Overseas partnerships: participation in the BERSTIC network and signature of a Memorandum of Understanding with Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia

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Overseas partnerships: participation in the BERSTIC network and signature of a Memorandum of Understanding with Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia

An important aspect of our activities is building global alliances to drive innovation, foster knowledge transfer and address crucial scientific challenges. A number of initiatives and projects exemplify this commitment. One is our active participation in the Science, Technology, Innovation and Culture Network – BERSTIC since 2020, a dynamic platform that bridges continents and facilitates collaborative applied scientific research. In the year 2023, our presence within the network has been particularly dynamic.

BERSTIC was initially founded in Colombia in 2012 by the CEO of Engineering Research Institute (In3) at the Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia (UCC), Prof. dr Ramón Fernando Colmenares Quintero, and today it counts more than 100 members from Europe, Central and South America, and Hong Kong. The organization aims to foster applied scientific research, generate fundamental knowledge, train high-quality research personnel, implement training and technology projects, transfer technology, extend technological services, and disseminate knowledge in an interdisciplinary approach, with both national and international implications.

We present the internal context of the Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences (IPC PAS) for joining BERSTIC. The group leader of the “Catalysis for sustainable energy production and environmental protection” team, Prof. dr hab. Juan Carlos Colmenares Quintero, as the Institute’s Coordinator of the FA COST Action TD1203 "Food Waste Valorization for Sustainable Chemicals, Materials & Fuels (EUBis) in the years 2012 to 2016, and Full Member in the Management Committee of the FPS COST Action FP1306​“Valorisation of lignocellulosic biomass side streams for sustainable production of chemicals, materials & fuels using low environmental impact technologies”, has made considerable efforts to foster international cooperation between the IPC PAS and overseas research institutions. When the BERSTIC network was created, Prof. dr hab. Juan Carlos Colmenares Quintero approached its leadership on behalf of our authorities and facilitated the partnership between the Institute and this association, which among its numerous members, also includes a number of organizations from Poland.

The Memorandum of Understanding with one of the Colombian BERSTIC members, UCC /In3, was materialized in 2023, signed on November 15, 2023, by the Institute's Director, Adam Kubas, and the Rector of UCC, Maritza Rondón Rangel.

This partnership provides the opportunity to submit consortium proposals for joint EU projects with the Latin American pair. The purpose of the MoU is to formalize a framework of cooperation and collaboration to support educational, scientific, mobility and professional activities and project development between researchers from UCC /Engineering Research Institute (In3) and the IPC PAS in the areas of nanotechnology, sustainable energy and hydrogen production in Colombia, Poland and within the EU research landscape, as well as exchange visits of teaching and research staff in these areas.

The areas of potential cooperation include: exchange visits of scientists for the promotion of seminars, courses, conferences, lectures, the implementation of joint research projects, the exchange of experiences and good practices, the dissemination of publications and information of interest, student placements, as well as visits of technical and administrative personnel.

We are pleased to further advance our cooperation with UCC, look forward to welcoming its representative and BERSTIC founder, Prof. dr Ramón Fernando Colmenares Quintero in March, and prepare for the next BERSTIC Summit in Poland, in the fall of 2024.


On the photos: IPC PAS Director dr hab. Adam Kubas, Prof. dr hab. Juan Carlos Colmenares Quintero, and Prof. dr Ramón Fernando Colmenares Quintero.


  • Author: dr Anna Przybyło-Józefowicz
  • Date: 14.02.2024