Academics from northern Chile participated in the symposium organized by the University of Antofagasta (UA), through the Vice-Rectorate of Research, Innovation, and Postgraduate Studies, and its Office of Technology Transfer and Licensing (OTL), in collaboration with the Luksic Scholars Foundation.
The week-long program provided a wealth of new knowledge and learning opportunities, concluding five years of entrepreneurship education taught by experts at Babson College, one of the world’s leading universities in entrepreneurship education in the United States. The symposium called “The Babson Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educations – Antofagasta,” was specifically designed for universities in the northern region and has been held in Antofagasta.
The fifth and final edition of the seminar, organized by the University of Antofagasta (UA) via the Vice-Rectorate of Research, Innovation, and Postgraduate Studies, and its Office of Technology Transfer and Licensing (OTL), in collaboration with the Luksic Scholars Foundation, concluded with the delivery of certificates to the participating professors.
In this edition, academics from a range of universities participated, including the University of Tarapacá, Arturo Prat University, the Catholic University of the North, the University of Atacama, the University of La Serena, and the University of Antofagasta. They were presented with a valuable learning opportunity to foster a strong entrepreneurial mindset in their students, thereby reshaping both undergraduate and postgraduate education with an emphasis on entrepreneurship.
This year’s edition focused on biotechnology in which participants participated in various theoretical and practical classes that included engaging and interactive dynamics in order to strengthen the already-acquired knowledge. These classes were led by Andrew Corbett, President of the Entrepreneurship Division, and Matthew Allen, Associate Professor in the Academic Division of Entrepreneurship, both from Babson College.
As part of the week’s activities, the experts and participants also visited the UA’s research centers to learn about the research lines, scientific and technological developments, and local innovation carried out by the University.
Matthew Allen, Associate Professor in the Academic Division of Entrepreneurship at Babson College, said “it has been a fantastic experience because we were able to work with a very good group of almost 50 teachers from the northern zone of the country, providing new learning techniques and tools for teaching entrepreneurship. We are extremely grateful to the University of Antofagasta and the Luksic Scholars Foundation for helping us make this event possible for five years, and to all the participants for their great enthusiasm and eagerness to learn.”
Karina Pérez Cruz, Director of Innovation, Development, and Technology Transfer at the University of Atacama in Copiapó, stated that “the experience was tremendously enriching from an academic standpoint because we were engaging with academics and a business school that are both internationally recognized. I am thankful for this opportunity because it is the first of many connections and networking opportunities that we can create as colleagues between institutions. I am extremely grateful; it has been a very good experience.”
Similarly, Silvana Cerda, Scientific, and Technological Entrepreneurship Manager at the Technology Transfer Office of the University of Tarapacá in Arica, stated, “The truth is, for us as professionals who are promoting entrepreneurship based on scientific and technological knowledge in universities, this participation has been fundamental because it allows us to visualize different tools and methodologies that can contribute and help us teach entrepreneurship in a more engaging way.”
After five years of symposiums held from 2018 to the present, more than 200 academics from the northern zone of our country were trained in entrepreneurship and were provided with training that even led them to start their own innovative companies.
During this half-decade, various topics were addressed with a focus on the strategic areas of northern Chile. The first version of the symposium took place in person in 2018 with a focus on Energy. In 2019, it covered Mineral Processes, while in 2021, due to the pandemic, the seminar was conducted remotely and focused on Aquaculture. It returned to in-person format in 2022 with the theme of Digital Transformation.
Isabella Luksic, Executive Director of the Luksic Scholars Foundation, highlighted that “in its five versions, Babson SEE Antofagasta has been an experience known for its knowledge exchange, collaboration, and the building of networks based on shared experiences. We thank Babson College, the University of Antofagasta, and the more than 200 participants who brought this program to life over the past years, allowing us to strengthen entrepreneurship education and bring innovative educational practices to the northern macrozone of Chile.”
Alejandra Portillo, Director of the Office of Technology Transfer and Licensing at UA, also emphasized that this final edition has left everyone feeling extremely content due to the number of trained teachers and the applied content.
“We are happy that through these five years, the participants have made a difference. We are proud that some of them have even created companies based on the knowledge received from Babson College. We are completely grateful to both the attendees and the Luksic Scholars Foundation and Babson College because these great results were achieved thanks to this significant alliance.”
As a result of the program’s primary goal to foster entrepreneurship and economic development in Chile, a number of technological ventures, scientific and technology-based companies, and spin-offs have been successfully established at UA. These entities are now flourishing, thanks to the cutting-edge business education offered by Babson College.
One of them is “Abalone Pearls Technology,” a company founded by academics Rubén Araya (who is part of the Luksic Scholars Community) and Jaime Maturana. Its focus is on research and development in marine resources, abalone farming, and pearl production.
Another venture is “Pampa Biotech,” whose objective is development, management, production, and molecular design. They also conduct evaluations, design, and construction of educational kits, and design innovations in industrial and environmental processes. This company was founded by Francisco Solís, Bernardita Valenzuela, and Pedro Zamorano.
Additionally, Pedro Zamorano, among other researchers, created “SynbioNortech,” with the primary goal of developing, managing, producing, validating, and executing DNA molecular research and design.
On the other hand, the R&D company “Descom Energy” was developed by Mauro Henríquez and Abdiel Mallco to provide solutions to the inquiries of the solar thermal storage industry using molten salts.
Catherine Lizama and Juan Morales also founded “Micronative Biotechnology” to produce and market bioproducts and bioactive compounds derived from microorganisms widely used in the microalgal industry.
Conclusively, the knowledge provided to over 200 teachers during these five years of the “Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators” for universities in the northern zone, along with the emergence of various technological ventures, marks a significant milestone in entrepreneurship education in the northern zone of Chile.