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UNESCO joins Cuba in its purpose of promoting science and technology parks

The Training Workshop on innovation policies and science and technology parks, organized by UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Cuban National Commission for UNESCO (CNCU) and the Cuban Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA), concluded successfully in Havana on November 30, 2021, with the express purpose of the Cuban authorities to promote the creation of science and technology parks in the country.
Cuba is committed to an open and inclusive innovation, for its articulation in the economic and social development of the country.

It was the purpose expressed by MSc. Eng. Armando Rodríguez Batista, Vice Minister of CITMA, in the opening remarks of the event, which had his active participation during the two days of sessions.

The Vice Minister recalled that Cuba has a solid network of 247 science, technology and innovation entities, which include 142 research centers, 25 scientific-technological service centers, 67 development and innovation units, 2 science and technology parks, high-technology companies, among other institutions. This system of science, technology and innovation in Cuba “promotes and defends, in spaces like this, the need to promote the infrastructures of science and technology parks, and work to strengthen the linkage between its actors: university, companies, decision-makers”, he affirmed.

The Program Specialist for Culture and Natural Sciences of UNESCO Regional Office for Culture, Tatiana Villegas, highlighted UNESCO's conviction that the establishment of science and technology parks, especially in developing countries, can help these states in their effort to promote technological innovation and commercialization of research results.

This Workshop is organized precisely to promote and support the development of science parks in Cuba.
emphasized Tatiana Villegas

The UNESCO representative praised the presence of specialists in charge of the field in the country, as well as the online participation of specialists from various parts of Cuban geography, after having postponed this activity on several occasions due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
 

 

During the training, issues on the governance of science and technology parks were addressed to develop the capacities of future managers of these facilities. The specialist of UNESCO Policy and Scientific Partnerships Section, Yoslan Nur, referred precisely to UNESCO's strategy and key actions in promoting a culture of innovation in developing countries.

The Workshop included presentations by experts such as Dr. Fernando Amestoy Rosso, UNESCO Consultant and Specialist in Science, Technology and Innovation, from Uruguay, who referred to the training of the managers of science and technology parks, in addition to offering a set of tools for the proper implementation of these parks.

The management of science and technology parks was also addressed by Dr. Eduardo Matozo, UNESCO Consultant and General Manager of the Litoral Centro Technology Park (PTLC SAPEM), from Argentina, who also presented the experience of these parks in his country.
 

Cuban experiences in the creation of science and technology parks were shared by Rafael Luis Torralbas Ezpeleta, President of Havana Science and Technology Park, and Efraín Rodríguez Sigler, Specialist at Matanzas Science and Technology Park.

Havana Science and Technology Park

Havana Science and Technology Park

Matanzas Science and Technology Park

Matanzas Science and Technology Park

At the closing of the event, the President of CNCU, Dulce María Buergo, and the Specialist of the Culture and Sciences Programs of UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Havana, Tatiana Villegas, expressed their satisfaction with the level of participation and debate on the subject, and ratified the support of the Organization in the process of creation and strengthening of science and technology parks in Cuba.

Since the 1970s, UNESCO, through its Science program, has been involved in promoting the relationship between science, technology, innovation and economic development, which led in 1993 to the creation of the University-Industry Scientific Association Program (UNISPAR), whose objective is to promote interaction between universities and the productive sector with an emphasis on the establishment of science and technology parks.

A Science and Technology Park is a development complex aimed at fostering knowledge-based economies by bringing together scientific research, companies, and government organizations in one physical location. The park complex can also promote technology innovation and incubation, training and exhibition facilities and market development.