Today, the first laboratory in a series of four innovation labs for local enterprises is now available in the city of Medellín. All four labs are expected to be available by 2019. These laboratories aim to help at least 60% of local enterprises that apply to innovate and commercialize their products by 2021. To create the facilities, the municipal government will invest 1 billion Colombian pesos (US $331 million dollars).
This first lab, called the “Creation Lab”, will help up to two thousand people develop 800 prototypes with an added value in an entrepreneurial innovative, directed mostly towards enterprises and entrepreneurs. Medellin’s Secretary for the Economic Development, María Fernanda Galeano, said that the goal is to spur innovation and empower small business.
“We want people to have support, develop their prototype and then do business”, Galeano said.
People involved in innovation and who are affiliated with any municipal entrepreneurship program constitute the target market for these labs. In addition, 20 courses will be offered, teaching entrepreneurs how to create successful business models, design, user experience and 2D and 3D modeling. Other products such as laser cutters, 3D-printers, and other advanced manufacturing tools are also available.
Alejandro Franco, director of Medellín’s “Ruta-N“, said that these laboratories will provide people with space to fulfill their ideas and to pursue commercialization of their products. Franco said the laboratories will combine technology and innovation in the creation of an original product in the marketplace.