ConTex to host meeting between UT institutions and research centers from Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology

UT System institutions and CONACYT centers will convene for first time ever May 4 and 5

SAN ANTONIO—Representatives from all 14 UT System institutions and 26 National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) research centers in Mexico will come together on May 4 and 5 for a groundbreaking meeting hosted by ConTex, the UT System center for collaboration with Mexico.

The joint meeting with senior administrators and scholars from UT institutions will be the first of its kind. ConTex Executive Director René M. Zenteno expects around 100 participants who will hold preliminary discussions about areas of joint interest in the sciences, engineering and social sciences.

The meeting comes during the first year of an agreement between CONACYT and the UT System that provides funding for graduate education and research programs. The UT System Board of Regents approved funding of $5 million in May 2016 to help support this partnership. CONACYT has also provided significant funding — approximately a three-to-one match — of UT System’s investment.

ConTex, which is housed at The University of Texas at San Antonio, was created to foster collaboration between the U.S. and Mexico through training, research and scientific discovery. The meeting will be held at the UT San Antonio campus.

ConTex will expand access to UT institutions for highly qualified Mexican students and researchers, improve the Texas and Mexico economies by developing high-impact, bi-national research in targeted fields, and enhance cooperation between Texas and Mexico to promote a better understanding between the two countries.

Calls for proposals have launched for doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships as well as collaborative research grants, and faculty fellows and visiting graduate research training proposals will be launched soon.

UT System Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research, Randall Charbeneau, one of the organizers of the event and a member of the ConTex advisory committee, says that this meeting is another important step for the UT-CONACYT partnership.

“CONACYT’s research centers are among the most important in Mexico in terms of their impact, productivity and contributions not only to Mexico, but also to international science and scholarship,” Charbeneau said.

Joining the center directors will be vice presidents for research from many of the UT System’s 14 institutions, as well as senior scholars in fields as varied as oceanography and coastal ecology, public health, nanotechnology and advanced materials, biomimetics, urban studies, and space science.

“The University of Texas System is among CONACYT’s most important partners and we expect that this meeting will be the start of some long-term scientific collaborations that will benefit both Mexico and Texas,” said Enrique Cabrero Mendoza, director general of CONACYT, who will lead the delegation of Mexican research centers.

About The University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking basic, applied and clinical research, and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. With 14 institutions and an enrollment of more than 228,000 students, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates approximately two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public institutions in Texas. The UT System’s operating budget for FY 2017 is $17.9 billion, including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and many members of the National Academies – and nearly 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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