The University of Arizona Receives 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund Award

Coca-Cola Foundation Funds New Higher Education Partnerships in Environmental Sciences


Tucson, AZ: October 26, 2016. The White House, U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators announced the Innovation Fund grant winners of the Coca-Cola Foundation-sponsored competition of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund. This Innovation Fund grant competition focused on creating new study abroad programs between the United States and Latin America in the field of environmental science, with an emphasis on water. These Innovation Fund grant winners were announced during the opening reception of the Partners of the Americas’ Convention in Guadalajara, Mexico.


The goal of 100,000 Strong in the Americas, President Obama’s signature education initiative in the Western Hemisphere is to facilitate new partnerships between higher education institutions to increase student mobility throughout the Americas to bring the number of U.S. students studying in the Western Hemisphere to 100,000 and bring 100,000 students from the Western Hemisphere to study in the United States on an annual basis by 2020.  The goals of the initiative are to enhance hemispheric competitiveness, stimulate regional education cooperation, and prepare students to be more globally competent for the 21st century workforce.


Scarcity of clean water is a serious problem confronting the large megacities and semiarid regions of the Americas. Quality potable water is essential for the future economic development of the Americas. The goal of this project is to develop a thematic cluster consisting of five higher education institute partners from four countries working on the environmental science/engineering of water quality and reuse. The HEI cluster will develop a coordinated curriculum to cultivate a cadre of international water science and engineering professionals that can develop and implement water reuse technology and practices. The tasks of the project are to:


  1. Develop the curriculum for dual MS degrees on this priority topic;
  2. Promote graduate student mobility (with travel stipends for 6 northbound and 4 southbound students);
  3. Provide a workshop on the theme of water reuse; and
  4. Develop the HEI thematic cluster concept as a model of international graduate student training.


The proposed program will be led by the University of Arizona’s (UA) Assistant Dean of Graduate Education at the College of Engineering and the Vice President of the Office of Global Initiatives (OGI) which are specialized in international education. The staff of OGI will be responsible for the coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the grant. The expected outcome of the project is a sustained partnership that will acquire resources to grow the number of student exchanges via the establishment of agreements including those providing fellowships.


This is the second grant competition supported by the Coca-Cola Foundation. This Innovation Fund grant competition was open to higher education institutions in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, and the United States which promote study abroad programs in the field of Environmental Sciences, with an emphasis on water. The winning institutions will create new innovative partnerships that will increase student mobility to and from Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States; provide technical training; and prepare students to be more globally competent for the 21st workforce.





The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is the dynamic public-private sector collaboration between the White House, U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators announced by Vice President Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry in January 2014.  Since then, 86 Innovation Fund grants have been awarded to teams of 168 higher education institutions from 20 countries in the Western Hemisphere. Innovation Fund grant winning partnerships are creating new study abroad opportunities and increasing student mobility to and from the Americas in support of the President’s signature education initiative for the Western Hemisphere. Follow the Innovation Fund on Twitter and Facebook via #100KStrongAmericas.


The mission of Partners of the Americas is to connect people and organizations across borders to serve and to change lives through lasting partnerships. These partnerships create opportunity, foster understanding, and solve real-life problems. Inspired by President Kennedy and founded in 1964 under the Alliance for Progress, Partners is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, DC. Learn more at or via Twitter @partnersamerica.


With nearly 10,000 members, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world’s largest nonprofit professional association dedicated to international education. Learn more at and and on Twitter at @NAFSA and @ConnectOurWorld.


The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands.  Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company's portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands including, Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, POWERADE, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia, Dasani, FUZE TEA and Del Valle.  Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks.  Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.9 billion servings a day.  With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate.  Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information about Coca-Cola in Mexico visit:, follow us on twitter: @SomosCocaCola, visit our blog Coca-Cola Unbottled or find us on Linkedin


Established in 1885, the University of Arizona, the state’s super land-grant university with two medical schools, produces graduates who are real-world ready through its 100% Student Engagement initiative. Recognized as a global leader and ranked 16th for the employability of its graduates, the UA is also a leader in research, bringing more than $580 million in research investment each year, and ranking 19th among all public universities. The UA is advancing the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships, and is a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $8.3 billion annually.