For a week, the training program participants learned more about the park's structure and presented papers
Last week PUCRS’ Science and Technology Park (Tecnopuc) opened its doors to managers of innovation environments from Latin America for practicum work under the Programa Interamericano de Formação de Gestores para Ambientes de Inovação (Inter-American Program for Innovation Environment Managers) – PIFGAI. The second edition of the program featured 15 representatives of seven countries in the region. The Pasantia (internship) included a number of activities from Dec 10 – 14, as the participants checked out the Park’s and the University’s structure, and presented the program’s final papers.
PIFGAI is promoted by the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (OUI), through the Colegio de Las Américas (COLAM), a program dedicated to the promotion of academic networks. It is an online program that features two on-site classes: the International Congress of Knowledge and Innovation (CIKI), that occurred in Mexico in 2018 and will be held at PUCRS in 2019, and the internship program, at Tecnopuc in 2017 (in the 1st edition) and 2018. Fernando Daniels, COLAM’s CEO, serves as the program’s coordinator. The academic leg of the program is under the responsibility of the Director of Center for Scientific and Technological Development (Ideia) of PUCRS, Eduardo Giugliani.
OUI is based in Montreal, Canada, and is an association of Universities that brings together as many as 400 Higher Education institutions of the Americas, of which PUCRS is part. COLAM has several working fronts, including innovation, in an effort to preparing universities to addressing innovation processes. “That was professor Jorge Audy’s (Superintendent of Innovation and Development of PUCRS) idea, as he was intent on building a network of experiences that could help universities be open enough to see innovation. The original thought was materialized in this program. This is the role to be played by PUCRS in this context: it is part of OUI and this is extremely important for us to create PIFGAI and implement it”, adds Daniels.
The program is intended to develop skills for the strategic management of innovation environments. The target audience consists of staff members of Universities and Organizations that oversee and produce these processes of implementation, development or transformation of these environments into vectors of development and social inclusion. For four months, the group will be studying basic and essential concepts of these systems and will be having the chance to learn how they effectively work in actuality. Each participant will be working on their own project throughout the program. Once it comes to an end, this project is expected to be implemented. The final part of the program is the internship, in which participants come into contact with professionals from all over the world and have the chance to see what is being done. “It’s very important for them to observe, in practice, a successful model. They were able to learn a lot from them and this is the aggregate value this project intends to produce. Our vision is not merely technical, but cultural, geographic and political. There are many other opportunities for partnership and exchanges, too”, says Daniels.
The CEO of COLAM claims that Tecnopuc is an interesting model as it represents a technology park inside a university. In his view, this propels a change of paradigms on campus, as it welcomes companies and guides PUCRS towards a specific vision of future. “We’re highly developed, we have CriaLab, as an example of creativity. We have our business incubator and a department responsible for business relationships. We also foster an organic relationship between market and research and also actions outside of the University’s territory, in partnership with the municipal government and administrators, as well as the Alliance for Innovation with other institutions”, adds he.