Today, I had the privilege of helping to launch the Fulbright Regional Network for Applied Research (NEXUS) Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The NEXUS initiative is bringing together 20 applied scholars and mid-career researchers from the United States and nine other Western Hemisphere nations (Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile) for a series of seminars and a Fulbright exchange experience over the next 12 months. These scholars are focusing on harnessing innovative strategies and technologies to bring about practical solutions to real-world challenges in renewable energy, climate change, public health, and sustainable growth. Through the NEXUS initiative, scholars will share best practices to fight poverty and encourage innovation in creative and socially responsible ways.
The scholars spent today presenting their projects on such issues as hydroelectric and wind power, water management, telemedicine kits for rural areas, seismic engineering for bridges, and urban planning for the needs of senior citizens -- among other topics. Their discussions were led by the distinguished scholar Dr. Walter E. Baethgen, Director of the Program for Latin America and the Caribbean in the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University.
Building upon President Obama's promise at the 2009 Summit of the Americas, NEXUS will expand networks between the United States and other countries in the Western Hemisphere in areas that will form the basis for investment, innovation, and entrepreneurship to bridge the gap between talent and opportunity across the region.