agreement will cooperate to develop programs and technologies in industrial design, geothermic energy and environmental management.
The accord, initially set to last for five years, will allow for greater mobility between Chilean and Italian institutions, and greater curricular variety for scholars at both, through academic scholarships. Ultimately, the Megaproject for Scientific and Techological Cooperation, as the program is officially known, will help to develop Chile as a research hub for the highlighted technologies.
“Chile has great potential in developing renewables and geothermic energy with 15 percent of the world’s volcanoes, and Italy has the technology – the basis for a fruitful, strategic partnership,” said President Piñera.
Ignacio Sanchez, Rector of Chile’s Universidad Católica, one of the participating universities, told El Mercurio, “Universidad Católica has had exchange agreements with undergraduates, post-graduates, and researchers from the majority of these institutions for some years now. This agreement will further enhance our work in fields of great importance for Chile.”
Chile’s Universidad Católica is joined by the Universidad de Chile, Concepción, and Técnica Federico Santa Santa María. In Italy, the institutions involved are the Politecnico di Milano, the Università degli Studi Roma Tre, the Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, the Univesità di Pisa, and the Scuola Superiore di Studi e Perfezionalmento Sant’Anna di Pisa. Together under the new agreement, these universities will form the ‘Red Universitaria Chile-Italia’ (Reuchi), or the Chilean-Italian University Network.
President Piñera continued his visit to Rome holding meetings with the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, the Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and finally with Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican City.