UGPN Conference Promotes International Collaboration

Faculty and staff from the University of Surrey, the University of São Paulo, and the University of Wollongong traveled to Raleigh on April 1-3 to participate in the University Global Partnership Network (UGPN) conference focused on leveraging the interdisciplinary research and teaching strengths of the institutions.

Four major themes – One Health and Global Health, Sustainable and Smart Cities, Data Science and Big Data, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship – guided participants as they collaborated in workshops, learned about NC State’s world-class facilities, and presented about their own research activities.

“At NC State, we seek to create academic, social and economic prosperity in the local community and around the world,” said Bailian Li, senior vice provost for global engagement. “Through the University Global Partnership Network, we’re able to accomplish this goal collaboratively, with our outstanding faculty leading the way through the sharing of knowledge, resources and groundbreaking research.”

In addition to the conference workshops, attendees participated in interactive panel sessions focused on NC State’s successful partnerships with industry as well as efforts to get more girls and women involved in STEM fields.

To promote multilateral collaborative research, UGPN supports a Research Collaboration Fund, currently in its seventh year. Through the Research Collaboration Fund, UGPN partners have supported 56 bilateral, trilateral, and quadrilateral research projects to date, facilitating collaborative work in priority areas such as environmental quality and sustainability, forensic science, health and wellbeing, quantum materials and entrepreneurship. At the end of the conference, the UGPN announced this year’s call for the next round of the Research Collaboration Fund will be open in mid-April.

“Our partnerships allow us to use our academic and research expertise to address timely issues in a multitude of areas, from global health to the environment and natural resources, politics and democracy, biomedical engineering and more,” said Warwick Arden, executive vice chancellor and provost. “The Research Collaboration Fund showcases the best and most innovative solutions from our very own faculty, and gives us the opportunity to learn from faculty from around the world.”

Building on the momentum of this year’s conference, future efforts of the consortium include staff mobility between the universities and additional network partners.   

NC State has been part of the UGPN, a growing global consortium with members in the U.S., the U.K., Australia and Brazil since 2011. The University of Wollongong will host the UGPN conference in 2020.

Learn more about the UGPN Research Collaboration Fund and this year’s conference.