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Universidad Católica del Uruguay

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Universidad Católica del Uruguay (UCU) was initially founded in 1882 by the first Archbishop of Montevideo, Mons. Mariano Soler. In 1985, it was reopened and entrusted to the Compañia de Jesus making Universidad Católica del Uruguay, the first main work of the Catholic Church in the field of higher education in Uruguay. It is the private’s first and oldest university in the country and most geographically widespread.

  • Faculty of Business Science
  • Faculty of Human Science
  • Faculty of Law School
  • Faculty of Nursing and Health Technologies
  • Faculty of Engineering and Technologies
  • Faculty of Odontology
  • Faculty of Psychology

Student Entrepreneurship

Universidad Católica del Uruguay is known for its growing number of student who consider themselves entrepreneurs. Some students waited until graduation or completing their Masters and some started while on their careers.

A group of entrepreneurs that came out of UCU are Dardo de León, Alejandro Hernández and Soledad Marzoa -students of fifth year of Industrial Engineering- whom, as part of their final career work, wanted to implement the project "Composting and recycling as alternatives for the recovery of solid waste generated by the company Unilever Uruguay". They got the help of T.RES.OR (plant of the Intendencia de Montevideo), Unilever y SIAC (manufacturer of industrial equipment) and financed by The National Agency of Innovation and Investigation (ANII)

Ruben Deleon, with Gabriel Vicente and Diego Medina, for their final career work, developed a prototype of intelligent atomizer so as to not waste the chemical applied in fruit trees. The development was carried out jointly with INIA (National Institute of Agricultural Institute), a support that was gained with the help of  the Innovation and Engineering Center of the Universidad Católica del Uruguay. Currently Ruben and Gabriel, together with the Faculty of Agronomy of Universidad de la República and INIA, presented a proposal to continue the project through the INNOVAGRO fund.

Universidad Católica del Uruguay, apart from commercial innovation, is making impact on the social-wellbeing of the society as the project "Hidden sources of vulnerability and inequality: daily accessibility by public transport in localities of the inland of Uruguay", which will be presented by Dr. Diego Hernández, professor of the Department of Social and Political Sciences, together with economist Martín Hansz. It’s  financing was obtained by the National Agency of Research and Innovation (ANII), and will be operational starting from November. This means that the study will bring ground information to work onwards since it calculates the accessibility indicators by locality that will allow to know the territorial inequality. Moreover the project will identify the zones and the profile of the most vulnerable localities and people.

Faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurship

There are spaces in the University that encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, stimulating students to carry on with their passion and dreams to make them materialized, to make them real. Some of these spaces are:

Cowork Space by Universidad Católica with the support of Santander Bank. The space allows students to meet to study and work on the development of common projects or ideas.

Nexo - Entrepreneur Development Center. The objective of Nexo is to promote the realization of business ideas and start up of companies created by students, graduates and postgraduates of the Universidad Católica del Uruguay (UCU), offering a wide range of services and supports.
The service as a pre-incubator, includes collaboration in the design and development of business models of new enterprises through guidance as well as access to a support network for the start-up of the same, consultation and advice of experts in areas access to sources of funding. Its scope is for all the faculties of the UCU and the Network of Institutions to support the entrepreneurial activity.

Center for Support to Business Innovation (CAIE). The support of the CAIE aims to reduce or eliminate the constraints that the entrepreneur encounters when transforming his innovative ideas. It is carried out through methodologies of simple application and high practical impact.

Through the CAIE, the UCU offers companies support to improve their innovative capacity, through advice provided by highly experienced professionals and support to facilitate access to cofinancing by ANII.

The Center for Innovation and Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering and Technologies (CII in Spanish) is a platform aimed for fostering the innovation and entrepreneurship skills of students, graduates and teachers. Since 2014, the CII in the UCU provides support and guidance to students with an entrepreneurial spirit in the different areas of Engineering; supports the development of technological projects with innovative potential, encouraging the rapprochement with the productive sector, and the creation of dynamic companies based on products or technological services by students.

University - Industry Collaboration

The UCU is facilitating their relation to the industry through NEXO, National Agency of Research and Innovation (ANII) and the Cowork Santander. The Entrepreneur Development Center (NEXO) and The Center for Innovation and Engineering (CII) are where ideas materialize. As in the section Faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurs, the students, graduates or postgraduates are guided and supported to develop their business ideas and start up. They foster the innovation and encourages the creation of vigorous companies centered in products or services.They help students with the first phase so as to present the prototype to National Agency of Research and Innovation (ANII) and to ANDE to finance it. ANDE is the acronym in spanish for the National Development Agency. Their purpose is to contribute in the economic development in Uruguay through efficient and transparent programs, with special emphasis on the promotion of micro, small and medium businesses. ANDE and ANII are important instruments in funding and UCU is assisting and helping students to acquire those fundings. Moreover NEXO also has various funds to gain seed capital to advance the idea into a reality.

Also, the university has partnerships with distinctive industries and businesses. Depending on the career, there are internships to help the students face reality, know how to interact with the work environment and assess their career.

Regional and Local Economic Development

Uruguayan government is helping the startup industry flourish by implementing these institutions National Agency of Research and Innovation (ANII) and National Development Agency (ANDE). Enhancing this, the Co work spaces and the special Centers dedicated in supporting students, postgraduates and graduates with an entrepreneurial spirit are an important base in the progress of the realization of ideas.

Related Links

Student Priorities

Fall 2017 Fellows

Julieta Caputo

Sofía Muñiz

Manuel Heslop

Victoria Ferrer

Writen By

Julieta Caputo

Sofía Muñiz

Manuel Heslop

Victoria Ferrer