The Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) recently signed a five-year memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Texas A&M International University (TAMIU). The MOA was signed by TTI Agency Director Greg Winfree and TAMIU President Pablo Arenaz, facilitating cooperation between TTI and TAMIU’s A.R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business’ Texas Center for Border Economic and Enterprise Development (TCBEED).
TTI Research Scientist and Regional Manager for Latin America Juan Villa, TCBEED Director Dr. Daniel Covarrubias and TAMIU Assistant Vice President for the Office of Global Initiatives Maria Eugenia Calderón-Porter were also present at the signing. The agreement paves the way for both institutions to collaborate and share border logistical data.
“The agreement comes after the local trade community in Laredo tasked the TCBEED with providing timely access to current data and analysis to aid in their logistics planning,” says Covarrubias. “TTI’s expertise in gathering data and project development paired with TCBEED’s data analysis and visualizations will help produce timely and accurate data representations for local stakeholders in the private and public sectors.”
The agreement outlines multiple activities, including:
- Collaborative exchange for research and data analysis;
- Joint educational programs and community-related projects; and
- Joint sponsorship of conferences, symposia, etc., for information exchange.
“This agreement with TAMIU provides a great opportunity to continue expanding our research at the Texas/Mexico border,” says Villa. “By having a local partner at the border, [TTI] can be closer to key stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. Their input is critical to our research providing useful insights that ultimately facilitate international trade.”
After signing the MOA, both Villa and Covarrubias met with the local trade community to announce the partnership.
“Border research has become even more important as supply chain issues continue to be of importance to the state and nation,” Villa noted. “TTI and TAMIU are already working on the development of a cross-border information dashboard that will provide useful information to cross-border transportation stakeholders.”