Press Announcement: Medellin and Miami are strengthening relations to promote innovation and bilateral cooperation
The capital of the Antioquia region in Colombia has continued to strengthen its cross-border cooperation agreements to boost the business development of the region and south american country.
Medellin, Aug 7, 2017
A Memorandum of Understanding signed between Medellin’s Ruta N and the Cambridge Innovation Center Miami (CIC Miami) will create a connection between the companies located in The Sun City and the capital of Antioquia to exchange experiences, practices, resources and knowledge and to facilitate the expansion and growth of entrepreneurship linked to both institutions.
Miami is currently leading the new business activity in the United States, ranking in first place among the 40 largest metropolitan areas of the North American nation, in which there is a need to support and strengthen entrepreneurship, which represent two thirds of all businesses in the world today, according to the Family Firm Institute of that country.
Medellin, in turn, has turned out to be Colombia’s innovation capital, thanks to the social and economic transformation of the last two decades, becoming a world benchmark of urban planning, which has given rise to a new vision of business in the development of financial and IT services, leveraged in business and business ecosystems, such as Ruta N, with national and foreign companies.
Ruta N has partnered with the University of Miami and its Center for Computational Science to connect in innovation activities based on e-Science, Big Data and Intelligent Cities, by strengthening the capacities through efforts by both cities. This new association will allow entrepreneurs and innovators to access valuable information in Colombia and the United States, as well as provide strategic connections with local clients, capital, human resources and expert advice, thus facilitating their entry and expansion in both markets by promoting new investment and business opportunities.
Colombia has set out to tackle the challenge of doubling its investment in science, technology and innovation activities, to promote the country’s technological development, meeting the needs of its production apparatus and contributing to the improvement of social indicators. The objective is to go from today’s 0.5% to 1% of the GDP in 2018 in Innovation activities. This means increasing the flow of resources to COP 8.8 billion. In the case of Medellin, the idea is to go from 1.82 to 3.0 of the GDP by 2021. Initiatives such as the agreement between Miami and Medellin contribute to the development of the sector, of its local projection, our goals in Colombia and in the United States.
According to Natalia Martínez-Kalínina, leader of the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC Miami), this alliance opens a new stage of collaboration. “To us, it is crucial to establish tangible and bidirectional bridges of cooperation between the region’s innovation centers. Miami can contribute real value as the isthmus of the hemisphere and connecting point with the United States. In turn, Medellin has stood out as a pacesetter, not only in Colombia, but in Latin America, due to the effort placed into bringing together and training the entrepreneurial talent. As such, we are very excited to have the opportunity to work together in order to facilitate the exchange, training and collaboration of entrepreneurs, investors, institutions, et al in our respective cities.”
As stated by Alejandro Franco, Executive Director of Ruta N, “working with the Cambridge Innovation Center and Miami’s business ecosystem is vital for the consolidation of Medellin as an innovation hub. This agreement facilitates the arrival of new companies in our Innovation District and the establishment of our local startups in Miami. We have continued working to connect Medellin to the world and the world to Medellin.
In turn, to highlight the coordination effort between the entities for the development of innovation, Sergio Escobar, the Executive Director of ACI Medellin said: “to the ACI Medellin, as a Cooperation and Investment agency, it is important to promote this type of inter-institutional alliances that contribute to strengthening local initiatives as the city’s strategy for innovation and entrepreneurship. Through these ties of cooperation which we are weaving between Medellin and the world, we have an impact on the quality of life of our people and, in this particular case, we are increasing opportunities for local entrepreneurs by facilitating their access to such an important market, as that of the United States, and to an ecosystem of innovation as relevant as Miami’s one, in addition to continuing to strengthen the arrival of foreign enterprises in the city to carry out high-value-added activities, thus increasingly strengthening initiatives such as the Innovation District of Medellin. We are grateful to the CIC Miami for trusting in Medellin, and we are confident that this alliance will bring mutual benefits, especially in the projection for both cities as increasingly dynamic innovation centers interconnected with the world.”
Through ProColombia, the entity that has been working together with Ruta N, the CIC Miami and ACI Medellin to facilitate meetings, and the spokesmanship of its President, Felipe Jaramillo, “this agreement signed between the CIC and Ruta N is focused on the objectives of fostering the transfer of technology and knowledge, promoting the arrival of greater foreign investment and advertising Medellin’s potential as an innovation destination for US entrepreneurship and an opportunity of growth for Colombian startups on the largest market in the world.
About CIC Miami
CIC Miami opened its doors in October 2016, and it is the fifth site of expansion of the company operating in Cambridge, Boston, Miami, Rotterdam and St. Louis. With the view to uniting the country’s second largest healthcare district with the rest of Miami’s innovation corridor, CIC facilitates collective work, has flexible offices and laboratory spaces with programming, counseling and community-building initiatives.
CIC Miami works hand-in-hand with the University of Miami in the creation of an innovation district called Converge and in the implementation of multiple strategies for the development of Miami, including a shared research laboratory for the region.
With the objective of making Miami and Wynwood the Alexandria of the modern Western Hemisphere, CIC has set out to build a collaborative, inclusive and value-added gravitational center, strongly focused on what it will take to make Miami a true regional hub.
About Ruta N
Ruta N is a corporation created by the Medellin City Hall, TIGO, UNE and EPM in 2011 to boost the city’s innovation ecosystem by promoting the development of innovative technology-based companies, thus increasing the competitiveness of the city and the region. The Ruta N corporation, which is financed with public finds, not only promotes the development of companies operating in Medellin (Colombia’s second largest city), but it also works with the public and private sectors to foster innovation, support entrepreneurs and provide technological training for youth.
About the ACI Medellin
Founded in 2002, the Cooperation and Investment Agency of Medellin and the Metropolitan Area (ACI Medellin) is the entity responsible for finding different organizations and allies at the international level to foster the development of the region through two tools: foreign direct investment and international cooperation. The ACI Medellin supports this Memorandum of Understanding by providing Canadian companies with legal and operational guidance in Medellin, industry context and key local connections, thus facilitating their easy entry and growth thereof on the Colombian market.
ProColombia is the organization tasked with the commercial promotion of non-traditional exports, international tourism, Foreign Investment in Colombia and the Colombia Country Brand. Through our national and international network of offices, we provide comprehensive consultancy and support to local entrepreneurs through services aimed at facilitating the design and implementation of their internationalization strategies, striving to generate, develop and finalize business opportunities.