Sep 23, 2010 – Santiago, Chile – A consortium of academics, business professionals and like minded entrepreneurs from Chile, United States and Europe are teaming together to launching the first mixed use entrepreneurship and innovation campus in Latin America. The project, El Centro de Innovación y Desarrollo Tecnológico Latinoamericano (CIDTEL) will be based in Rengo, located in Chile’s Región del Libertado Bernardo O'Higgins (VI Region), approximately 126 km south of Santiago.
This impetus for this consortium is based on the Chilean government’s stated goals to augment Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) investment, which is currently just 0.43% GDP. This compares to the US which averages 2.8% of GDP and Asia where investment can exceed 15% of GDP. To reach this objective the government has increased investment in the sciences and technology to approximately 0.8% in 2014 and 1.5% by 20181. In addition, the government needs a vehicle with high project visibility to bring in international research and investments and the project founders believe that CIDTEL is just that vehicle.
The CIDTEL campus will be located very near the geographical center of Chile, where approximately 5 million people, roughly 1/3 of the population) live and work is available so that most people can reach the Campus in 2 hours or less. Region VI is also home to the largest underground copper mine in the world, immense natural resources and is one of the regions networked on the path for the Corredor Bioceanico Paso Las Leñas (The Bioceanic Corridor).
While the campus will be ‘high tech-high touch’, the primary focus will be to develop innovation in a wide spectrum of industries that traditional incubators in Chile and Latin America typically over look. The fields of study include agricultural, biotechnology, information technology, communications, renewable energy, environmental and special interest tourism. A special area of focus will be in developing education models for technological entrepreneurship that can be applied to primary schools (K-12) as well as technical/professional study programs in Latin America.
In support of CIDTEL, the VI Region’s government has provided a campus facility to the consortium that contains approximately 6,000 meters square of classrooms, offices and conference rooms on 2 hectors of land. In addition, the VI Region’s government has indicated intentions to allocate funds to help reach the US$8M per year goal (2011) to run this facility. The CIDTEL consortium is currently developing relationships with joint venture and program partners (government, universities and NGO’s) from the U.S. and other countries in Latin America and abroad.
The project is lead by Chilean based JMLC International Consultants founder Bernardo Javalquinto. Other members include
1 Conrad Von Igel, Head of Innovation Division, Ministry of Economy. http://www.innovacion.cl/columnaopinion/chile-polo-innovacion-sudamerica