Regional, local and university authorities got together at the Andrés Bello Campus of Universidad de La Frontera to launch this important project.
The launch of the first Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in the La Araucanía Region is a new milestone regarding the development of the region and the construction of its future. The university Universidad de La Frontera (UFRO) initiated this initiative with support of the regional government and the Production Development Corporation (CORFO). The idea is to create a space where different local, national and international actors, both public and private, can get together for the co-creation and systematic development of solutions and scientific and technological entrepreneurships with potential for global scaling.
Regional, local and university authorities, as well as representatives of technology companies, public development agencies, R&D&I centres, centres, start-ups and business accelerators, gathered at the Andres Bello Campus of UFRO to launch this important project that aims at developing a knowledge-based economy to promote innovative solutions from the Araucanía Region for Chile and the world.
The launch took place at the future location of the main building of the ecosystem, a modern and sustainable infrastructure with technological components, with open workspaces and spaces for the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship. This will be the first of several structures that will be added to the ecosystem in the long term.
“This new project is an important qualitative milestone, with which we will bring the private and public sector, the regional government, the municipalities, the neighbourhood councils, etc. together. Our idea is to bring together all the productive sectors in order to promote and add value to our region, which really needs this. This initiative is a competitive alternative for developing and retaining local talents with knowledge of the territory, as well as for attracting foreign creative talents, who coordinate and connect with all the stakeholders in charge of the productive development,” explained Dr. Eduardo Hebel Weiss, the rector of UFRO.
“This will be the first technology park in the La Araucanía Region. This is going to be a space as we have seen it in different parts of the world. It will solve different issues from the point of view of knowledge generation, technological development, and how we add value to the different products of our region, in order to have a balanced productive development that allows the La Araucanía Region to progress,” said Luciano Rivas Stepke, the governor of the La Araucanía Region.
“The Rector spoke to us some time ago in order to be part of this venture and to create all kinds of agreements, which will allow us to support this ecosystem with all of our regional ministries. This great project, which can turn our region into a pioneer regarding technology and innovation, does not only need certain infrastructures, but also certain skills and human capital,” commented the regional presidential delegate, José Montalva Feuerhake.
On this event, Eduardo Hebel Weiss, the rector of Universidad de La Frontera, signed several strategic cooperation agreements with Luciano Rivas Stepke, the governor of the La Araucanía Region; with the Production Development Corporation (CORFO), through its strategic affairs manager, Claudio Maggi; and with José Montalva, the regional presidential delegate. These alliances are a support and give relevance to the proposal of a regional ecosystem, and allow to work and progress together in this initiative.
Once the ecosystem starts working, its main purpose is to attract, retain and provide creative human talent; to facilitate relevant resources, both in terms of infrastructure and services that promote productive and economic co-development of high value; to promote a permanent knowledge flow within the community of the ecosystem; to increase the interaction between companies, institutions and individuals; and to strengthen the cooperation and synergies for the development of competitive businesses.
Which structure does this ecosystem have? The project considers the cooperative work in a network of different nodes in different physical spaces throughout the region and is designed for the coexistence and systematic cooperation between companies, technology start-ups, universities and public agencies for production development, with the aim of progressing in the development of innovative solutions and promoting science and technology-based ventures with the potential for global scaling.
Although the official launch of this initiative took place in January 2023, the development started much earlier, with the installation of the first Node of the Ecosystem, located in one of the University’s buildings in Prat 332, in the city centre of Temuco. Several technology companies, entrepreneurs, public development agencies and technology centres linked to this initiative already work there, giving shape to this promising venture.
Currently, the University installed a University Committee for this project that focuses on a participatory process to analyse, propose and define a management model for the Ecosystem. An international consultant expert in the design and development of such global initiatives accompanies the process to guarantee and to learn at first hand about the best practices, required partnerships and related outreach models that must be considered in the implementation and consolidation of transformational initiatives such as this one.
Escrito por: UFRO Communications Office