Binational Research Center Opens

By Ana Gomez Salcido 


On Tuesday, the CaliBaja Center for Resilient Materials and Systems, a cross-border research center, opened on the campus of UC San Diego. The CaliBaja Center is a collaboration between Mexico’s National Autonomous University (UNAM) and the Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education (CICESE).

The objective of the new research center is to support and promote research activities and technology development in the Cali-Baja region. The center’s industrial emphasis will be on aiding technology sectors of the region such as aerospace, biomedical devices, and manufacturing. The center will also seek to connect the humanities, environmental sciences, and social sciences to promote binational student mobility and scientific collaborations.

“The CaliBaja Center for Resilient Materials and Systems will bring together researchers from the United States and Mexico to design, test and manufacture material that can withstand extreme environments,” said Center Director, Olivia Graeve. “It is to create systems and technologies that can withstand low and high temperatures.”

The inauguration featured high ranking officials from Mexico and United States including Mexico’s Undersecretary of External Affairs, Jose Paul Carreno King; President of the Mexican Academy of Engineering, Sergio Alcocer; General Consul of the Mexican Consulate in San Diego, Remedios Gomez Arnau; and Tijuana’s Mayor, Jorge Aztiazaran; among others.

“Efforts like the one we are witnessing today will result in tangible benefits for thousands of young people from both countries in terms of better work skills and therefore quality of life,” said Carreno King. “To achieve this, we are taking a systemic approach to integrate higher education, research, and innovation.”

Graeve explained this is the first center of its type and will benefit the biomedical and aerospace clusters in San Diego and Baja California.

The research conducted at the CaliBaja Center will focus on three different areas: Materials and devices for extreme environments, the global scientist and engineer, and environmental technologies and systems.

“The University of California continually demonstrates its leadership in promoting and enhancing partnerships across the U.S.-Mexico border region,” said UC San Diego Chancellor, Pradeep K. Khosla. “UC San Diego is proud to introduce this unique center focused on advancing industry-relevant research, as well as preparing students to thrive in binational educational, research and industry environments.”

The inauguration event included a signing of a memorandum of understanding between UC San Diego, the Baja Aerospace Cluster, the Baja Biomedical Devices Cluster and Mexico’s trade group representing the electronics, information technology and telecommunications industry.

The event included a ribbon cutting, lunch, and a symposium.

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