International partnership agreement being finalized

news story image

Photos from the May 2011 meeting in the Autonomous Province of Trento     Top photo, left to right: Mariano Anderle, Autonomous Province of Trento Director of International Relations; Carla Locatelli, University of Trento Vice Rector for International Studies and Research; Pamela Abshire, ISR Professor; Davide Bassi, University of Trento Rector; Reza Ghodssi, ISR Director and Professor; Jeff Coriale, ISR Director of External Relations; Peter Kofinas, UMD Professor; Laura Paternoster, University of Trento Head, International Cooperation and Mobility Division     Bottom photo, left to right: Alberto Lui, Autonomous Province of Trento International Relations Department; Mariano Anderle; Reza Ghodssi; Pamela Abshire; Peter Kofinas; Jeff Coriale

Research collaborations include bioengineering, biomedical devices, and bio-microsystems; nanomaterials, renewable energy and storage; and microsystems.

ISR and the University of Maryland’s longstanding and successful relationship with researchers from the Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy, has led to a formal cementing of the partnership.

A recent series of overseas exchange visits has fostered the development of two key agreements. In May 2010 a delegation from Trento visited ISR for presentations and extensive discussions with 12 different University of Maryland faculty members. This May, ISR and other University of Maryland researchers and staff paid a reciprocal visit to Trento for a technical workshop and extensive laboratory tours.

ISR is leading the effort on the U.S. side on behalf of the University of Maryland and the University System of Maryland. The Autonomous Province of Trento initiated efforts overseas. The leading research and education collaborators in Trento are the University of Trento, the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, and Fondazione Bruno Kessler.

The recent Maryland delegation included ISR Director Reza Ghodssi (ECE/ISR), Associate Professor Pamela Abshire (ECE/ISR), Professor Peter Kofinas (BioE), and ISR Director of External Relations Jeff Coriale. This team met with Dr. Alberto Lui of the Autonomous Province of Trento International Relations Department; Dr. Mariano Anderle, the Autonomous Province of Trento director of international relations; and Dr. Carla Locatelli, the vice rector for international studies and research at the University of Trento.

The research and education role of the University of Trento is particularly significant, and a memorandum of understanding between the University of Maryland and the University of Trento is being signed. A second memorandum of understanding between the State of Maryland and the Autonomous Province of Trento is in the works. The partnership is beginning with research, and an education component will be added in the near future.

Specific, strategic research topic areas are being defined to build significant collaborations. Three topic areas have been identified to begin and/or continue collaborations, and more will be added as the partnership develops:

• Bioengineering; biomedical devices; and bio-microsystems
Led by Fischell Department of Bioengineering Chair William Bentley (BioE) and Professor Peter Kofinas (BioE) from Maryland, and Professor Alessandro Quattrone, University of Trento

• Renewable energy and storage; nanomaterials
Led by Professors Gary Rubloff (MSE/ISR) and Reza Ghodssi (ECE/ISR) from Maryland, and Dr. Salvatore Iannotta, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche

• Microsystems
Led by ISR-affiliated Professor Elisabeth Smela (ME) and Associate Professor Pamela Abshire from Maryland, and Dr. Pierluigi Bellutti, Fondazione Bruno Kessler

The partners are committed to future four- to six-month bi-directional student exchanges, two- to three-month researcher and professor exchanges, and seed-funded collaborations with matching funds from both the Autonomous Province of Trento/European Union and Maryland/United States.

For more information about this international partnership, contact Jeff Coriale, ISR director of external relations, at or 301-405-6604.

Published May 27, 2011