Avanzamos! Updates from Conéctate A+ in Latin America
MRI News
article written by MRI
30.04.20 | 09:04

Despite the impacts experienced with the Covid-19 pandemic, the Cluster of Cooperation (CLOC) Conéctate A+ in the Latin American region has managed to continue to forge forth with its activities, and are pleased to announce the three selected projects for the network’s first inaugural small grants program in 2020.


Work underway to establish an online presence and collaborative platform for Conéctate A+

Since the start of 2020, the CLOC co-leads – MRI, CONDESAN, and University of Zurich – under the regional lead and coordination in Latin America by CONDESAN, have been working to translate planned activities to establish an online presence and collaborative platform into action, in collaboration with the additional six CLOC founding partners in the region and Switzerland. This includes a new website and platform for collaboration that is currently under development, which is planned to be launched and unveiled in the coming weeks. The website and online platform will be a great means to better connect researchers in Latin America and Switzerland, and support the growing interest in strengthening regional collaboration via this network, demonstrated by the increasing number of individuals and institutions joining Conéctate A+ this year.

In the coming months, the facilitation and start of a series of virtual seminars entitled “Co-production of Science and the Sustainability Governance in the Andes + Region”, is also foreseen. The series of seminars, proposed in the original design of Connect A +, seeks to promote academic exchange between individuals and institutions that are not only part of Conéctate A+, but also welcomes the participation from all interested in the region.

Furthermore, the Conéctate A+ co-leads had been working in parallel to evaluate the proposals received for the small grants program, with three projects selected as part of the process. These outcomes, and general progress with Conéctate A+, were also discussed and conferred with the CLOC founding partners at a recent virtual meeting held earlier this week, with optimism and enthusiasm for the promising prospects to share via Conéctate A+ in the near future.

Three projects selected in the inaugural seed grant program

The inaugural call for small grants to finance collaborative research activities – From Sustainability Science to Environmental Governance – which welcomed proposals until 3 April, confirmed the great interest that exists among researchers in the region to deepen knowledge and strengthen research collaborations on links between science and policy at the interface between human health, ecosystems, and climate change. A total of 12 high-quality proposals were received in which 40 institutions from 13 countries in the Americas and Europe were represented, and up to 71 individual researchers enlisted as part of those teams. Proposals were evaluated by representatives from the three CLOC co-lead institutions (MRI, CONDESAN, and the University of Zurich), with three projects selected for funding in 2020. These are:

  1. Assessment of river dynamics observations in Andean countries, a consortium led by the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (Peru);
  2. Synthesis of the physical and socio-political aspects of hydrological research in the Páramo, a consortium led by the University of Cuenca (Ecuador); and
  3. Women, sustainable ecosystems management, and adaptation to climate change in the Andean region. A review of SDG-oriented policies, a joint lead collaboration between the University of Bern (Switzerland), the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (Peru), and the Bolivian Catholic University of San Pablo (Bolivia).

More information regarding the selected projects, and their proposed activities, will be published in the upcoming Conéctate A+ website and collaborative platform.

In the meantime, we wish to thank all the proponents for their great proposals and interest in this program, and we extend our congratulations to the grant recipients. We look forward to working with you to realise the outcomes of your planned work and for the benefit of the region.

If you wish to learn more about Conéctate A+, or join the mailing list, please contact conectatea@condesan.org 

 Photo courtesy of Wikimedia user Diego Baravelli under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.