Purdue University and Universidad Nacional de San Agustin have officially launched their first joint research and capacity building initiative: the Arequipa Nexus Institute for Food, Water, Energy and the Environment. The Nexus Institute will feature collaborative research into the challenges faced by residents in Peru and Latin America.
Researchers will try to understand the region’s food, energy and water production, and delivery systems. Chief Scientist and Executive Director at Purdue’s Discovery Park, Tomas Diaz De La Rubia says Purdue is the leader in developing approaches to global sustainability.
“Through a close collaboration with our partners at UNSA, Discovery Park can bring the full power of its unique interdisciplinary approach to improve the lives of the citizens of Arequipa through the application of our leading-edge expertise to the regional sustainable development challenges," he said. "The partnership represents a new paradigm in the development and application of scientific and socio-economic approaches to global sustainability grand challenges, and we fully expect to expand this new paradigm to new relationships in other regions of Peru and Latin America in the future."
Purdue’s Center for the Environment Acting Director Timothy Filley will co-direct the institute’s scientific programs and says "the vision for the institute and this first phase of research support is more than a collection of research and capacity building projects, but a deeply intentional research network for addressing past, present and future linked socio-economic and environmental challenges. It is born out of the core principle of Purdue’s Discovery Park and Center for the Environment that science-based decision-making is essential to a sustainable and profitable future."
The first funding phase will ensure 35 Purdue faculty and staff to work with over 25 UNSA faculty on various topics, including mapping soil impairments, designing net-zero energy buildings and improving soil health. The alliance with UNSA is the latest in a series for Purdue, who has also teamed up with programs in Africa, Colombia, India, China and Ireland.