Via Diario Financiero, translate by Clarke, Modet & Co Chile

Just a few weeks ago, Chile became the first country to secure funds from the United Kingdom – via the Newton Fund, along with 15 countries including Brazil, Colombia and China – for their joint work in scientific and innovative research projects. The fund has a total of US$600 million, of which our country will receive US$20 million for three years, along with the US$20 million that Chile must contribute as a part of the agreement. 

In this way, Conicyt and Research Councils UK (Public entity of the United Kingdom) awarded the first 14 collaboration projects between research centers of both countries and 14 research and development projects, in areas such as of biology, the environment, energy and astronomy. Overall, $2,300 million were granted, with an average contribution of $150 million per project. “The agility with which the first calls were performed reflects the long-term collaboration we have jointly promoted”, said Fiona Clouder, ambassador of the United Kingdom in Chile.


The director of Conicyt’s International Cooperation program, Gonzalo Arenas, indicates that the fund is a depiction of progress, since “a link which did not formally exist in England was created. In addition, when works are executed with foreign colleagues, the impact and exposure of local researchers is increased. Moreover, we could fund as twice as much projects than the last year”, he indicated with regard to the budget of the international cooperation area, which in this 2015 will have $3,400 million for joint work, half of which pertains to the link with the United Kingdom.


This year, Newton-Picarte – official name of the fund in Chile – expects to materialize new resources with other entities, with specific programs with the Fondo de Innovación Agraria (FIA) and Corfo. Clouder also indicates that they are engaging in conversations with universities, trade unions of several industries and research centers, to define new collaboration structures.


Landslide prevention


Earthquakes provoke flooding and landslides that may cause more damage than the earthquake itself. Teams of universities of Chile and Durham will design a methodology to produce a seismic danger map in the country. The pilot plan will be conducted in the Andes foothills of Santiago, in the San Ramon fault line. Sergio Sepulveda, leader of the project and director of Geology of Universidad de Chile, asserts that data may be used, for example, to draft urban and interurban regulatory plans. “Durham is key in the experimental phase, since it has equipment designed for the analysis of landslides”, he indicated.


Space-engineering Detector


In the proton circular accelerator of the Swiss laboratory CERN, protons collide within several detectors. One of them is Atlas, which has the Inner detector, which measures the trajectory of particles with electric charge. Its lifespan will expire in 2022, for which reason Universidad Catolica formed an alliance with the Rutherford Appleton laboratory of the United Kingdom, in order to enter into the modernization plan. Marco Diaz, Physics researcher of UC, indicates that they will contribute the computer setups for its creation, currently being in the construction phase. “Experimental particles physics is new in Chile. To form alliances with groups (experts) helps remedy this weakness”.


Energy converters 


Researchers of Universidad de Talca and University of Nottingham will search for new architectures of multi-modular power convertors for interconnection of several energy generation systems.  


"It will be possible to integrate the network of different generation systems, thereby allowing for cheap, clean and sustainable transmission and distribution of electricity in Chile, which could also be applied to the rest of South America and Europe” explains Marco Rivera, researcher of the area of industrial technologies of Universidad de Talca. They will carry out an experimental implementation to test their behavior in low voltage networks and variations of frequency.


Source: Diario Financiero