UW-Madison and Unicamp Set Stage for Collaborations

The University of Wisconsin–Madison and the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp), the top research university in Brazil, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to open the door for developing collaborations across a range of areas.

Unicamp President Fernando Costa and UW–Madison Chancellor David Ward signed the agreement during a two-day visit by Costa to the Madison campus.

Costa and Unicamp’s Director of International Relations Leandro Tessler also toured campus facilities and met with leaders from the Division of International Studies, the Brazil Initiative, the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, the Morgridge Institute for Research, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), and University Research Park.

“One of our top priorities now is to collaborate with good universities in the United States,” Costa says. “The University of Wisconsin– Madison is one of the very best universities in U.S. and we are very interested in collaborating with UW-Madison. Our visit here has been a very productive one and we are very impressed.”

“We are delighted to establish this relationship with Unicamp, one of the top research universities in Latin America,” said Gilles Bousquet, dean of International Studies and vice provost for globalization. “This relationship has tremendous potential, and provides us with a very strong partner in Brazil, an emerging power not just in Latin America, but globally.”

Professor Severino Albuquerque, who directs UW–Madison’s Brazil Initiative, says: “The signing of the MOU on August 23, 2011, is a major first step toward implementation of shared programs and productive collaborations between the two universities, ranging from student and faculty exchanges and dual workshops to long-range research agreements in areas such as physics and translational medicine. Unicamp’s profile is an attractive complement to that of the UW and both universities look forward to furthering advances in areas of current mutual interest as well as achieving exciting results in newly implemented shared projects.”

Founded in 1966, Unicamp is one of the three state universities in the Brazilian state of São Paulo.  The Times Higher Education 2007 World University Rankings lists Unicamp among the world’s top 200 universities and the second best in Latin America. Like UW–Madison, the Brazilian university offers instruction across a broad range of disciplines and professions. Unicamp has become known and respected in the higher education and research community for its pioneering work regarding policies for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary work.

Costa pointed to several areas where the two institutions can collaborate, including health science, engineering, humanities, and social sciences.

“We think that one kind of cooperation that we could establish in a short period is exchange of undergraduate students to do research,” he said. “The Brazilian undergraduate students, for example, could come to Madison and do research for one, two months, and the American students could go to Campinas and do research there.”

— by Kerry G. Hill

Photos by Pauline Zhu, Division of International Studies