The Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia stands as a testament to humanity’s resilience and adaptation to challenging environmental conditions. Beyond its cultural significance, this region also holds immense potential for business and innovation. From February 27th to 29th, Tecnalia Colombia, in collaboration with the Chambers of Commerce of Manizales, Pereira, and Armenia, along with the Technical University of Pereira, organised workshops to foster innovation and generation of business partnerships.

These three workshops in Manizales, Armenia and Pereira enlightened corporates and startups about the capabilities and opportunities the EU-LAC Digital Accelerator offers. Participants had the chance to engage in exclusive networking sessions and explore challenge identification and resolution through guided exercises. With over 76 participants actively involved, the “EU-LAC Digital Accelerator: Driving Digital Transformation through Open Innovation and Connections to Cutting-Edge Technologies Globally” activity received a warm reception from the business ecosystem. It was an exciting and productive week, highlighting the potential for connecting and exchanging knowledge within the region’s digital innovation spheres.

The first picture is in Manizales, the second is in Armenia, and the third is in Pereira.

Participants’ feedback emphasised the presentations’ value, which sparked international collaborative opportunities with large corporations and companies abroad. They appreciated the chance to address challenges with innovative solutions from overseas.

Jarol Giraldo, Business Manager at Kavantic, a Manizales-based information technology and communications company, expressed enthusiasm about collaborating with foreign companies and learning about the challenges faced by corporates in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe.

Ana Lucía González, Project Innovation Leader at S.E.S Hospital in Caldas, emphasised the importance of open innovation activities in enhancing health assistance for Caldas citizens.

All in all, the workshops provided valuable insights into the business landscape of the Coffee region, revealing a predominance of medium and small-sized enterprises alongside a vibrant community of startups and small businesses offering innovative technological solutions. The experience also facilitated a deeper understanding of Latin American realities and forged connections with relevant organisations, laying the groundwork for future collaboration.

 

 

Santiago Isaza Rodríguez, Business Development Manager at Tecnalia, hailed the tour as “An enriching experience that showcased the potential of open innovation and strategic connections with European and Caribbean entities.” Isaza expressed confidence that participating entrepreneurs would greatly benefit from the opportunities offered by the EU-LAC Digital Accelerator, contributing to the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region.

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