Santiago was the meeting point of important figures in the fields of engineering education, entrepreneurship and innovation, which were convened by the UC-UTFSM Consortium to assess the first year implementation of the program. Deans of the most prestigious engineering schools worldwide, entrepreneurs who succeed in and out of Chile and renowned consultants in advising transformation processes in engineering teaching and learning, came to our country to participate in the first International Advisory Board Meeting The Clover 2030 project that UC-UTFSM Consortium implements with CORFO’s support. This activity is intended to be repeated yearly to get experts’ opinions on the initiatives launched to convert these two schools into world-class institutions.
The committee was composed by Katherine Banks, Dean of Engineering at Texas A&M University; Peter Kilpatrick, dean of Engineering at University of Notre Dame; Robin Wallace, International Dean of the School of Science and Engineering University of Edinburgh; Francisco Veloso, dean and professor at the Catholic-Lisbon School of Business and Economics; Ruth Graham, an international consultant in engineering education and technological entrepreneurship; Vilas Mujumdar, international consultant; Jeff Abbott, partner Wasabi Ventures incubator; Yoel Fink, MIT professor and entrepreneur; Ikhlaq Sidhu, technology entrepreneur; Claudia Bobadilla, founder and vice president of the foundation RAD; Álvaro Fischer, president and cofounder of the group of companies Resiter; Fernando Flores, Chilean entrepreneur and international consultant; and Francisco Larraín, Chilean serial entrepreneur.
The hosts of this event were the dean of Engineering UC and project director, Juan Carlos de la Llera, and the Academic Vice President of the UTFSM and associate director of the project, Eugenio González. Pillar and stage leaders from both institutions also participated.
- Contextualizing the project at the national and international scene
Sunday lunch of camaraderie was offered and then the progress of The Clover Engineering Strategy was presented, one year after its implementation. Dean De la Llera explained part of Chile’s economic development scenario in recent years, for the committee to have a view of the stage in which the project is embedded: «We truly believe that Engineering 2030 can change this country and eventually Latin America. When we thought of bringing you here, we also considered the benefit this meant for our country, so we wanted to open the discussion in a public event (ICARE). We want to help create a new economy based on innovative and sustainable advantage by working with society, improving the ability of our country to advance in the creation of knowledge and its transfer. Chile is essentially a natural laboratory, and we must use it».
Patricio Núñez, director of entailment at UTFSM and leader of Pillar 3, shared the progresses of their activities: «We have focused our efforts on creating awareness so that students realize they can find solutions to problems that apparently have not. We promote active learning and make them protagonists of the results«.
After the presentation, visitors were able to ask about the methodology used by the Consortium to carry out such an ambitious task, they took notes about it and compared the Chilean strategy with the ones implemented in their countries of origin. [Photo gallery here]
The Board participated of a Superior Council in Casa Central UC campus, where they could talk to the presidents Ignacio Sánchez (UC) and Darcy Fuenzalida (UTFSM) and other authorities, in addition to listening to Marcela Angulo, Technological Capabilities manager at CORFO, who explained in detail the original idea that took the entity to launch the “New Engineering 2030” competition and what they expected of the institutions that were awarded.
- Working sessions and inputs
On Monday two workshops were held at the School of Engineering UC, in which pillars and stage directors presented the activities promoted by each axis. After listening to the interventions, the committee shared their opinions, and then they had lunch with Engineering UC faculty.
In the afternoon, the Board participated of a Superior Council in Casa Central UC campus, where they could talk to the presidents Ignacio Sánchez (UC) and Darcy Fuenzalida (UTFSM) and other authorities, in addition to listening to Marcela Angulo, Technological Capabilities manager at CORFO, who explained in detail the original idea that took the entity to launch the «New Engineering 2030» competition and what they expected of the institutions that were awarded. The presidents showed their support for the 2030 project and their will to bring it to fruition.
Visitors highlighted strengths and weaknesses of the project and the current situation in our country to promote areas related to science and technology, comments that were appreciated by the authorities towards improving and strengthening the initiative.
At night, guests shared a fellowship dinner with authorities from both universities, deans of other UC faculties, people of the US Embassy, among others. The site chosen was the Hacienda Santa Martina, located in one of the highest points of Santiago with a privileged view, where they were also invited to take a tour to the UC observatory, led by Professor Leonardo Vanzi. [Photo gallery here]
- Bringing the discussion to the public sphere
To end the conference on Tuesday was the ICARE event «15 looks to impact the economy through science and technology» where the deans, entrepreneurs and invited consultants spoke about the keys to success in public-private partnership and how innovation and entrepreneurship move from words to action. This activity was also attended by Claudio Maggi, Competitive Development Division manager of CORFO; and Gonzalo Rivas, president of the CNID.
Back at the hotel where the board was staying, they had a private lunch in which they prepared a diagnosis of the initiative 2030 to be submitted to the Consortium, which highlighted how well thought out the project was, and how they were implementing different activities. They also indicated the main difficulties they see that they may have in its implementation in the years that followed and expressed concern and interest in how action will be taken against the evolution of socio-economic scenario in Chile, to accomplish their mission of moving from an economy based on the exploitation of natural resources to one based on knowledge and its transfer. [Photo gallery here]