2nd Annual Workshop on Start-ups and Technology Transfer Infrastructure

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2nd Annual Workshop on Start-ups and Technology Transfer Infrastructure

“2nd Annual Workshop on Start-ups and Technology Transfer Infrastructure: Tools for Academic Entrepreneurs”

February 21-23, 2018, Panama City


The Institute of Scientific Research and High Technology Services (INDICASAT AIP), with the support of the Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation (SENACYT), hosted the 2nd Annual Workshop on Start-Ups and Technology Transfer Infrastructure: Tools for Academic Entrepreneurs, on February 21, 22 and 23, 2018, at the Holiday Inn Panama Canal Hotel, City of Knowledge, Clayton, Panama.

The program was focused on creating capacities within Panama for entrepreneurs and researchers, to benefit scholarship and subsidy programs financed by SENACYT. Specific topics included patents, competitive business plans, verifiable market assessments, and strategies and techniques for acquiring seed and risk capital to bring their inventions to market.

For this three-day training, experts from the academic and private sectors of the United States were involved: Dr. Thomas Richardson is president of a successful consulting company specializing in the creation of startups. Mr. Vincent Smeraglia is the executive director of strategic alliances at Rutgers University, where he has been the creator and manager of many of the current policies that govern technology transfer and patent management at this university. Dr. Julius Korley is the director of Entrepreneurship and Strategic Alliances of the School of Engineering at the University of Delaware.

“Technology transfer of academic inventions and know-how is a central component for successful innovation-driven economic development and job creation.  This program is an important step for the research enterprises in Panama and will hopefully stimulate further work toward developing high impact industry collaborations and investment, entrepreneurship and high-quality jobs, and long-term vitality of the excellent research institutions in Panama.” – indicated Dr. Richardson.

More than 60 people representing more than 12 universities, companies and government institutions were registered.

Among the participants were the Vice Chancellor for Research and Postgraduate Studies and the Research Director of the Technological University of Panama, as well as the Research Director of the Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies and the Director of Protected Areas and Wildlife of the Ministry of Environment.

“This entrepreneurship conference was an invaluable opportunity for Rutgers to interact with Panamanian universities and share best practices in research marketing, initiating new technology companies and managing potential conflicts of interest during commercialization. I hope to continue this important dialogue with INDICASAT and other leading-edge Panamanian research institutions “- said Mr. Smeraglia.

“One of the most incredible moments for me at this workshop was being able to give my presentations and see the students’ eyes light up and nod in understanding. My personal metaphor for business education is to teach people how to fish. It is easy to simply give fish to people, but change your life if you teach them to fish for themselves. I really believe that learning to be an entrepreneur is a game changer. I hope to return to Panama and continue this mission. “- said Dr. Korley.

The attendees had the opportunity to evaluate the event. Among the comments, the following were highlighted:

“The content, the instructors and the diversity of the participants turned it into a learning space by experience where, regardless of the roles played by each assistant, it was useful for each one from their branch.”

“I know it is difficult to change the mentality of a nation, but events like these help us see that a well-structured idea that helps solve a problem can give great satisfaction not only economic but personal. Panama has a lot of potential, events like these arouse much interest. I would like to see in later events the decision makers of our country to work together in the generation of policies that facilitate this transfer of knowledge. ”

“This type of training should be continued in the country, and if possible, take it to the interior of the Republic.”

By: Dra. Catherina Caballero-George, Coordinator of the Center of Innovation and Technology Transfer, INDICASAT AIP; E-mail: c.caballerogeorge@gmail.com, Tel. +(507) 517.0737

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