The delegation from UTSA met with Tec executives headed by David Garza, Rector and Executive President of the institution, as well as initiative directors, vice presidents, and deans from the different schools.
These meetings were held in order to learn about the work that both universities have been doing in the areas of data science, health, innovation, research, and mobility, to name but a few, as well as to seek further partnerships in these sectors.
“We’re looking to extend previous agreements in the areas of cybersecurity and student mobility, as well as additional agreements that broaden our existing collaboration on energy, artificial intelligence, and data science,” said Carlos Lugo, International Relations Manager at the Tec.
“We’ve now added health and logistics, as well as innovation district development,” he added.
According to Lugo, the leadership of Tec de Monterrey and work on core issues by UTSA have paved the way for consolidating a regional partnership between both universities.
“For the Tec, an association with UTSA means stronger connections with their more extensive academic and research ecosystem in San Antonio.” - Carlos Lugo
Committed to innovation synergy
During the meetings, each university learned about the main areas of innovation the other is working on.
“Just as you’re building an innovation district here in Monterrey, we’re doing the same in San Antonio,” said Jaclyn Shaw, Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development at UTSA.
“You might be a little further along in planning, but I think we have a lot of the same aspirations and ambitions,” she added.
The UTSA delegation said that their regional “TX-STARS” technological innovation consortium seems to fit with the innovation initiatives of the Tec and the DistritoTec program, an urban regeneration initiative.
According to Lugo, the Tec is interested in collaborating with UTSA in the areas of data science and cybersecurity.
In the areas of artificial intelligence (AI) and data science, they are looking to connect the Tec’s School of Engineering and Sciences and its Artificial Intelligence Hub with UTSA’s “MATRIX AI Consortium.”
According to Lugo, the aim is to jointly seek scientific excellence in AI research and develop holistic solutions that foster human wellbeing.
“We’re looking to extend previous agreements in the areas of cybersecurity and student mobility. We’ve now added health and logistics.” - Carlos Lugo
What’s more, he mentioned the efforts that both universities could make in other areas of innovation.
“We can build synergies in artificial intelligence, data science and analysis, genetics, obesity and diabetes, immunology, precision therapies, energy, and other such areas of importance for the future of North America,” he added.
Other agreements that were prioritized were:
- Working on mitigating climate change, especially in water sustainability
- Collaborating on technological innovation for markets, entrepreneurship, and supply chains
- Working on advanced manufacturing: designing safety into algorithms and energy efficiency in all sectors.
- Seeking tools for responding to pandemics
- Signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for exchanging information
Seeking academic collaboration
Both universities agreed that collaboration could help them reach higher levels of faculty and student mobility.
According to Lugo, consolidating the academic component is essential to their partnership as a key factor for stronger and more productive bonds.
“For the Tec, an association with UTSA means stronger connections with their more extensive academic and research ecosystem in San Antonio, as we forge bonds together with the Southwest Research Institute and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute,” he said.
The main agreements they reached on academic topics included identifying training partners in Texas and UTSA for students on the Tec21 program, as well as extending agreements on student mobility.
The Tec21 Educational Model is based on challenge-based learning with flexibility, inspiring professors, and a memorable student experience.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is focused on the success of its students and excellence in its research.
UTSA has set up four transdisciplinary consortiums and institutes that reflect its priority niches so that they can be of international importance, these being:
- Artificial intelligence and information technology
- Cybersecurity and energy
- Public health
- Health sciences
UTSA is also executing a 2018-28 strategic plan with three pillars: applied research; innovation excellence; and social mobility and inclusion.
The university includes the National Security Collaboration Center, the School of Data Science, and the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute.