Media Center

Press Release


  November 23, 2005

Engineering education, innovation trends and perspectives on the knowledge-based economy will top the agenda in the four-day Engineering for the Americas Symposium, which opens November 29 in Lima, Peru. The forum is a joint initiative of the Organization of American States (OAS) Office of Education, Science and Technology, the US Trade and Development Agency, the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, several professional associations, academia, governments and industry, including Hewlett-Packard Company (HP), National Instruments and Microsoft.
Alice Abreu, Director of the Office of Education, Science and Technology of the OAS, Albert Angulo, Regional Director, Latin America and the Caribbean of the US Agency for Trade and Development (USTDA), and Benjamin Marticorena, President of CONCYTEC in Peru, will open the meeting that is expected to draw some 300 participants from government, academia, the private sectors and professional associations in OAS member countries.
A major objective of the event is to define the need for high-quality engineering graduates in the productive sectors in OAS countries, as well as to explore opportunities to enhance engineering education, from the perspective that “technical capacity building is necessary to economic development in the current global economy.” Participants will also discuss the “open mobility” of engineering graduates across national borders that together with cross border trade agreements will form the basis of a knowledge-based hemisphere-wide economy that is competitive in the overall global economy.
Sessions will be organized around such broad discussion topics as Trade, economic and productive sector; Education, research development and innovation sector; Professional associations’ perspectives; and Government and finance sectors. Participants will hear perspectives along sub-regional lines: Southern Cone; Central American; Caribbean; and Andean. They will also discuss such important questions as country planning and how to finance the country plans.
The Engineering for the Americas initiative stems from a four year old grassroots movement to further develop engineering and technology education in the hemisphere. This has been spurred by globalization’s impact on the engineering profession and by calls for “engineers educated in high quality institutions in each country in the hemisphere, with quality assurance systems in place to guarantee high caliber graduates.”
Among other objectives, the organizers hope the four-day meeting will produce a clear understanding of the role of engineering education and capacity building in developing countries and a “country roadmap” to that end as well as information on potential funding sources to implement country plans. The organizers also hope to chart a “way forward” for the Engineering for the Americas program.

Reference: E-270/05