News article

Visit to Colombia by UK Minister for Universities and Innovation

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Science, innovation, education and trade will be the key priorities for the UK.

The Rt Hon David Willets, British minister for Universities and Science, with a large delegation will visit Colombia on 21-23 April to strengthen UK-Colombia relations science, innovation and education as follow-up to President Santos’s Guest of Government visit to London in November 2011.

During his visit, the minister will be in Medellin and Bogota during which he will meet, amongst others, President Santos, the Minister of Education, the Director of Colombia’s science ministry, the Mayor of Medellin, the Governor of Antioquia and a number of senior business leaders.

One of the high points of the visit will be the launch of “UK Colombia Trade” – a new British business entity, that will be located at the British embassy, designed to support British companies in Colombia to help deliver Prime Minister Cameron’s target to double annual UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020.

On 23 April, the minister will take part in a high-profile media forum with El Tiempo newspaper entitled “UK and Colombia: Partners for Education and Innovation” at Externado University at 09.30am. The Minister, with the Colombian Vice-Minister of Education, will explain the opportunities for further collaboration between the UK and Colombia on science, innovation and education. The minister will also announce the launch of a UK-Colombia Science Prize to strengthen UK-Colombia research links.

The minister will also sign three agreements during his visit. These include:

  • An agreement between the Ministry of Education and British Council on education and entrepreneurship.

  • An agreement between the Colombian Science Ministry and the Department of Business Innovation and Skills on science and innovation

  • An agreement between the Colombian Science Ministry and British Council on increasing research links between the UK and Colombia.