The Colombia-Purdue Institute for Advanced Scientific Research


In late October 2010 three agreements were signed; the first between Purdue and the Ministry of Education of Colombia, and the second between Purdue, Colciencias, and the Ministry of Education of Colombia and the third between Purdue's College of Engineering and Colfuturo. These agreements effectively established the Colombia-Purdue Institute for Advanced Scientific Research.

Mission and Purpose

Our mission is to cultivate leaders who drive economic prosperity in Colombia, Indiana and the United States through innovation in science, technology, policy and education.

College of Engineering Strategic Plan (PDF - Spanish Version)

The Colombia-Purdue Institute for Advanced Scientific Research is a partnership with the Colombian government in areas that Colombia has identified as its national priorities and through which there is (a) a meaningful exchange of people and knowledge that bridges our cultures and enriches our societies, (b)a shared effort to build, at Universities and beyond, a scientific and entrepreneurial workforce for discovery, invention, and commercialization in Colombia, and (c) a collaborative pursuit of new knowledge to advance the boundaries of science and technology in areas of common interest that have great potential to shape the economic future of the Americas.

The Institute will advance education and research in science, technology and engineering through three partnerships.

The figure below reflects a consolidation of both of these partnerships merge together to advance the Institute’s overall vision.




  • Forest products in nanotechnology
  • Nanomaterials for energy
  • Bionanotechnology
  • Advanced materials and electronics


  • Biofuels/cellulosic biofuel technology
  • Biocatalysis and biopharmaceuticals
  • Sustainable, value-added bioproducts
  • Sensors for environmental and biodiversity monitoring

Sustainability & engineering against natural disasters threats

  • Clean Coal technology
  • Water Resources for engineering
  • Earthquake engineering

(START 2012)



Engagement with the Colombian Scientific Community

  • Develop collaborative projects of technical and economic interest to Colombia
  • Host Annual Scientific workshops
  • Provide nanoHUB and HUBzero technology training to exploit cyber-infrastructure to enhance scientific collaboration and improve visibility and impact of Colombian scientists.
  • Develop engagement opportunities with Colombian entrepreneurs, academia, and community organizations trained at Purdue University

Training a new generation of researchers

  • Tailored Doctoral Programs  for approximately 100 Colombian students in key strategic focus areas for the next 4-5 years
  • Research internship for Colombian junior investigators (Post Bachelor)
  • Entrepreneurial training to enhance economic impact through commercialization.

Educational Frontiers Research (START 2012)

  • University based K-12 technology education
  • International (EPICS) combining University faculty and students to work with community organizations in less developed regions on science and technology projects
  • Service learning and teacher training programs



  • Rapidly form Colombian entrepreneurs and researchers in nanotechnology and biotechnology
  • Discover high-value sustainable products while maintaining biodiversity
  • Enhance technology commercialization as economic growth engine


The Institute's many agreements and partnerships have been made possible due to an active collaboration between faculty and administrators at Purdue, Purdue Alumni from Colombia, Colciencias, Colfuturo, the Colombian Ministry of Education and the Colombian government.

facultyFrom left to right: Elena deBedout, Carolyn Percifield, Sally Rehmel, Gilberto Gomez, Ministra de Educacion Maria Fernanda Campo, Monica Allain, Arvind Raman, Alvaro Velasquez

Prof. Pedro Prieto, Manuel Santiago Mejia, and Dean Leah Jamieson at the signing event with the Minister of education 

team with vice president santos
The Purdue team with Mr. Francisco Santos Calderón, recent vice-president of Colombia at the RCN studios