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The University of Miami and McGill University have signed a strategic alliance to collaborate in the fields of engineering and information technology.
The alliance was sealed this summer to boost joint ventures, grant-making opportunities and faculty and student exchanges between McGill and the University of Miami (UM) — the largest private research university in the southeastern United States.
The union was signed last July, as part of a Florida trade mission to Quebec led by Florida governor John Ellis (Jeb) Bush.
At present, the McGill-Miami deal does not involve other faculties. "Presumably, if there is demonstrated interest on both sides, this could probably occur," says Ian Butler, McGill's associate vice-principal, (research), who was present for the signing.
The deal is one of many that McGill has with other American universities, explains Butler. "Some are faculty to faculty and others university to university." Enterprise Florida Inc., the state of Florida's official economic development organization, assisted in formalizing the Miami-McGill partnership along with the Government of Quebec, Montréal International and the Montreal Board of Trade.
"Establishing linkages between universities is an outstanding way to build mutually beneficial ties between Quebec and Florida," says Bush. "Without question, the agreement signed between McGill University and the University of Miami will serve as an excellent mechanism to expand co-operative interaction, research opportunities and shared innovations among our regions."
As part of the faculty exchange and co-operation that will result from their alliance, UM and McGill plan to write joint proposals to international funding agencies to improve research initiatives and increase the economic impact in their respective communities.
"This is an exciting international venture with direct technological, educational and economic impact," says Lewis Temares, UM's dean of the College of Engineering and vice-president of information technology. "Students, faculty and businesses benefit from the studies and research accomplished by these reputable institutions."
McGill electrical and computer engineering professor Frank Ferrie concurs: "This partnership leverages the complementary research strengths of our universities, which promote both inter- and multi-disciplinary research."
Since McGill features Canada's largest body of international students, of which close to 1,500 are American, the alliance is a natural one. "This McGill-UM partnership will help us continue to forge strong relationships with sister institutions in the U.S. and the world over," says Butler.