School:Universidad de Ingenieria & Tecnologia (UTEC)
Universidad de Ingeniería & Tecnología (UTEC)  is a private university located in Lima, Peru. UTEC boosts education, innovation, research and development of the economy, based on the design of an educational model that is aimed at the needs of the labor market and addresses the various problems of the XXI century.
- 1 Promoting student Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- 2 Encouraging faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- 3 Actively Supporting the University Technology Transfer Function
- 4 Facilitating university-industry collaboration:
- 5 Engaging with Regional and Local Economic Development Efforts
- 6 Landscape Canvas
- 7 Related Links
Promoting student Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The constructive proposal of the University of Engineering & Technology (UTEC) integrates the specialized knowledge in scientific and technological areas with the competencies of management, humanities and innovation, which result in holistic training that further improves the professional value of our graduates. Innovation and entrepreneurship are encouraged on the campus through courses, extracurricular organizations and spaces where students become empowered to enhance their ideas.
Some of the courses offered are ‘Global Challenges’, in which students explore the design thinking methodology and apply it to a real problem in their local community. Two classes focus on business management and entrepreneurship: ‘Introduction to Business Development’, ‘Business Management’ and ‘Products and Services Design’. The last course on this chain deals more with innovative design and product development to propose realistic and accessible solutions, and it's called ‘Innovation and Product Development”.
Some courses don’t have a specific component of I&E because they are related to core areas, but students are required to go through an innovative process to develop a solution. The course ‘Biodesign’ is from the mandatory bioengineering curriculum. It is about the use of the design in order to create a solution to a specific problem following the steps of Design Thinking with biomedicine or biotechnology. Another course called ‘Information Systems’ gives students of Computer Science the opportunity to discover a specific problem that requires technology to be solved. For that, it is necessary to empathize with the objective public in order to design the best software that fits with them.
Another essential element we have at the university is the presence of change-maker students who empower other students to develop an innovative scientific mindset and spirit of curiosity needed to have a strong entrepreneurship ecosystem. For that reason, SpinOut UTEC (before Comunidad I&E UTEC) was born in 2016, whose main mission is to improve the I&E ecosystem in the region, starting with UTEC students. This idea was born from the initiative of the first 4 peruvian University Innovation Fellows. They have been creating different workshops as micro classes, meetups with co-founders of Peruvian startups, speed-dating for startup ideas and a program to train new trainers in design thinking. There is also a student organization called ProUnity, which is focused on spreading information about business resources such as scrum, design thinking, project masterclasses, soft skills workshops and PMO consulting. In addition, this year students from different careers created IISE, a chapter of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering that seeks to promote research considering innovation.
Some means to diffuse these initiatives and organizations are the following: ‘Revista Piso 11, where news is shared with students through visual and audiovisual media, UTEC podcast, where students are interviewed to know more about their experience in areas like I&E; the social media managed by the university; and Bienestar Estudiantil, which manages an e-mail massive list to share the activities from students to students.
We have the UTEC Ventures accelerator, which years ago held events in order to promote I&E, like Global Startup Labs, GIST Startup Bootcamp, Peru Design Week, and the 1776 Challenge Cup. Nowadays, the accelerator performs certain activities under selection processes such as PreIncUVa, where students have the opportunity to discover a problem and work around it to develop a Business Model, and IncUVA which is an incubation program that allows students to search for the product-market fit of their solution. All the projects are presented in a Demo Day, open to all the students, to show the progress of all the entrepreneurship incubated.
Encouraging faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurship
UTEC is committed to encourage professors and staff to engage in entrepreneurship and innovation. They support their endeavors outside of school and make sure to let the students know about it as well. It is important for the students to feel inspired by their school faculty so they might follow in their footsteps. The two main ways our university has done this is by implementing faculty-led projects and research centers on different topics relevant to them.
Faculty are supported to be entrepreneurial or commercialize their research by programs such as the Interdisciplinary Project core course. The projects are based on teachers proposing an idea that can be an Initiation, Scientific Research or Development of a Product / Service. Students browse through dozens of projects and are free to choose the project in which they are interested.
Students from different majors spend a whole semester working as a team, putting their ingenuity into action and exploring these real-world problems that the teachers proposed to research, design, prototype and solve them with innovative solutions, as the name itself of the course, in an interdisciplinary way. These projects need to be developed following design thinking, user-centered design, and research methodologies. At the end of the semester, there is a contest for all the students enrolled in the course to demonstrate the creative process and the progress as teamwork that is the final result of their project. Finally, there is a contest and the most outstanding projects earn funds to be carried on and enter the market.
