This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The Chilean government, with the leadership of President Sebastian Piñera has labelled the 2013 as the Year of Innovation. In November, when visiting London, President Piñera and Prime Minister David Cameron agreed on a joint statement as a signal of the commitment of the UK and Chile to work together on science, innovation and education matters during 2013 and beyond. This collaboration provides support for further development of Chile’s national science and innovation system, and opportunities for mutual learning from each other’s experiences, and to develop bilateral links between the UK and Chile.
The UK, through the British embassy in Santiago, is collaborating with the Chilean authorities on a joint programme during the year of innovation. The aim from this collaboration is to deepen relationship with key Chilean public and private sector actors, and strengthen UK-Chile research links.
The Year of Innovation launch event was organized at the Ambassador’s residence in early April. In addition to the Ambassador Jon Benjamin, Mr. Hernan Cheyre, the Executive Vice-president of the Chilean Economic Development Agency CORFO, and Mr. Hugh Parnell, President of Cambridge Cleantech gave speeches on the importance of innovation to economic development, competitiveness and generation of quality employment.
In his speech, Mr. Parnell explained, using real examples of innovative companies in Cambridge, that “innovation is not about one person or one invention, but rather a result on interconnected factors and people.” Using the example of a successful and now globalized chocolate company from Cambridge, Mr. Parnell showcased that innovation is not even about high technology. Mr. Cheyre emphasised that Chile is on a great development path, but that the country will have to go beyond current industrial structure, and add value to the economy through innovation.