I returned to visit la Universidad de Los Andes (Uniandes) in August this year after a pandemic induced hiatus. Prior to 2020, we had been working with Uniandes to develop proposals to do with agritech and transdisciplinary engineering. During the pandemic we were able to manage some collaboration through project clean access (leading to a recent journal article on knowledge dimensions in prototyping).
The visit consisted of some working days in Uniandes looking at the agrolab, consisting of aquaponic systems, a farm bot and a number of design installations integrating agriculture into the urban environment. During this time we were able to develop initial ideas for follow on projects and proposals. The latter of which, I was able to meet with the head of science and innovation partnerships at the British Embassy, to understand the funding landscape in LATAM for international funding partnerships. Further to this, I was able to discuss opportunities and related projects with agritech consultancy Agritierra that specialises in UK-LATAM innovation partnerships.
On returning to the UK, I was fortunate to be invited to an event hosted by the Colombian ambassador on science and innovation partnerships between the UK and Colombia featuring both academic and industry delegations from both countries. Further to this and following discussions in Colombia, I submitted a bid to the World Universities Network to explore modelling of urban agriculture in transdisciplinary manners with the objective of enabling food security and sustainable cities. The bid was completed with co-investigators from Tecnologico de Monterrey (Mexico), University of Auckland (New Zealand) and Uniandes. Fingers crossed for a positive outcome!