Agreement for fourth R&D center of excellence due to be signed, minister says

Friday, December 30, 2011

Chile is close to signing an agreement to install a fourth center of excellence in the country for research and development, economy minister Pablo Longueira told BNamericas.

Longueira said the plan is to have 10 centers, all linked to industries where Chile has potential to grow.

These centers help connect research carried out in universities with companies' needs.

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"We want the research done in science and technology to translate into new products, more added value, and that we move away from being a country that only exports natural resources," he said.

"We have to become a country that provides global value-added services. This sector has seen extraordinary growth in the last four years and is reaching revenues of US$1bn," Longueira said, adding that Chile is being used as a platform to offer value added services abroad.

Germany's Fraunhofer center of excellence was the first to be inaugurated in Chile, in September. The local universities Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and Universidad de Talca, as well as incubator Fundación Chile, are partners in the venture.

This center will initially focus on R&D in aquaculture, improving water quality and capturing CO2 emissions.