The globalization process of the last decade produced new challenges in our society. Every country has been affected by the disrupting forces that globalization has fostered. In this ever changing environment, Lasallian universities have been working to define a solid position in this new worldwide competitive scenario. In this sense, different initiatives have emerged from the Lasallian community to face this challenging scene, mainly in education and management.
Furthermore, most Lasallian universities must build a consolidated environment to face the requirements for research activity. Although research activity should be based on effort, promoted within research groups, other dimensions of research activity can be developed by promoting the interrelationship with other research groups. So far, this interco-operation among research groups has been sponsored by research programmes in leading countries around the world. The common goal is to create a bigger critical mass of researchers and consequently higher synergetic effects for the different research areas.
Lasallian Universities form a community of more than seventy institutions worldwide. Most of them face a common challenge: to enhance their research productivity. Thus, how can our community structure help in this endeavor? At least, three characteristics of the Lasallian community could help. Firstly, research groups in the Lasallian universities are of a multidisciplinary nature. Engineering, Healthcare, Pedagogy, Politics, Economics, Management, Agriculture, Architecture, Sciences, are some examples of fields that our Universities are researching into. The potential synergies that this plethora of fields can produce to deliver multidisciplinary research projects need no further discussion. Secondly, cross-cultural issues are one of the features of cutting-edge research. Lasallian Universities are based in three continents with strong institutions in areas as diverse as North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific. Within this framework, cross-cultural opportunities can only be surpassed by international organizations like the United Nations. Finally, research evaluation agencies promote international collaboration among research groups. The aforementioned geographical dispersion of Lasallian Universities provides a myriad of opportunities for research groups to collaborate with and to build international consortiums to synergize their research activity.
Evidently, the Lasallian community will provide the seed to exploit synergetic research opportunities among research groups of our Universities. However, some Lasallian researchers think that these opportunities can be enhanced by creating a shared understanding of how synergies can be developed and by working in a common proactive effort to develop tools and mechanisms to promote the emergence of collaborative research projects.
With this spirit in mind, the LSresearch&innovation event aims to create a renewed agora to build and further this debate.