Latin American STPs and Industry 4.0 in Buenos Aires
The IASP Latin American division met recently in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for a workshop focused on the role of science parks in the 4th Industrial Revolution and to celebrate the launch of Buenos Aires Innovation Park.
Members of the IASP Latin American division were joined by representatives from multinationals, government and entrepreneurs from across the region and the world to explore the main trends and challenges facing science parks and other innovation ecosystems today.
Hosted by the newly founded Buenos Aires Innovation Park and its Director Ignacio Stegmann on 3-4 June, the two-day event kicked off with a workshop officially opened by IASP Latin American Division President Fernando Amestoy, Director General Luis Sanz, and moderated throughout the day by past Latin American Division President Esteban Cassin. Speakers from business and science parks discussed the role that STPs can play in the disruptive technologies which are transforming cities, economies and societies, as well as management models and the factors that can ensure the success of a science park project. Experienced STP managers shared their experiences, as well as the mistakes to avoid, and discussed the importance of strategic alliances.
Also sharing their insights were representatives of local tech-based businesses, who discussed how incubation and acceleration services helped them get their companies off the ground. Funding was on the agenda too, with the challenges, opportunities and lessons learned on policies for financing innovation up for debate.
On the second day, over 200 stakeholders in the Buenos Aires ecosystem, from entrepreneurs to unicorn companies, academics to government representatives, gathered for the official launch of the Buenos Aires Innovation Park project where Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, the Mayor of Buenos Aires, commented: “The Knowledge Economy is the future, and it is our responsibility to support the dynamism and growth of this sector with measures that generate more opportunities for everyone. We want everyone to have a place where they can develop knowledge without limits, and this is what the Innovation Park will do. Local residents, universities, entrepreneurs and business will all have a dedicated space for innovation and development here.”
As part of the celebrations attendees also gathered to sign a “Pact for Innovation” showing great enthusiasm for the park project. In one of the day’s panel sessions focusing on the transformative power of STPs on cities IASP COO Ebba Lund emphasised the support of IASP and our global network for the "Pact for Innovation" alongside Josep Pique from La Salle Technova Barcelona, Spain, Elkin Echeverri from Ruta N in Colombia, Jorge Audy from Tecnopuc in Brazil and moderator Eduardo Braun from Argentina.
Director of the Innovation Park project Ignacio Stegmann spoke about what the park hopes to achieve in putting Buenos Aires in the forefront of global innovation, and the role it will play in fostering technological, scientific and socioeconomic development for the entire country. The new park will create a space dedicated to creating a culture of entrepreneurship and of technology development, including new green spaces, a residential area, offices, and public and private innovation spaces on a 12-hectare site in the city centre.
“We have chosen a strategic location for the park that will allow us to connect with the talent that’s already here,” he said. “We are delighted to present the Innovation Park project to such a diverse audience of stakeholders from the public sector, private sector and the academic world.”