International Affiliates

Founded in 2009 by five universities from Mexico and the United States (Universidad de Monterrey, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Universidad de las Américas Puebla, Rice University, The University of Arizona), the Puentes Consortium provides a distinctive voice for the bi-national community of scholars who carry out multidisciplinary research on issues relevant to security at the Mexico-US border. In 2009-2010, Puentes explored key issues pertinent to bi-national dialogue about the US-Mexico border, including the environment, public safety, culture, drugs and arms trafficking, and immigration policy. The Puentes Symposium of 2010 was keynoted by the then US Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, Alan Bersin, and his counterpart in Mexico's government, Undersecretary of the Interior, Gerónimo Gutiérrez, and the 2011 symposium welcomed Mayor John Cook of El Paso.  More than 20 scholars, as well as leaders in government, law enforcement, and private business participated in this intimate yet far-reaching conversation about key issues related to US-Mexico border security.

See Puentes funded papers by BORDERS researchers:

Border Security Infrastructure and Systems

Improving the Screening Process to Facilitate Trade at U.S. - Mexico Ports of Entry

In May 2009, BORDERS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Laurea University of Applied Sciences/Safety and Security Management in Finland.  This agreement establishes a joint, cooperative effort between BORDERS and Laurea to conduct transatlantic border security and immigration research, development and training.  By leveraging the capacity and expertise of BORDERS as the research center for U.S. border and immigration technologies, and utilizing Laurea/Finland as the network hub and test bed for European border technologies, this partnership can better serve and mutually benefit the security needs of U.S. and European stakeholders.

In 2008, Laurea University of Applied Sciences was awarded a unit of excellence designation for its safety and security studies by the Ministry of Education of Finland. Due to its geographical location, Finland serves as the border security lab of Europe. Laurea operates in the Helsinki region, and its safety and security management branch is targeting new service innovations together with partnership networks with European Union programs and organizations.

Frontex, an EU agency based in Warsaw, was created as a specialized and independent body tasked to coordinate the operational cooperation between Member States in the field of border security. The activities of Frontex are intelligence driven. Frontex complements and provides particular added value to the national border management systems of the Member States.

BORDERS and Frontex having been working together since BORDERS inception in effort to solve shared border security and immigration related challenges. Since 2010, researchers from BORDERS and Frontex have conducted 4 workshops and/or experiments in Europe using the AVATAR kiosk technology. 

–2010: Artificial Intelligence for Screening and Decision Support at Border Crossings, Warsaw, Poland

–2011: Improving Border Checks with Next-generation Artificial Intelligence & Advanced Sensor Technology, Warsaw, Poland

–2012: Testing of Automated Deception Tools and Risk Assessment Techniques during a Border Checks Simulation, Netherlands

–2013: Automated Passport Control for International Travelers, Bucharest Airport

BORDERS researchers have seen several positive outcomes from these collaborations and continue to work with Frontex to plan future workshops and symposiums in the area of border security.