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Uruguayan firms to boost productivity and competitiveness with help from IDB

New program to help increase exports, productivity and private investment in innovation

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a loan of $40 million, of which $20 million come from its ordinary capital and $20 million from the China Co-financing Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean, to finance a program that will help boost the productivity and competitiveness of companies in Uruguay.

The Program for Innovation for Productive Development will help boost businesses' capacity for innovation, strengthen advanced human capital, enhance the generation of scientific and technological knowledge and increase the ability of the National Agency for Research and Innovation (ANII in Spanish) to implement public policies in the areas of science, Technology and Innovation.

“With this program we expect to achieve a greater change in tools to support innovation at the ANII in response to demand from the private sector. Another goal is to better engage small and medium-size companies that want to begin innovation processes and a greater focus to support strategic sectors for the country’s development,” said Pablo Angelelli, IDB project team leader..

It is expected that the companies which benefit from the program will increase by 10 percent their likelihood of exporting and by 20 percent the productivity of their work. Private investment in research and development is forecast to rise by 20 percent.

The program has components of productive innovation, formation of human capital and attracting talent, generation of new scientific and technological knowledge, and the creation of information and skills for public policy in science, technology and innovation.

The IDB $40 million loan is over 24 years, with a six-and-a-half year grace period and an interest rate based on LIBOR. The local contribution is $30 million.

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