Resource:The Innovative and Entrepreneurial University
Universidad de los Andes is a non-profit catholic university located in Santiago de Chile. It was founded on September 8th 1989 by a group of academic professionals and outstanding business men. It follows the actual Chilean Higher Education Legislation not only in the way they function, but also in the way they teach. The university's original purpose was: “to elaborate an organic and universal synthesis of the human culture, that integrates the dispersion of the specialties in the radical unity of the truth, enlightened and invigorated by the Catholic faith”. Universidad de los Andes´ main purposes are: Academic Training Research and Innovation Outreach and Relationship with Society
Universidad de los Andes is distinguished as the most innovative higher education institution in Chile. Moreover, it has been recognized with several awards for this accomplishment three years in a row. Nevertheless, the innovation and entrepreneurship concept is mostly promoted and transmitted for academics than for the students. Even though the institution developed a competition that takes part every year, called “The Challengers”. During this contest, students from business, service administration, engineering and high school students, create different projects and present them in front of a jury. The winners get a finanze fund in order to start their prototype project and an all paid trip to an international destination. At the same time, there is the “Dirección de Innovación UANDES” (Innovation Center) which is the head of I&E at the institution, where you can get assessment and funding for your ideas and projects. Another activity promoting I&E for students is the incentive to start working on their final thesis since junior year. The course of Speech therapy for instance, has established this strategy.
Today at Universidad de los Andes there are two powerful organisms with the function of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship. In the first place there is the “Centro de Innovación Docente” (“Faculty Innovation Center”), which provides financing and support to teachers that have a project in mind, so they can develop it. As there is this support for teachers they are the ones who participate and live mostly I&E activities at the University. For this reason, these two topics are more promoted around faculty members than students. On the other hand, there is the CIIB (Centro en Innovación e inteligencia Biomédica) (“Biomedical intelligence and Innovation Center”) where students can carry out projects if they’re coursing a science or health degree. Although students have developed great social projects at the University, these are aimed at helping people rather than innovation itself. Therefore there are projects and students with the ability to create but not necessarily from innovation or entrepreneurship. The University also has the first place in Chilean innovation, but this award has been allocated to the university as an institution. So this means the university by itself is innovative, but not necessarily its students.
The technological transfer is defined as a concept where “Research transforms money into knowledge … technology transfer transforms knowledge into money.” (Geoffrey Nicholson, father of the Post-It).” Universidad de los Andes encourages this technological support only to those who have engineering and business courses (lab, external projects, etc). Those who are not focused on these particular studies do not receive this support. However they tend to always keep up to date with their technology to promote and enhance even more each student's knowledge. Furthermore Universidad de los Andes has reached out to different colleges around the world and has, throughout the years, developed partnerships that embrace innovation in campus. To name a few we have from Belgium, Australia, Canada, Spain, United Kingdom, New Zealand and many more.
UANDES promotes an innovative ecosystem through external relations. Nevertheless, students do not have any knowledge of it, nor exploit the opportunity they may provide in order to enhance I&E in the campus. One example of it is the huge number of international relations the institution has to establish innovative alianzes. The upper named universities are the ones, which UANDES has as partners. For instance, Stanford University and their UIF Programm. This chance was offered by a faculty mentor, however students do not have direct link nor acquaintance of this alianzes.
In order to engage with regional and local economic development, Universidad de los Andes promotes following initiatives. In the first place, the institution is part of the FDI (Fondo de Desarrollo Institucional) “National Fund for Institutional Development”, a government's initiative that offers funding to different projects that create faculty members and higher education students in the country. At the same time, the university has a department called Vida Universitaria (University´s Life), where you can get funding for your projects, but only if they are willing to support the idea.
UANDES offers interesting initiatives pro innovation and entrepreneurship, nevertheless there are still many aspects in which it is possible to improve, keep going and honour this chilean university.