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Chile to have technological innovation and research center focused on the country’s development

  • The project, known as the Chilean “Silicon Valley”, is being implemented by the University of Chile and was inaugurated yesterday in a ceremony attended by President Michelle Bachelet.

The Laguna Carén Academic Project, an emblematic initiative of the University of Chile launched on Tuesday by Rector Ennio Vivaldi, aims to serve Chile as a strategic pole of innovation, research and internationalization.

The ceremony was attended by President Michelle Bachelet and other authorities including the director of InvestChile, Carlos Álvarez.

The project will house modern multidisciplinary research, teaching and outreach centers in a bid to find solutions to the problems of Chile in the twenty-first century and contribute to the country’s development.

In her address, President Bachelet indicated that a culture of innovation requires the participation of society as a whole. She added that it is not only the responsibility of the state or a few large companies, emphasizing that institutions like the University of Chile are called on to lead and coordinate the efforts of different players.

“We need a great pact that creates the conditions in which the exception becomes the rule, SMEs work with academic centers and large companies with our best scientists and the state provides the conditions necessary for the success of this adventure as happened when, almost a hundred years ago, we decided to foster the country’s industrialization in a great public-private effort,” said President Bachelet.

She concluded by indicating that Chile must be capable of linking research, innovation and development with the Sustainable Development Goals “because these goals coincide to a large extent with the challenges we ourselves face, from the incorporation of girls and women into development to the reduction of hunger and poverty. And Chile’s goals must be part of and converse with the great goals of the global agenda because that is what the world we live in today demands”.

Rector Vivaldi explained that “this will be a place that will bring together academics and researchers and both Chilean and overseas institutions in order for them to work together to offer solutions to the challenges we have as a country in areas such as energy, telemedicine, water resources and natural disasters, positioning it as a pole of development of innovation and cutting-edge technology and knowledge.”

With an area of over 1,000 hectares, the Laguna Carén Park is located on Santiago’s western outskirts in the Pudahuel municipal district. Two CORFO applied research institutes – in food technology (CeTA) and intelligent building (CeTEC) – are already being installed there. On Tuesday, construction work also began on the Vínculo institutional building, which will house different early-stage multidisciplinary projects and exhibitions open to the public, including one about Charles Darwin’s visit to Chile.

Sources: La TerceraUniversidad de ChilePrensa Presidencia.