Aguascalientes, December 15, 2020.-

The United States Department of State, the United States Embassy in Mexico City, and Partners of the Americas announce the new grant-winning teams at the latest call for the Innovation Fund sponsored by Fundación Banorte, Fundación Gruma, and the Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the United States Department of State.


The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund (100K) is the public-private sector collaboration of the Department of State, the U.S. Embassies, and Partners of the Americas that collaborate jointly with companies, foundations, regional governments, and networks. to support and increase partnerships in higher education between the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere. The Innovation Fund is the reliable and flexible mechanism in this hemispheric educational initiative that inspires US universities and higher education institutions to work with higher education institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean to expand institutional capacity, create new academic exchange and training programs, and strengthen regional educational cooperation in the Americas.


The Innovation Fund partnerships provide critical access for students to participate in tailor-made academic exchange and training programs and to work in teams to solve real-world problems, conduct research, and acquire technical skills that today's workforce requires. day. Since its inception in 2014, and until December 2020, the Innovation Fund has awarded 243 grants (USD $ 25,000 to $ 35,000 each), to teams made up of 491 universities and institutions in 25 countries and in 49 US states. .


After six years, Mexico continues to be the leading country in this hemispheric education initiative to form alliances with universities and institutions in the United States to create and implement new academic exchange and training programs. With today's announcement, we have 20 Mexican states and 27 US states that benefit from 71 grants that impact students and teachers in both countries.


This call from the Innovation Fund is sponsored by Fundación Banorte, Fundación Gruma, and the Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the United States Department of State, and awards eleven grants of USD $ 25,000 each to finance new partnerships between universities and institutions of the United States and Mexico.


During the announcement, the Ambassador of the States in Mexico Christopher Landau highlighted: “The 100,000 Force in the Americas is an example of educational cooperation between our countries, which shows that when Mexicans and Americans work together, we go further and we are stronger, especially when we invest in education and in the prosperity of our peoples. Therefore, it is noteworthy that, despite such challenging times we are living, today we can make this announcement so relevant to our countries, which is a symbol of our cooperation. I want to give a very special recognition to the Banorte and Gruma foundations for being part of the Mexican companies that, with a strategic vision, joined the great family of the Innovation Fund and, in the case of Banorte, which was the first Mexican bank in doing it "


Carlos Hank González added: “Mexico and the United States have always been great allies; working together we help strengthen our ties even more. We are very proud of this initiative that encourages our university students to positively impact society. Congratulations to the winners of both countries. "


The teams of the Innovation Fund between Mexico and the United States are:


Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, United States

Technological Institute of Sonora, Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, Mexico


Training in environment, agriculture and management between the United States and Mexico (TEAM)


This project between Arizona State University and the Technological Institute of Sonora will provide less privileged students with opportunities to learn about sustainable agriculture in Mexico and the United States. Students will participate in virtual classes in research methods, environmental assessments, and public relations for field visits, during which students will interact and disseminate knowledge within diverse farming communities.


Meritorious Autonomous University of Puebla, Puebla, Puebla, Mexico

University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, United States


The international network of rural entrepreneurs


In the project “The international network of rural entrepreneurs,” students from the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla and the University of Montana will jointly create business projects in collaboration with local communities and producers to promote new ways of doing business that will positively impact three spheres: economic, social and environmental, to reduce inequality and improve opportunities to break cycles of poverty. Students will initially collaborate through an online platform and then travel to the partner institution to visit rural communities and learn about local entrepreneurship.


California State University, Fresno, Fresno, California, United States

Universidad Panamericana Campus Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Mexico


From cows to neurons


California State University, Fresno, in association with the Universidad Panamericana, Campus Aguascalientes, will carry out exchange programs for students from Mexico and the United States to promote agricultural sustainability and rural economic development. The program will introduce students to the dairy production chain from start to finish in the two countries: milk milking, microbiological and quality aspects, sanitation, processing and technology for cheese production, chemistry, sensory analysis and marketing. Students will also participate in conferences, labs, and company visits.


Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, Wisconsin, United States

Polytechnic University of Guanajuato, Cortazar, Guanajuato, Mexico



Global Workforce Skills for Equity and Inclusion


Through their participation in this international exchange program between Mexico and the United States, students from Fox Valley Technical College and the Polytechnic University of Guanajuato will improve the skills necessary to be successful in today's global economy. Students will be able to increase their global competencies, strengthen their skills in a second language and increase their willingness to participate as global leaders, whether they choose to undertake or work for a local or international company.


Kent State University at Stark, North Canton, Ohio, United States

Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City, Mexico City, Mexico


Sustainable gardening for poverty reduction and cultural preservation


This collaboration will introduce students from Kent State University at Stark and the Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City, to economic inclusion initiatives that incorporate sustainable gardening, environmental projects, and / or indigenous agricultural practices. Students and faculty will work collaboratively with settled refugee populations in Northeast Ohio and Mexico City to learn about economic inclusion and environmental initiatives among these immigrant communities.


Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona, United States

University of Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico


The Big IDEA / La Gran IDEA


This project will allow students from Northern Arizona University (NAU) and the University of Sonora (UNISON) to form cross-border teams to develop solutions around food security and financial inclusion in the Arizona / Sonora mega region. Students will meet in the city of Hermosillo, to visit local communities and attend workshops at UNISON with teachers and community leaders. Finally, the students will meet again on the NAU campus to participate in a “design challenge” and a final competition to present their Great IDEAs.


Polk State College, Winter Haven, Florida, United States

Technological Institute of Mérida, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico


International Business Studies Abroad Alliance


Polk State College (Polk State) and the Instituto Tecnológico de Mérida (ITM) have partnered to prepare Business Administration students to become business leaders and entrepreneurs in today's changing political and economic landscape. In two week-long training sessions hosted at Polk State and ITM, students will work with local businesses to undertake project-based learning activities focused on benchmarking that lead to reduced inequality, greater financial inclusion and a better intercultural understanding.


Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Texas, United States

Autonomous University of Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico


Transboundary Conservation Program for the Chihuahuan Desert


In this collaborative project between the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) of Sul Ross State University and the Faculty of Zootechnics and Ecology of the Autonomous University of Chihuahua, students and professors from both institutions will learn to effectively manage shared natural resources in the desert. of Chihuahua through workshops and academic courses within the BRI grassland bird research project.


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Graduate College Campus Córdoba, Veracruz, Mexico


Preparing students from Mexico and the United States to understand and propose solutions to the challenges faced by small and medium-sized companies in the agricultural sector:

A pilot project of international collaboration


This project will create a platform for international collaborations between undergraduate students of underrepresented careers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and graduate students from the Colegio de Postgraduados Campus Córdoba through the creation of a course led by professors in Mexico focused on small and medium agricultural companies in the Postgraduate College and a new academic exchange collaboration at UT.


The University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas, United States

Economic Research and Teaching Center (CIDE), Álvaro Obregón, Mexico City, Mexico


UTD-CIDE student exchange program


This program will introduce students from the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE) the issues of financial inclusion, urbanization and sustainability in Mexico and United States. 


The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund (100K) is the public-private sector collaboration between the Department of State, the US Embassies and Partners of the Americas that work together with companies, foundations, and regional government collaborators. , and academic networks to support and increase partnerships in higher education between the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere.


With the cooperation of the US Department of State's Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs along with more than 25 companies and foundations as of December 2020, the Innovation Fund has become the central and trusted mechanism to support this initiative. education at the hemispheric level to build connectivity, improve institutional capacity, increase student exchange and training opportunities, as well as strengthen regional cooperation in education.


As of December 2020, the Innovation Fund has awarded 243 grants (USD $ 25,000 to $ 35,000 each), to 491 teams from universities and institutions in 25 countries and in 49 states of the U.S. Currently, there are more than 2,900 institutions of higher education that have joined the Innovation Network, along with 1,500 universities and institutions of higher education in the United States.


Learn more: www.100kstrongamericas.org


Partners of the Americas mission is to connect people and organizations across borders to serve and change lives through lasting partnerships. These partnerships create opportunities, foster understanding, and solve real-life problems. Inspired by President Kennedy, and founded in 1964 under the Alliance for Progress, Partners is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with international offices in Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.partners.net or follow us on Twitter: @partnersamerica.




Grupo Financiero Banorte is a leading financial institution in Mexico with the best business diversification of its kind. It offers a wide variety of products and services through its bank, brokerage house, insurance and pension subsidiary, Afore and investment funds.


Banorte is the second largest financial group in Mexico, the largest provider of government loans and the second largest bank in mortgage loans. Afore XXI Banorte is the largest retirement fund manager in the country. Banorte is the only Mexican commercial bank managed by a 100% Mexican Board. Its decisions are made locally without the influence of a foreign parent.


Banorte understands that its responsibility is to be an ally of higher education institutions in Mexico, to contribute to the professional development of young people, who will be the future leaders of the country. To this end, the Group holds useful events and conferences for young university students. Over 3 years, Banorte has invited public and private universities in the country to the Banorte Strategy Forum, the Group's most important annual event. In total, more than 25 thousand students have participated through the live broadcast.


Banorte considers it extremely important to evaluate and implement the proposals of young people to face the main challenges that the country faces, such as inequality, and how it can be fought from the financial sector.


It is necessary for the future of Mexico, that higher education institutions provide tools to students to investigate these fields. The Innovation Fund helps the student have a broader vision of the environment, thanks to exchanges with other universities and teamwork. Banorte's participation in the Fund seeks to contribute to this process.






GRUMA is the leading Mexican food company worldwide in the production of corn flour, tortillas and wraps with an international scope that includes operations in America, Europe, Asia and Oceania with 74 plants and a presence in more than 110 countries through its global brands: "Maseca" and "Mission". Thanks to the innovation and use of new technologies, Gruma has expanded its portfolio of products and services to adapt to the different lifestyles, cultures and needs of its clients and consumers in all the countries where it is present.


Today, we live in a world where it has not been possible to combat malnutrition, end hunger, achieve food security and promote sustainable agriculture. As a global food company, Gruma is fully committed to finding solutions to these societal issues.


Encouraging research and international collaboration in these fields of study should be a priority for higher education institutions.