Nov 29, 2012
IDB lends Costa Rica $35 million for innovation program
Support for training and innovation in strategic sectors
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced the approval of a $35 million loan to Costa Rica for a program that will help boost productivity by supporting innovation and human capital formation in strategic sectors.
Although Costa Rica is one of Central America's most successful economies, productivity growth has been stymied by the low level of investment in innovation on the part of private sector firms. This outcome can be attributed to a scarcity of highly trained people needed to adopt technologies, a paucity of information on technological and managerial best practices, and the limited availability of financing for the early stages of innovation projects.
The program, which will be carried out by the Ministry of Science and Technology, will seek to foster innovation among Costa Rican firms, improve conditions to promote innovative activities in global firms and encourage entrepreneurial projects based on new technologies.
The program will support the advanced training of human resources in strategic areas identified in Costa Rica's national plan for science, technology and innovation, such as digital technologies, new materials, biotechnology and renewable energies, among others.
By the end of the five-year program, 100 SMEs should have received technical assistance and quality management services, 85 SMEs should have received co-financing for innovation projects, and 20 technological startups should have received assistance through business accelerators.
The program also aims to finance postgraduate studies for 160 candidates, attract 40 international experts to start innovation programs in local firms, and update the professional credentials of 300 specialists needed to carry out and scale up innovation projects.
IDB Project Team Leader