LACU Week builded research cooperation with Latin America

​Laurea hosted last week guests from Brazil, Chile and Mexico when a LACU workshop week has held on the Leppävaara Campus for researchers from Latin America. The goal of the Latin American Countries' Universities Week (LACU Week) was to generate research cooperation between Europe and Latin America. The networking event also supported the development of teacher and student exchanges.

The LACU Week began on Monday 13 June, when the participants had the opportunity to learn about Laurea and its RDI activities. The week continued with workshops which focused on different research areas The week then culminated on Friday with the Open House session, which was opened by Mexico’s Ambassador to Finland Norma Pensado.

The participants at the LACU Week included Dora Ivonne Alverez from Mexico, Exequiel Plaza from Chile and José Lavaquial from Brazil. Their most important goal for the week was to promote cooperation with Finnish researchers:

- I conduct a lot of research related to the well-being and social affairs of both elderly and mentally handicapped people. I am particularly excited about the opportunity to meet colleagues from Finland and exchange experiences with them on these topics, said Exequiel Plaza from Chile’s University of Talca on Monday afternoon.

- Laurea and Finland have a good reputation in the field of innovation and I am particularly interested in how city governments and users are brought into the innovation process. I’m also interested in building contacts with researchers and experts and investigating possibilities for developing student and staff exchanges between educational institutions, continued Dora Ivonne Alvarez from Mexico’s Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP).

The Brazilian José Lavaquail works for Hubz, a company focused on startups which supports new forms of technology and helps to develop new companies out of them. Regarding the LACU Week, he emphasised all that Brazil has to offer to Finns – and vice versa:

- Equality in education and transparency in governance are some of the areas where we could learn a lot in Brazil from Finland’s example, he said.
- Brazil, in turn, could offer a lot of opportunities to Finnish companies. If we consider, for example, that Finland has a population of 5 million, while Brazil has a population of 200 million. The markets for many Finnish products here could be the same size as just one particular niche market in Brazil.

Already at the start of the week, the participants decided on holding another meeting in the future in order to ensure continued cooperation with Latin America.

Modified 6/23/2016 9:26 AM

From left to right: ​Exequiel Plaza from Chile, Dora Ivonne Alverez from Mexico and Lavaquial from Brazil at Laurea Leppävaara Campus.