The Center for Basque Studies of the University of Nevada (Reno) and Agirre Lehendakaria Center (ALC) have signed a cooperation agreement to study gastronomy as a key element of cultural heritage in the identity construction of the Basque community abroad. This will be done within the framework of the International Agirre Program (IAP) for 6-month academic stays promoted by ALC for researchers. The program was started in 2017 in collaboration with AC4- Columbia University, and the University of Nevada (Reno) joins it through its Center for Basque Studies (CBS). This new channel opened by the program will be participated in and supported by well-known stakeholders, the aim being to determine the contribution of Basque gastronomy to the identity construction of the Basque community abroad.

The agreement comes under the International Agirre Program (IAP) promoted by ALC since 2017, with the aim of setting up and providing a wider cooperation framework in the study of the sustainable development model of Euskadi, together with the University of Nevada and its Center of Basque Studies.

The study will include the collection of narratives through interviews with representatives of the Basque diaspora, experts, restaurants and, as the case may be, institutional representatives linked to Basque communities abroad, as well as Basque speakers living in and around Reno.

Equally as important as the interviews, the study will take the vision of other stakeholders into account for comparison purposes. To do this, support and contributions from experts in the field in the USA and Euskadi will be obtained.

The study sets out to respond to the following questions:

  • What has the contribution of the Basque communities abroad been in the conservation and promotion of Basque gastronomy?
  • What has the contribution of the Basque communities abroad been in the international projection of Basque gastronomy?
  • What is the value system that operates in this transformation, and how has its contribution been reflected?
  • How does it link in with the study of gastronomy in the process of transformation?

The conclusions and reflections extracted from the answers to these questions will be materialized in an international seminar (planned for March 2021) in which the results of the study will be published, with the idea of publishing a book. 

R&D+D+i+K – The study of the “K” element

ALC, thanks to its know-how and experience in the process of the social, economic and cultural transformation of Basque society in recent decades, proposes the incorporation of the cultural dimension (“K”) into innovation processes (R&D+i+K) as a differentiating element that provides authentic competitiveness from the sustainable human development perspective.