Research Centres as a catalyst
There is a high quantity of teachers at UTEC that are also researchers from any of the six research centres of the university. These different centers enrich the students’ experience by encouraging them to explore their innovative and entrepreneurial potential. They are the following:
- Cement and Concrete Research Center
- Heritage Research and Conservation Center
- Water Technology and Research Center (CITA)
- Center for Impact and Social Responsibility (CIRSO)
- Bioengineering Research Center
- Sustainable Computing Research Center (ComSust)
The school also sends e-mails and makes sure to celebrate the achievements of teachers, even outside of the university. Commonly, students know their teachers’ expertise area and the projects they are involved in because students can see in the newsletters how the projects are going forward and have the desire to join them.
On some occasions, opportunities are given from teachers for students to get involved as well in the projects that are developing. It could be having the role of research assistant, investigating more deeply in the literature, helping in the prototyping or even getting the motivation and resources to do a research paper.
Actively Supporting the University Technology Transfer Function
At UTEC, the Legal Division Advice is always looking for the security of the student’s or faculty member’s ideas. Also, there are some programs that promote turning technologies into business opportunities that can benefit society.
UTEC Ventures (a startup accelerator at UTEC) provides consulting on how to make an idea profitable. Founded in 2014, the accelerator offers investment and mentoring to startups. It has an incubator program every summer and also a program to prepare candidates who are interesting in postulate the incubator program, giving advice to them to explore the problem in which they are passionate.
In addition, there is the RLE core course which is about developing engineering projects that go hand to hand with research and the creation of technological solutions, committed to social needs and sustainability with companies of the future. There are three modalities: in collaboration with companies, research in the university with partners in other entities, and RLE of entrepreneurship. This last option provides an accurate guide to help students get their venture ready to scale, which includes standard methodologies for brainstorming, like design thinking, market research, problem validation, competitors analysis, business model identification, financial analysis, investment documents, and the elaboration of the final pitch.
University Research Area
The Office allows concentrating and maximizing resources towards the scientific and technological activity of the university. Proposals receive external funding and it almost has the contribution of the internal research grants with UTEC partners (Harvard, MIT, Cleveland Clinic, others) and projects with companies.
Facilitating university-industry collaboration:
As far as university-industry collaboration is concerned, UTEC has partnered with several companies, in order to prepare their students for real-life experience in the industry, through the development of projects between companies and students. Moreover, such experiences are provided by UTEC Career Services and a specific space called “UTEC Networking”, which they created for allowing the exchange of knowledge between companies and students in order to bridge the gap between college and workplace. This event has many components, such as career/company presentations, business/project talks, elevator pitches, company stands, an online employment fair, and the opportunity to meet and match people for any personal professional purpose such as getting a job, an internship, or some kind of network to develop projects. Also, UTEC has implemented projects with companies (known as "PI con Empresas") as part of the Interdisciplinary Project courses. These programs involve both UTEC professors and students, and representatives of the companies to implement different projects that are developed during the semester.
Engaging with Regional and Local Economic Development Efforts
The Ministry of Production (known as Produce) is the most important public entity in promoting innovation in our country. One of their initiatives is StartUp Perú, which aims to promote the emergence and consolidation of new Peruvian companies that offer innovative products and services with high technological content. It consists of a set of contests and ways of financing for entrepreneurs, companies at an early age, and incubators. StartUp Perú also provides a platform for meetings and collaboration with people in the startup community in the country.
The Ministry, through the National Innovation Program for Competitiveness and Productivity (Innóvate Perú), seeks to increase business productivity by strengthening the actors' ecosystem of innovation (companies, entrepreneurs and supporting organizations) and to facilitate the interaction between them. It is also part of the National Productive Diversification Plan. As an university that looks to improve its I&E environment, we need to stay in touch with the government. Staying connected to the social reality and requirements of our country may be ensured by attending the big plans of it.
Another popular entity promoting innovation is Hackspace: a physical place where people with interests in science, new technologies, and digital or electronic art can meet, socialize and collaborate. It can be seen as a laboratory open to community where people from different backgrounds can join. The purpose of a hackspace is to concentrate resources and expertise to promote research and development.
Here we share the Landscape Canvas our cohorts had done through the years:
Landscape Canvas 2018: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RYOoHPmQM6-SzudOE_a_cY2LpSi1rwEgzXM1JLvfEvY
Universidad de Ingeniería & Tecnología (UTEC)
Change Story Video (2021):
Change Story Video (2020):
Change Story Video (2018):
University Innovation Fellows
2020 Fall Cohort:
2018 Fall Cohort:
2018 Spring Cohort:
2016 Spring Cohort: