UM Awarded 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund

We are excited to announce the University of Montana was recently named by the ”100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund” as one of the awarded Universities to participate in the US-Mexico innovation fund for economic and financial inclusion and agricultural sustainability for inequality reduction. The virtual winner’s announcement event was held on December 9th, 2020, and available for viewing via recording at www.100kstrongamericas.org.

The goal of the project is to increase international mobility opportunities for students between the University of Montana and the Benémerita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Mexico. The program is based on four approaches: 1) awareness and training, 2) international mobility, 3) impact on the social environment and 4) research. Each goal is designed from meaningful and cooperative learning where students and teachers can internalize technical knowledge and then apply that knowledge in a 5-month international mobility plan. The students will work directly with communities, producers, rural entrepreneurs and their peers in the country of destination, consolidating business projects jointly and with an international perspective. Both universities will work in collaboration through an online platform created for this project, jointly developing the content of the training program. The award of $25K will defray costs for 9 UM students and 1 UM faculty member as well as 9 BUAP students and 1 BUAP faculty member to travel and participate in the program.

For this project, the University of Montana will provide dedicated staff for educating, marketing, supporting, and recruiting students through the Global Engagement Office. The program will engage recruiting efforts through the World Languages and Cultures program, as well as the International Business program in the College of Business. The Accelerate Montana’s Rural Innovation Initiative (AMRII) will reach rural and Indigenous students across rural Montana.

About the 100K Strong Americas Innovation Fund:

The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is a public-private sector collaboration between the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and Partners of the Americas working with companies, foundations, regional government entities, and academic networks in the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere to create partnerships that provide access to new models of academic exchange and training programs. The Innovation Fund is the trusted mechanism between governments, businesses, foundations, and academia to support this hemispheric-wide education initiative to build partnerships, strengthen institutional capacity, and increase access for underserved students to innovative academic exchange programs.  As of October 2020 - over six years - the Innovation Fund has awarded 243 grants to teams made up of 490 higher education institutions working in 25 countries and 49 U.S. states. Currently, more than 2,300 higher education institutions have joined the Innovation Network – including the University of Montana.