This South American city will be the main stage next November 26th on a three days meeting, where Swedish and Chilean researchers will be discussing and looking for collaborative answers to common problems faced by both countries.

To be held on November 26th, the Academic Forum is almost ready for its 2018 version. This year, flight tickets are on their way to Santiago of Chile with two hundred and fifty participants, coming from the four founding universities together with sixteen other institutions invited to participate. On this occasion, the three original groups have become ten different teams, who will be in charge of addressing more specific issues, dealing with four big challenges: Sustainable Use of Natural Resources, Societal, Health and Innovation.

The initiative is a collaborative platform between Chilean and Swedish researchers to develop outcomes concerning important issues. This event can be possible due to the fact that both countries share a similar perspective on science and development. As stated by  Olov Sterner, one of Lund University academics,  “We share a common view on how to carry out basic research,  and this paves the way to  facilitate discussions about common interests and to exchange ideas concerning the convenience of keeping work together, rather than on our own. Also, both countries are committed to encourage innovative research, which in the future can lead to the establishment of commercial companies based on academic research.”

Migration is another current issue shared by both nations. Irene Molina, an academic from Uppsala University, studies the process of urban segregation, especially in migrant population, and the rise in racism and nationalism in Sweden: “Unfortunately, this has become a trend in Chile too. Therefore, we need to increase our knowledge on the causes, mechanisms of reproduction and consequences related to the exacerbation of racist feelings. Moreover, we need to find the proper tools in order to communicate this knowledge to the authorities, politicians and the civil society. This is a field of research in which we can find a great amount of synergy,” comments Professor Molina.

Another area of common interest which requires close cooperation is how relevant has Agronomy become for both countries and the new challenges being faced by this activity. This topic will be discussed by the Water, Land and Energy Group. One of his members, Universidad Católica academic Francisco Meza points out,   “For our group, the similarities between Chile and Sweden are related to the role of natural resources in the economy and the challenges that impose climate change, and that must be seen as an opportunity to develop actionable knowledge about the land, water and energy nexus.”

Similarly, the Forum opens up numerous possibilities to make progress in the Health area. Rosalba Lagos, Universidad de Chile Professor, argues that “our research is focused on the development of new antibiotics, antimicrobial peptides as bacteriocins, and the development of new probiotic bacteria, as a vehicle to deliver antimicrobial peptides. The Forum activity covers all the points just mentioned so I am certain that this professional exchange with the Swedish counterpart will be very enriching”.

Communications VID – U. de Chile



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