The Office of Information Technology Partnerships (OTP) at UC Riverside has partnered with Know Hub Chile, a non-profit organization that specializes in expanding awareness and attention to technology created within eight universities and three research centers in Chile. The government-funded program hopes this collaborative effort will bring more attention to their current projects and stimulate the Chilean economy.
Know Hub Chile was established in early 2017, according to Lothar Driller, the company’s chief of technology transfer in agroindustry. He shared that they are collaborating with UC Riverside to “bring more of the technology-based education to our (Chilean) students in order to promote entrepreneurship as UCR has had a well-known long track record in transferring technology.” In addition to that, both organizations hope to use each other’s resources in order to identify and pursue opportunities to conduct research in either the U.S. or Chile.
Driller elaborated further, stating that they were seeking to introduce more technology from Chile, as many Chilean universities are currently looking for intellectual property to share and invest in. The Chilean government recognized the potential of many projects currently underway in local universities, which are often hampered by a lack of proper tools or infrastructure to attract investment or outside support, as explained by Fernando Venegas, legal and intellectual property manager of Know Hub. By collaborating with UC Riverside after recognizing them for their outstanding history in patenting and commercializing technological innovations, they would be able “to transfer technology from a national scale to an international scale, bringing entrepreneurship within Chile and create (sic) an impact.” From this, they hope to develop self-sustainability within the organization and create “a flowback of money through support of tech and transfer” within their organization.
Rosibel Ochoa, the associate vice chancellor of technology partnerships for UCR told the Highlander how eager the Office of Information Technology is to collaborate with Know Hub. Their office would be a place to “run programs that involve innovation and entrepreneurships, giving resources for students, faculty and entrepreneurs who are seeking access to capital, mentors, (and) training.”
Ochoa moved to UCR in order to become associate vice chancellor of technology partnerships after working with engineering-based entrepreneurial programs at UCSD. She was approached by Know Hub Chile to utilize their mentorship, training workshops and entrepreneurship education in order to guide students in selling their technological innovations. “What they want is to join forces, to work together and be more effective and efficient in how they commercialize their intellectual property,” she stated.
The exchange of resources between Riverside and Chile has given both parties a chance at exploring different opportunities for education in entrepreneurial and technology commercialization. Know Hub Chile would give UCR an opportunity to develop their international profile, whereas UCR can provide the tools and resources for Chile to develop their skills and methodology in marketing their projects and soon-to-be business ideas on a larger, global scale.
“Once you transfer the methodology for creating business, it becomes a standard in the sense that you need to know who your customers are, how big your opportunity is. And all of these knowledge is important no matter where you’re working or what your nationality is. And more importantly you see the intersection in the humanities and science and technology,” said Ochoa.
The OTP is currently holding several ongoing programs at UCR that have given 200 students the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship for start-up innovators every quarter. They are working with the School of Business in providing mentorship and internships. More information can be found online at their website.