On July 10, 2019, at the Harvard Faculty Club, Angélica Natera, Executive Director of Laspau, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Harvard University, and Luciano Braverman, Director of Education at Microsoft Latin America, signed an agreement to establish the Technological Frontiers Initiative (TFI), a comprehensive strategy to accelerate the adoption of technology in higher education institutions to transform education and research in Latin America, driving a critical shift in the learning experience, and to empower institutions, researchers, and professors, that will ultimately propel the economic development of the region.
Technological progress in the marketplace has altered the structure of jobs, careers, and the institutions that create knowledge and train the workforce. The World Bank reports that by 2017 more than 20 million students were enrolled in 10 thousand higher education institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean. The expected trend is that the number continues to grow as economies experience an increasing demand for well-prepared graduates. The World Economic Forum reports that the need for technology to meet these market demands is at a critical stage.
To that end, the TFI will promote accelerated use of the most advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, metadata, and biodata in research; advanced design and manufacturing in engineering; virtual reality and other state-of-the-art technologies for the classroom; and cloud-based technology and new administrative tools for university management. Through this new Initiative developed by Laspau and Microsoft, Latin American universities will have a unique opportunity to successfully face these digital challenges, take advantage of future opportunities, and become agents of change.
The TFI will be launched in two phases:
- A Technological Frontiers Summit will initially bring together representatives from selected Latin American universities, Microsoft, and Laspau to articulate the collaboration among all partners involved.
- The introduction of four program tracks, focused on developing leaders through research visits, graduate programs, short-term academic and research visits, and the student digital leadership program. This program aims to award: 250 research fellowships over five years; 48 administrator fellowships over four years; 120 student participants in digital leadership workshops; and 100 degree-seeking students for a total of 518 participants in the first phase of the Initiative. Following the completion of their programs, Fellows will be eligible to attend an annual Digitalization Forum, conducted by leading thinkers and researchers in these fields.
“At our core, both Laspau and Microsoft are convinced that everyone should have the opportunity to experience and grow with the benefits that technology is bringing to the world, and thus participate in the creation of the new digital economy, especially in our region. That’s why we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Laspau towards the same goal,” stated Luciano Braverman, Director of Education at Microsoft Latin America
“Technological Frontiers represents a shared vision of Laspau and Microsoft for a comprehensive strategy to expand the use of advance technology to transform research, teaching and university management in the digital age in Latin America and the Caribbean.
We are excited about the potential to combine the power of advanced technologies and the development of human capital to strengthen universities,” stated Angélica Natera, Executive Director of Laspau.
Laspau is a nonprofit organization affiliated with Harvard University that enhances higher educational quality, opportunity and impact throughout the Americas. For over fifty years we have been building a human network, connecting individuals and institutions with opportunities, through admissions testing, scholarship management, university development and alliance building. Through a thriving network, Laspau drives innovation and amplifies impact, bridging high-quality institutions and advancing effective faculty who instruct an ever-growing number of students. This widespread impact works to achieve the vision of fostering knowledge-based, inclusive societies throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person in every organization on the planet to achieve more.
For more information on Microsoft in Education, visit: https://education.microsoft.com.
For more information about Laspau, visit: https://www.laspau.harvard.edu
For information about Technological Frontiers contact:
Ana Paola Cueva
Program and Development Manager