National University

National University Hosts Advanced Research And Technology Collaboratory for the Americas

Developing nations face unique challenges in pursuing economic opportunity in the Information Age. In a world where knowledge is power, the key to prosperity and global competitiveness is inextricably linked to technological advancement.

As National University takes a more global view and makes higher education more accessible internationally, it also seeks ways to contribute to worldwide progress through partnerships with institutions such as The Organization of American States (OAS). The goal is to make friends, share resources, improve communities and impact emerging markets by participating in expanding networks of academic and business contacts that serve alumni interests while attracting new students across countries and continents.

With those outcomes in mind, Dr. Thomas MacCalla, Executive Director of the National University Community Research Institute, recently hosted a planning meeting of the OAS Advanced Research and Technology Collaboratory for the Americas (ARTCA) at National University headquarters in La Jolla, California.

ARTCA was founded through the Costa Rica Ministry of Science and Technology in affiliation with Tabor Communications, SUN Microsystems, Intel and the Costa Rica USA Foundation. Together, the initiative united renowned industry, academic and government leaders from North, Central and South America, as well as Europe to support technological advancement and business opportunity for the people of the Americas through advanced computing and research collaborations.

This focus on hemispheric scientific and economic growth promotes interdisciplinary, inter-university and international cooperation, and enhances research and development to develop human resources and technologies that aim to address complex societal issues throughout Latin America. To that end, visitors such as Jorge Duran, Chief of Science Technology and Innovation for the OAS, and Kevin Franklin, Executive Director of the Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts and Social Science, joined Dr. MacCalla in September to plan upcoming projects and tour the San Diego Supercomputer Center.

"Within economic development, you find science, technology and innovation," Duran explained. "At the OAS we are committed to helping member states, upon their request, to harness the potential that science, technology and innovation offer to promote competitiveness and prosperity and deliver a higher quality of life to more people."

Helping to fill out "the big picture," Dr. MacCalla explained how partnership within ARTCA benefits and helps to connect citizens in rural areas, transforming small business and rural communities through access to e-commerce, e-learning, databases and other online resources.

"Theoretically, this affiliation offers opportunities for student internships and alumni business interests while promoting relationships and opening doors to powerful and influential institutions. It places National University at the same table with Penn State, the University of Illinois, the University of Guatemala, as well as companies such as Microsoft and Dell."

As Jorge Duran puts it, membership in ARTCA places National University at "a crossroads of networking resources and opportunities where powerful ideas and initiatives are born." He congratulated National University on its remarkable accomplishments in higher education over the past 20 years and complimented Chancellor Lee for introducing a global vision to the National University System and establishing National University International.

"We are proud to have a partner like National University because of its philosophy of access and its profound understanding of the links between education, technology and community," Duran added. "These three elements are fundamental to shaping enormous progress in the 21st Century."