Personable robots, advanced prosthetics and entrepreneurship figure prominently in campus visit.
The Province of Mendoza in Argentina has signed a five-year, $7.8 million contract with MIT for a program of education, research and administrative assistance to help establish a center of technology innovation.
The effort will involve educational programs and joint research. Possible areas of interest include water resources, transportation and infrastructure, energy, environment, telecommunications, information technology, petrochemicals and biotechnology in the province, which is 100 miles east of Santiago, Chile, over the Andes Mountains.
The participation of MIT faculty and graduate students and colleagues at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza is expected to accelerate the establishment of the center by local officials. The center will be administered by a foundation of government, industry and academic institutions in Mendoza, and will welcome participation of other Argentinian institutions.
Mendoza Governor Rodolfo F. Gabrielli, a former university professor of economics, said at the signing ceremony last week, "This is a very important agreement for Mendoza. It is not an isolated event." He said major changes were occurring in Mendoza. The province and the country have achieved stability, and the agreement will help them to continue to grow and progress in education and technology, he said.
Provost Mark S. Wrighton told Gov. Gabrielli he was pleased at the "high level of interest in MIT and its fine students. The agreement fits well with our agenda. It will engage our students, deploying them in getting to know a different part of the world and its problems."
Professor Rafael Bras, head of the Department of Civil Engineering, and Professor Fred Moavenzadeh, director of the Technology Development Program, will head the project for MIT as principal investigators.
MIT will concentrate its efforts to develop advanced educational programs, research activities and supplemental educational activities such as workshops, personnel exchanges, short courses and fellowships.
Mendoza Province has a population of more than one million. It is an area of 58,000 square miles, slightly smaller than New England and about the size of England and Wales.
Attending the signing ceremony and celebratory dinner were Mendoza's former minister of economics, Lic. Roberto Omar Cuevas; the minister of culture, Dr. Maria S. Puerta de Gonzales; the rector of the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Dr. Armando Bertranou; Thnoas B. Facet, chief of the Inter-American Development Bank; representatives of the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Massport, and representatives of MIT offices and programs involved in the sponsored research agreement.
A version of this article appeared in the October 26, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 39, Number 9).