Date: December 6, 2011
"Partnerships such as these open new and exciting paths of learning and discovery for our faculty and students,'' said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack. "The result will be a better understanding of the economic and environmental issues related to our oceans."
Faculty from the two institutions have collaborated for years on research projects related to ocean modeling and forecasting which is critical to the economies of both Brazil and Massachusetts. In Brazil, the oil industry needs the science to determine the impacts of deep water oil drilling while in Massachusetts the science guides strategy related to commercial fishing and off shore energy.
IOUSP was founded in 1972, has 42 full-time faculty and 100 graduate students. SMAST, founded in 2001, has 17 full-time faculty, a sizeable adjunct faculty, and about 70 graduate students.
The SMAST/IOUSP is the first partnership created under an umbrella agreement between the University of Sao Paulo and the five UMass campuses signed by UMass President Robert L. Caret, a member of Gov. Patrick's Massachusetts-Brazil Innovation Economy Mission 2011 delegation. "This agreement links two great universities and will open an era of cooperation and collaboration among our universities and will also bring the nation of Brazil and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ever closer. Forging new bonds between Massachusetts and Brazil will provide untold academic and economic benefits and is the core goal of Gov. Patrick's important economic mission," Caret said.
The SMAST/IOUSP agreement is the latest step in UMass Dartmouth's effort to build a teaching and research bridge to South America. Last week SMAST entered an agreement with the Florida International University Applied Research Center (FIU) and the Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile (PUC) focusing on the development of marine renewable energy.
The goal of the SMAST/FIU/PUC agreement is to create a market in Chile for marine renewable energy technology that is built in Massachusetts. Chile has vast untapped offshore wave and tidal energy resources that could be used to address that country's energy needs while also creating a demand for Massachusetts-built marine renewable energy technology.
SMAST scientists are engaged in the oceanographic surveying and environmental assessment of ocean wave, tidal, and wind technology. UMass Dartmouth is also the base of operations for the New England Marine Renewable Energy Center, a consortium of universities and industry leaders dedicated to developing technology to capture and distribute the ocean energy present in the waves and currents off the coast of New England.
FIU, located in south Florida serves as a gateway to Latin America and brings expertise in energy and social science to the partnership, while PUC is a leader in science, technology and public policy development in Chile.