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Industry and academia bridge the gap

17 October 2023|Event

Organized by Private Sector Network Americas (PSNA) and the Academic Network Americas (ANA). This is a side event of the Tenth Session of UN-GGIM: Americas (17 to 20 October 17 2023).


There is a need to improve the effectiveness of collaboration between private sector and academia to ensure sustainable commercial outcomes. To this end there must be a bridge between school and the world of work by connecting students with companies based on their interests and professional goals, thus giving students hands-on projects to gain real world experience! Humans are curious and naturally learn while trying to solve problems. Academic institutions should work with industry to create a natural critical learning environment where there are mechanisms that facilitate experiential geospatial learning.

Connecting companies with institutions so that students can work on projects based on current business challenges will provide powerful learning experiences for students, but to also provide strategic insights to industry partners. Industry and academia must work to answer questions like:

  • How can we stimulate students to build new mental models to engage "deep" learning as opposed to the "surface" learning in which they are remembering to pass examinations?
  • How do we create safe environments in which students can try, fail, receive feedback and try again?
  • What models of engagement will ensure that geospatial learning will produce sustained influence in the way students think, act and feel?

Main expected Impact of Session

Industry relies on academia to educate, train, prepare and nurture the next crop of bright young geospatial talent. Industry provides real-world problems with which to challenge students. The panel will highlight how Academia and industry can benefit from the synergistic relationship when they work together and support one another. It will show how as an industry we can better engage with academia to bring quality talent, diversity, and innovation. It will highlight the benefits of having opportunities to interact with industry and the value of mentorship. It will also show how collaborations between industry and academia can support access to the latest Technology.

17 Oct 2023

  • Welcome and overview of the side event

    10:00 to 10:05

    Rosario Casanova & Valrie Grant
    - Opening remarks

  • Pannel: Academic Examples

    10:05 to 10:45

    Moderator: Rosario Casanova

    • Jaime H. Ortega & Florencio Utreras, Centro Regional Copernicus en Chile
      CopLAC-Chile: A Regional Copernicus Center for LAC
      Macarena Pérez, Chilean Institute for Disaster Resilience
      Resilience Data Platform
      Rosario Casanova, Universidad de la República de Uruguay
      Geo - Ethics
  • Pannel: Bridging the Gap

    10:45 to 11:25

    Moderator and presenter: Valrie Grant

    -Linda Peters, Business Development and Executive Program Director, Esri
    -Andres Vallina, Operations Manager, Riegl USA
    -Julia Martinuzzi, Chief Operating Officer Kan Territory & IT

  • Open Discussion: Gaps and opportunities

    11:25 to 12:05

    Valrie Grant & Rosario Casanova

    • Valrie Grant, UN-GGIM Americas Private Sector Network
      Bridging the Gap between industry and Academia in the Geospatial Industry
  • Summary and Closing remarks

    12:05 to 12:35

    Valrie Grant & Rosario Casanova