NEW YORK, June 16, 2010—Thirty-two Fulbright foreign students from 27 countries studying in science and technology fields at U.S. universities convened in Austin, Texas June 1-5 to meet with U.S. experts for a seminar focused on translating scientific discovery into economic and social progress. "From Lab to Market", a Fulbright Enrichment Seminar sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), was organized by the Institute of International Education (IIE). The participants were among more than 3,000 visiting students studying at the graduate level at U.S. colleges and universities in 2009-2010 under the Fulbright Program, sponsored by ECA.
The seminar brought the Fulbright students together with scientific innovators and experts in the applied sciences, public-private research consortia, centers of innovation, start-up companies, micro-enterprises, and research and development laboratories. It also provided a forum for students from developing countries to exchange ideas and resources with a focus on how technological advances in engineering, computer and information sciences can support achievements in fields of energy efficiency and environmental sciences. Participants gained opportunities to build upon their knowledge and establish a network of peers to address the global challenges. A similar “Lab to Market” enrichment seminar was held in Cambridge, Massachusetts May 25-29, focusing on fields of public health, agriculture and environmental sustainability. An enrichment seminar for students who are conducting Ph.D. study in the United States with an International Fulbright Science and Technology Award will be held in Los Angeles, California in November.
These events are part of a larger series of Fulbright Enrichment Seminars being sponsored by ECA during 2010 for Fulbright Foreign Students. Nine seminars addressed the topic of social entrepreneurship as a local approach to global social needs. They took place in Nashville, Tennessee; San Francisco, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Chicago, Illinois; Seattle, Washington; Denver, Colorado; Providence, Rhode Island; New York, New York; and Washington, D.C. The seminars in Denver, San Francisco, and Chicago were coordinated by IIE's regional centers located in those cities. Fulbright Enrichment Seminar participants, studying at institutions throughout the United States, contributed their global perspectives as academically gifted and socially engaged individuals to a variety of activities designed to expose them to different aspects of social entrepreneurial projects in the United States.
In seminars held across the United States, groups of Fulbright students from different countries and fields heard from leading social entrepreneurs, U.S. government officials, private and non-profit sector leaders, and members of the academic community about the best strategies to apply entrepreneurial principles and business models to solve social problems.Through community outreach volunteer programs and student-led activities, they discovered how social entrepreneurs directly impact communities in the United States. Finally, they worked with their peers to explore how social entrepreneurship principles, structures and resources can be applied in their home countries.
Three of this year’s enrichment seminars addressed the needs and concerns of emerging women leaders in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia, Central America and the Caribbean, as they prepared to return to their home countries. These events brought together remarkable groups of Fulbright women graduate students selected for their leadership potential and outstanding accomplishments in their fields. The seminars highlighted the unique history of the three host cities: Albuquerque, New Mexico, Moraga, California, and Denver, Colorado. They featured local speakers from the public and private sectors, non-governmental organizations, and academia and homestays with local families, and included re-entry workshops and leadership training.
All of the Fulbright enrichment seminars for foreign students were sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and presented by the Institute of International Education. These seminars are an integral part of the overall Fulbright experience. They are designed to support the Fulbright Program’s objective of promoting mutual understanding between people of the United States and the people of over 155 Fulbright partner countries. The seminars focus on critical issues facing U.S. society that also resonate in other countries. They provide exposure to the diversity of viewpoints in the United States, promote dialogue among the seminar participants, and allow students to explore particular aspects of life in the U.S. as well as share experiences with Fulbright colleagues.