Florida Poly cements partnership with prestigious Brazilian university

Dec 07, 2020
Dr. Shahram Taj and Dr. Regiane Relva Romano

Dr. Shahram Taj, chair of the Department of Data Science and Business Analytics at Florida Polytechnic University, and Dr. Regiane Relva Romano, special advisor to the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication in Brazil and director of Centro Universitário Facens, lead a new partnership between the two institutions. The two are pictured at a Smart Cities event in 2018.

A new agreement between Florida Polytechnic University and the prestigious Centro Universitário Facens in Brazil promises to help both institutions expand their work and advance technological and economic success.

Florida Poly and Facens have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in research activities. The initial collaboration will focus on data science and business analytics projects, but the future of the effort is wide open.

“It’s an important opportunity because Facens is positioned as a smart campus and they have great programs,” said Dr. Shahram Taj, chair of the Department of Data Science and Business Analytics at Florida Poly and a leader of the collaboration. “It opens up opportunities for joint research, not only among faculty, but among graduate students and undergraduates from both universities.”

Facens leaders also are eager to see the partnership flourish.

“I am thrilled to join forces with my colleagues at Florida Polytechnic University and establish a solid research collaboration between our organizations,” said Dr. Regiane Relva Romano, Facens director and special advisor to Brazil’s Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication.

Taj, Romano, and the other leaders in the effort said they are hopeful the partnership eventually includes grant funding for research that could impact the economies of Brazil, the United States, and other nations.

“Florida Poly was designed for the creation of jobs and boosting the economy locally, regionally, and beyond,” said Mustapha Achoubane, associate director of international relations at the University. “You can create significant economic relationships through academic institutions and research in terms of having all faculty and students be the catalyst for the economic engine.”

The memorandum of understanding was signed in November and will be in effect for at least the next three years.

“Facens is constantly seeking to bring the best in education to its students, promoting events, extracurricular activities, training, and initiatives so that its students have the necessary professional skills to allow them to stand out in the job market,” said Paulo Carvalho, Facens’ dean.

“Our institution proudly counts on the excellence of Florida Polytechnic University as a partner for student and professor exchanges, as well as applied research programs,” Carvalho added.

Dr. Reinaldo Sanchez-Arias, an assistant professor in Florida Poly’s Department of Data Science and Business Analytics, will oversee the first research project under the new agreement. He said he would like to see both institutions build off each other’s successes.

“Facens has a dashboard that the faculty researchers and administrators use to keep track of what they’re measuring, and our first project will try to add to that predictive analytics and a machine learning component,” Sanchez-Arias said. “This is a learning opportunity for us to see what works and how we can implement some of their initiatives in terms of technology, analytics, and data insights.”


Lydia Guzmán
Director of Communications