Our History

The Foundation has been built to deliver scientific, educational and economic results through valuable partnerships

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The USMFS was established in 1993 by distinguished scientists and engineers from both countries, with strong support from the Mexican government and U.S. Congress.

Over the years since, the Foundation has built cross-border networks of key players in industry, academia and the public sector. These leaders have deep knowledge of the ways that collaboration across U.S. and Mexican science, technology, economic and government ecosystems achieve outstanding results. Examples of the Foundation’s impact include the following:

“There are exciting opportunities for momentous science and economic growth through partnerships across this border.”

William C. Harris, Chair of the Board

  • USMFS has strengthened partnerships between Mexican companies and U.S. universities and research centers.
    • In 2017, the Foundation launched a program through which experts from the Ohio Supercomputer Center provide Mexican manufacturers access to advanced modeling and simulation tools to reduce costs and open up new market opportunities.
  • USMFS played a key role in creating The U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research, launched by Presidents Obama and Peña Nieto in 2014. Early results include:

    • Twenty-six percent growth in U.S. students studying in Mexican universities and 18-percent growth in the number of Mexican students studying in the U.S.
    • More than 115 new cooperative agreements signed between U.S. and Mexican universities. These include the CaliBaja Center for Resilient Materials and Systems, which brings together multidisciplinary teams of U.S. and Mexican researchers to design products for extreme environments. These products will be used in applications across aerospace, energy, nuclear, biomedical and national security.
  • USMFS leads binational collaborations in STEM education designed to grow a highly-skilled and nimble workforce. Over 15 years, more than 4 million K-9 school students have benefited, and more than 60,000 teachers have been trained

  • USMFS promotes cooperative efforts to meet health and environmental challenges that cross national boundaries—partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on early-warning infectious disease detection, with the Environmental Protection Agency to mitigate cross-border waste-water hazards, and with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to secure food safety across binational supply chains.

Recognizing the Foundation’s pivotal role in identifying and incubating mutually beneficial initiatives, both Mexico and the U.S. have supported USMFS through government funding and major foundation grants.

USMFS is a dynamic organization, adapting as progress continues. Building on the advances in Mexican education, training, science and technology that its Mexican-based operations have helped propel over the last 25 years, the Foundation is intensifying its commitment to U.S.-Mexico relations. These efforts focus on bringing to the U.S. border states and national economy the new benefits that are now possible. We are not daunted by today’s related political discussions. To the contrary, in this moment of complex discourse, we share with educational, industrial and government leaders a special obligation to seek common opportunities and meet common challenges in science, technology and education that only cooperation across the border can advance.

Origins

The George E. Brown United States-Mexico Foundation for Science, which is our formal name, was established under PL 106-74, Section 423 in 1993. U.S. Congressman George E. Brown, Jr. led the formation of the USMFS.

Born in California’s Imperial Valley, across from Mexicali, Rep. Brown was trained as an industrial physicist. Representing Southern California from 1963 to 1971 and from 1973 until his death in 1999, he shaped American science policy. He led the establishment of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and played an instrumental role in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. He also helped restructure the National Science Foundation to make it more supportive of engineering innovation.

Summing up his commitment to science and technology, Rep. Brown once said, “…by my earliest days, I was fascinated by a utopian vision of what the world could be like. I've thought that science could be the basis for a better world, and that's what I've been trying to do all these years.

Related Link:
Congressional Report: U.S.-Mexico Foundation for Science