On April 7-10, 2014 in Ecuador an international science park conference took place in Yachay Innovation Center. Latin American and international science parks and universities participated to the conference with the aims of knowledge exchange and attracting the best practices of technology parks worldwide. Skolkovo representatives attended the event within the cooperation agreement, which was signed by Yachay and Skolkovo in October 2013, presented Skolkovo project and agreed on the specific follow-up steps in the short-term interaction.

 

International experts from Spain, South Korea, France, Israel, Australia, Russia, representatives of China Telecom and Microsoft.

Understanding the need for change and for transition to an innovative model of development comes to a growing number of leaders around the world. Ecuador, where an innovation ecosystem Yachay is being created, is not an exception.

What do we know about Ecuador? Oil, bananas, shrimps and roses - these are the export products that the country located in the equatorial zone of South America is known for. Four years ago Romiro Monkao, Director General for Industrial Development and Investment Project Yachay, came to the country's president, Rafael Correa, an economist, with an idea to establish their own industrial park. Seeing the commitment and belief of Mr. Romiro, El Presidente supported the idea: let’s build a city of the future.

This is how Yachay project - state-owned company established in Ecuador to build a knowledge economy - appeared. According to the creators, the project Yachay should be focused on the creation of technological innovations in such areas of life sciences as information and communication technologies, nanotechnologies, energy efficiency and petrochemistry. The project is conceived as a technological, economic and political development driver of the regional level, which will bring together the countries of South and Latin America.

In October 2013, Skolkovo Foundation and the Ecuadorian city of knowledge "Yachay" signed a cooperation agreement. Photo source: sk.ru

In October 2013, Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador, made a working visit to Skolkovo Technopark. The visit led to an enthusiastic interest and attention of the South American political figure to technological projects of Skolkovo companies, to up-to-date centers for collective use. And so, Skolkovo gained fame and reputation in South America.

Meanwhile, the project Yachay gained strength. Old hacienda located in the province of Imbabura, a three-hour drive from the capital of Ecuador - Quito, has been restored and rebuilt to become a place for Yachay technological university. Campuses were gradually filled by students from all over Ecuador, international teaching staff was recruited.

However, knowing that the university is only one component of the innovation ecosystem riddled with numerous and not always obvious connections, Yachay management decided to organize on April 7-10, 2014 an international seminar on the methodology of innovation ecosystems and industrial parks.

The opening seminar: South American and international experts are invited to discuss and develop cooperation 

Representatives of technology parks all over the world attended the event: Spain, South Korea, France, Israel, Australia, the representatives of China Telecom and Microsoft. Skolkovo was represented by Dr. Nikina Anna, director of external communications Skolkovo Technopark , and Ivan Kosenkov, who presented a cluster of space technologies and telecommunications. Skolkovo representatives introduced the status of the project, the results already achieved, the activities of Technopark; they participated in the thematic roundtables and held a working meeting with the heads of Yachay. Yachay representatives were invited to the largest entrepreneurial event Startup Village on June 2-3 this year in Skolkovo as the next key point in communication.

Skolkovo aroused a great interest among the South American and the international communities: tens of questions from the audience covered various topics about the technopark, support of start-ups, "Skolkovo Tech" university, construction progress of the Innovation Center. 

Special attention was paid to the activity of Skolkovo space cluster and to the use of Ecuador as a springboard for Russian high-tech companies in South America as a way of interaction. Especially, the possible market for Russian companies in South America. So, after a meeting with representatives of the Ecuadorian Space Institute an interest in the following areas was designated: in joint development and production of unmanned aerial vehicles, small spacecraft, using remote sensing data for socio-economic development. Representatives of Space Institute Ecuador were interested in projects of such companies as Aerob, Dauria Aerospace, Sputnix and other Skolkovo residents. As a result, it was agreed that during a visit to Moscow representatives of the space community in Ecuador will include communication with resident companies of space cluster in their agenda.

In Yachay students receive an education in close proximity to nature. On the opening day international delegation made a tour around the territory. Dormitories and classrooms were constructed instead of the old infrastructure of a country ranch with breathtaking views of the Andes . An intensive construction of modern buildings of other innovation infrastructure elements is in progress. 

"I am delighted that Skolkovo representatives participated in the Yachay conference as this is an important event for us and the ability to attract the best practices from around the world. For us Skolkovo is a key partner and an important example.

Great presentation about Skolkovo showed how the desire and determination lead to results in the creation of an innovation ecosystem despite the incompleteness of physical infrastructure. Skolkovo demonstrates an incredible ability to attract startups, investors and large companies into your environment.

Through the participation of Skolkovo in the conference we were also able to feel and see the possibilities for closer collaboration between "Skolkovo" Foundation and "Yachay" innovative city under the previously signed agreement on cooperation. This is a great start for the development of our cooperation in such areas as technology transfer, exchange of experiences and services for startups.

As a further step in cooperation, Yachay representatives will attend the “Startup Village” event in June of this year and we look forward to the active participation and support of Skolkovo experts in the construction of a technopark in Yachay Innovation City, - Romiro Monkao, Director General for Industrial Development and Investment Project Yachay

Former textile factory is reformatted to modern conference facilities . According to the results of the meeting with representatives of Skolkovo Romiro Monkao , CEO, Yachay, noted that the Skolkovo experience should be taken into account by Yachay,  noted the need for cooperation with Skolkovo and expressed a desire to visit soon Skolkovo at the Startup Village event. Photo: A. Nikina, Director of External Communications of Skolkovo  Technopark; Romiro Monkao, Director for "Yachay" Industrial Development and Project  Investment; Fernando Conero, Director of Academic Development and "Yachay" project research.

Through such key events and business communications Skolkovo expands the network of contacts and sphere of influence in the international innovation community, participates in an open dialogue, enriching the Russian innovation environment experience and contacts. The workshop allowedfor the first concrete steps in the development of cooperation and knowledge exchange between two major innovation ecosystems – Skolkovo and Yachay.

International delegation, conference participants. At the steps of a home of the first president of Ecuador, which is locate on the territory of Yachay  innovation city, the home has been renovated and re-designed to accomodate professors and foreign experts.

 

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