Ecuador: On its way to become a knowledge-based economy

21.03.2013 By: TRANSFER Consultancy based on Yachay

Located in Urcuquí, 152 km from Quito, the government of Ecuador started to build ‘Yachay, la Ciudad del Conocimiento’ or City of Knowledge. As already written before in several media this city will be the country's first designed to promote research, development and innovation. In fact, it aims for a scientific and academic revolution. President Correa of Ecuador calls it the biggest project in Ecuadorian history and declared: “We are (changing) from a traditional to a knowledge-based economy.”




The ‘Yachay’ project is a joint effort between the Ecuadorian government represented by the National Secretary of Planning and Development and the Center for Asian Business IFEZ in Korea. The 16 year project is set up to engage with the South American Network for Technological Development and to connect with universities both within the region and across the globe. The goal is to foster knowledge in the areas of environmental sciences, renewable energies, petrochemical studies, technologies for information and communication and Nano science in order to entice businesses at local, national and international level. The project is expected to maximize growth, increase the production of high tech capacity, generate patents for trade of technological innovations and create new jobs in Ecuador.

Hosting the Scientific Experimental University of Ecuador, at least 15 centers and public research institutes and 80 SME's, Yachay represents the city of hope for development for Ecuador. With the five mentioned research areas the new center caught the attention of the world. It will have the capacity to hold 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students, offering facilities for postdoctoral, PhD and master degrees courses. They study, work on research projects, and link their activities with scientific production. This is anchored to the added value of a new industry, heading for a knowledge-based economy. The Ecuadorian government reserved USD 60 million for investments in the project, although it is expected to cost significantly more. In order to be able to cover all costs, foreign investment parties will be attracted. For 2014 another USD 600 will be invested and 20 multinationals might be interested in starting a laboratory in Yachay.

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