Project overview

The value of knowledge transfer offices within Universities has been universally recognised as an effective way to add value to the academic mission by engaging with companies, sharing knowledge, encouraging innovation and developing commercial activities. At the same time, these activities are seen as integral to economic and social development since they ensure that knowledge produced by the universities makes a meaningful contribution to the wellbeing of the economy and community.

As such, Universities are often expected to provide a powerhouse of knowledge creation, sharing and innovation. With the economic growth in Latin America more attention is being paid to the role and contribution of Universities to help support the different economic, political and social aspirations. Yet, in many cases the research infrastructure, capacity and capability are limited. So, as the growth boom continues and the thirst for new knowledge increases, Latin American Universities will need to ensure appropriate systems, skills and strategies are in place to support the discover and dissemination of new knowledge i.e. the research environment (culture), infrastructure and skills sets.

The rationale for the LAURDS project is founded on the need for Universities in Latin America to contribute to the knowledge economy through provision of economies of expertise

Therefore, the rationale for the LAURDS project is founded on the need for Universities in Latin America to contribute to the knowledge economy through provision of economies of expertise. This requires sustainability of growth through innovation, knowledge transfer and cross fertilisation of ideas. Underpinning this process is the development of research capability and capacity. So, Universities need good research and processes for new knowledge to contribute to the economic and societal development of Latin American countries.

Such new knowledge needs to be managed through a good research process and infrastructure or the innovation does not occur or reach market. This requires a clear research strategy for the University and the development of an institutional research culture. The process is facilitated and sustained through the development of PhD and other forms of Doctoral students (DBA etc.). These need to be supported and their supervisors need to be trained and coached. The cumulative result is a more meaningful contribution of Latin American Universities to society, business and the economy. This work is particularly significant for capacity building in Latin America due to the considerable rates of growth being experienced and the underdeveloped research infrastructure and skill sets. As such, the project will make a contribution to the effectiveness of Latin American Universities in making a contribution to increased competitiveness of the country reducing “Brain Drain” i.e. loss of talent, and enriching social and economic wealth through research.

Project goals

The project aim is twofold. Firstly the project aim is to build the capacity of Latin American Universities to develop their research culture and construct focused, relevant and meaningful research strategies which support the need for innovation and new knowledge in the economy. Secondly, in order to enhance and support the development of new knowledge the sustainability of contributions of the University sector to the society and economy of Latin America, the project aims to develop the rigor, quality and transferability of Doctoral provision by building the capability and capacity for Doctoral supervision skills and Doctoral student training in Latin American Universities.

Project deliverables

The project has two core forms of output, research strategy and culture development, and the support for Doctoral Training. See more detail on the deliverables page.

Project partners

LAURDS brings together the efforts of researchers in eight universities across four countries in Europe (Scotland, Germany, Spain and Slovenia) and two in Latin America (Colombia and Panama):

Glasgow Caledonian University

Berlin University of Applied Sciences

Universidad de Zaragoza

University of Primorska

Universidad de Ibagué

Universidad Católica Santa María la Antigua


University of Louisville