Within the scope of identifying further strategic locations in Latin America, Argentina and its largest engineering university UTN – Universidad Tecnológica Nacional – turned out to be a further strategic partner country for the AWARE network. After first academic exchange and sharing best practices in network management of strategic partnerships, AWARE organized an innovation forum in automotive engineering at UTN´s automotive faculty in Buenos Aires in 2018.
Besides Brazil, neighboring country Argentina is one of the strongest automotive clusters in Latin America. In 2014, THI´s Dean for Internationalization paid a first visit to UTN, the biggest national university in engineering sciences of the country, with 32 locations and 90,000 students. Especially its automotive faculty FRGP (Facultad Regional de General Pacheco) turned out to be a perfect match with the mobility-oriented THI. Since signing the first agreement in 2014, academic cooperation has been prospering: Since THI has been offering DAAD-scholarships to UTN students to participate in the International Automotive Summer School at THI, this yearly event counts on a group of participants from UTN.
Besides academic exchange, UTN´s rectory invited the AWARE coordinator Anne-Sophie Lohmeier in 2017 to give a presentation on innovative higher education strategies and governance of strategic networks at a conference on internationalizing higher education in Buenos Aires. Based on this exchange on university governance, a new tri-national project called “USE – Universities. Society. Entrepreneurship” was developed between THI, UTN and UFPR and recently submitted to DAAD within its funding program “DIES – Dialogue on Innovative Higher Education Strategies” funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Last but not least, AWARE organized together with UTN a first joint innovation forum in automotive engineering in Buenos Aires, initializing successfully first joint research projects between the research and test center CARISSMA and UTN in the area of electrical vehicle drives, autonomous driving, electric mobility and automotive composites. The Forum was funded by the Bayerische Forschungsallianz.