Many of the achievements listed below have been realized in collaboration with other ISTEC initiatives. The list below reflects only a very small sample of activities and accomplishments in the Ibero-American region in the last 25 years.
To begin, ISTEC in collaboration with Cray Research, and industrial member of ISTEC, we helped install the first supercomputer in Latin America. This was carried out at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in 1991.
In 18 years of collaboration with the Organization of American States, ISTEC has trained scientist and engineers in the thousands in the areas of Digital and Image Processing and software development. Well over 500 software laboratories were implemented using the KHOROS software platform.
ISTEC in collaboration with its industrial partners, Motorola, Microsoft and Hewlett Packard, helped developed the prototype of the Educational Portal of the Organization of American States.
Over 200 R&D laboratory facilities have been donated in 17 countries mostly in the areas of digital signal and image processing, microcontrollers, microprocessors, embedded systems, VLSI design, and software development. The equipment and software donations, in the millions of US dollars, came from our industrial partners such as Motorola, Hewlett Packard, Nortel Networks, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, National Instruments, Xilinx, CISCO and Intel.
ISTEC helped create the Journal of Computer Science and Technology and the Revista Iberoamericana de Tecnología en Educación y Educación en Tecnología.
During IX ISTEC General Assembly held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL in November 1999, Motorola launched the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Challenge for Ibero-America. The challenge was to analyze the needs, weaknesses, strengths and expectations of governments, academia, and the private sector and to define an agenda in ICT as a catalyst for social, cultural and economic development for the next decade, 2000-2010. Dr. Terry Heng, Senior Vice-President of Motorola, presented the ICT Challenge committing $500,000 for the next five years, 2000-2004. The objective was to sponsor conferences, workshops and forums with the participation of high-ranking government officials, academia, industry and international organizations to create awareness, analyze existing ICT models in other regions, develop an ICT agenda, and obtain commitments to implement an ICT plan for the next decade. The agenda addressed issues such as the automated process for production, e-commerce, e-government, distance employment and education, mobility of jobs, S&T policies, IP protection, social and cultural values, health, strategic alliances, and universal access to information, these are few among many topics addressed. For 5 years ISTEC organized ICT Challenges in almost every country of its membership.
In one opportunity, ISTEC in collaboration with major US and European national laboratories organized an event in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to negotiate with the major publishing houses in the area of Science and Technology. As an outcome of event the purchasing model as a consortium for collections of scientific databases and journals online was made. Also, another major contribution was in the “open source” model for journal publication.
In collaboration with Motorola, ISTEC worked in the creation of a micro/nano electronic design and quick prototyping semiconductor facility. As an outcome of this effort the center of excellence CEITEC (Center of Excellence for Semiconductor Industry) was created in Proto Alegre, Brazil. At that time, it was the only center of its type in Latin America.
A software environment called GRANA was developed to help and facilitate academic institutions to begin working in what ISTEC has always promoted which is the “culture of quality”. This environment can assist institutions elaborate a strategic plan that can lead them to obtain an international accreditation. Nowadays, more than ever al academic programs must have international quality to be competitive.
The Innovation Plaza is a new initiative spearheaded by the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department at the University of New Mexico. I is currently being replicated by other ISTEC members and others around the world. It is an open lab space for students from their first semester at the undergraduate level until they graduate can build experiments to bridge the gap connecting Math, Physics, Chemistry, and Engineering at a very early stage by linking theory to real world experience. All the hands–on content is later used in courses at the undergraduate level to bridge the gap between practice and theory. Minimizing this gap early facilitates the learning process of engineering and increases the creativity and innovation of students. It is also a space where graduate students can mentor undergraduate students and involve them in research, and it is also open to high school students. It has open the opportunity for undergraduate students to compete in Business Plan competitions very successfully thus encouraging entrepreneurial activities. Several of these projects have won prizes and started companies. A rescent outcome of this initiative, a hands-on Lab Manual has been produced to assist students and researchers to work with Software Defined Radios (USRPS). This effort in collaboration with National Instruments has become the first experiential manual for the IEEE ComSoc Society.
It has been released from IEEE and ISTEC the book ‘Introduction to Communication Systems Using National Instruments Universal Software Radio Peripheral – Lab Manual 2014’ (http://labs.comsoc.org), authored by Anees Abrol y Eric Hamke, and the contribution of Carlos Adrian Martinez Yero, Olajide Durosinmi y Jeffery Love. The editor of this title, is Dr. Ramiro Jordan, director of the Los Libertadores initiative and founder of ISTEC.
ISTEC has the tradition of organizing student design competitions in specific topics with a high impact factor. As an example is the recycling of garbage. Following this tradition, the Innovation Plaza concept and in collaboration with organizations such as the Global Innovation Network for Entrepreneurship and Technology (GINET, www.ginetllc.com), the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES, www.ifees.net), the Students Platform for Engineering Education Development (SPEED, www.worldspeed.org); and Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC, www.gedcouncil.org) ISTEC is co-organizing the Global Entrepreneurship Challenge (GEC) in the World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) 2016 in Seoul, South Korea, November 7-8, 2016. The event consists of a bootcamp on entrepreneurship, followed by on how to write a business plan and how to pitch it, and we finalize with a competition where three winning teams will be chosen and the awards consist of funding for the startups.