Regional engagement

Latin America

The University has longstanding links with Latin America.

Key strategic partnership - Universidad San Francisco de Quito, in Ecuador.

Edinburgh and Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) conduct collaborative research on energy and the environment focusing on sustainable management, climate crisis and working towards a zero-carbon vision for the Galápagos Islands.  

The Galápagos Islands as a living lab

The Living Lab for Energy Innovation was established in 2019 and aims to ensure sustainable development for local people and the local tourism industry within a unique and sensitive place. As with some Scottish Islands, some of the Galápagos are looking to try to change their sources of income away from tourism. The ambition is to look at the energy consumption in the islands and analyse society with a view to changing their way of living. The Galápagos are a unique, controlled environment; 96% of the land is a national park, remote and contained, like a laboratory - fantastic for testing ideas.

A zero-carbon vision

Through a collaboration between the University of Edinburgh, Universidad San Francisco de Quito and the British-Ecuadorian Chamber of Commerce, the Living Lab for Energy Innovation is working to deliver the objectives of the Galápagos Plan 2040. Interdisciplinary teams have been researching the challenges and opportunities in sustainable and inclusive decarbonisation of the islands, the focus of a three-day summit held there in July 2023.


Galápagos decarbonisation

View of sea an hills in the Galapagos Islands
An update on our latest activity in Galápagos with Universidad San Francisco de Quito.

Contacts for International Deans by College

Skyline in latin america
A team of International Deans represent each College and support the Vice-Principal International and Deputy Vice-Principal in the University's engagement across all regional activity.

The Galápagos Islands are one of the most important ecosystems in the world. We have a historical connection to the Islands through Charles Darwin, and I’m delighted that we are taking our collaboration into the future, with our commitment to develop a hub to support the Galapagos Islands 2040 Vision to create a secure, sustainable low-carbon island economy driven by innovation and collaboration. 

Professor James SmithVice-Principal International

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