Research center directors from throughout Mexico met to identify possible collaborations on 25 November at CIMMYT-El Batán. Visitors, all from National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) centers, included Lorenzo Felipe Sanchez Teyer, director general of the Yucatán Scientific Research Center A.C. (CICY); Pablo Wong-González, director general of the Center for Food Research and Development A.C. (CIAD); Mayra de la Torre, who is in charge of strategic programs for CIAD; and Martín Aluja Schuneman Hofer, director general of the Ecology Institute A.C. (INECOL).
Aluja received the 2013 National Award for Science and Arts in the technology, innovation and design category. This important award recognizes his invaluable contribution to promoting agriculture and strengthening the marketing of Mexican avocados, among other work to improve science and technology in Mexico. Congratulations Dr. Aluja! During the visit and meetings with CIMMYT researchers, attendees identified potential areas of collaboration with each CONACYT research center. They agreed on possible areas of focus, including impact modeling on long-term agricultural practices, social inclusion research, technological innovation, value chain and market research, nutritional quality and climate change.
Other CONACYT research centers participated in the first analysis and planning meeting for a national postgraduate program in plant genetic resources, held at CIMMYT on 13-14 November. The initiative is led by MasAgro- Biodiversity. Participation at the workshop included 21 national universities and research centers as well as the Northwest Center for Biological Research (CIBNOR), El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR) and INECOL.
The CONACYT system includes 27 research institutes that focus on science and technology. Research areas and objectives include natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities, technological development and innovation and financial support for postgraduate studies. Inocencio Higuera, deputy director general of CONACYT’s public centers who visited CIMMYT in August 2013, said CONACYT is extremely important to Mexico. CIMMYT has signed academic and scientific collaboration agreements with CONACYT centers including ECOSUR, CIAD, INECOL, CICY and the Social Anthropology Research and Study Center (CIESAS). These five-year agreements establish collaboration and cooperation terms and conditions for the development and implementation of specific research projects as well as academic exchange and training.
CIMMYT recognizes the importance of exchanging scientific knowledge and strengthening research with institutes that have solid infrastructure and expertise in anthropology and social impact, biotechnology, ecological management, nanotechnology, nutrition and high-quality human resources development.