Construction of the Argos Center for Innovation, to be installed on EAFIT’s campus, will last approximately eight months.
• In 2014, the Argos Center for Innovation will be installed on campus, an initiative from both institutions that strengthens the University-Corporate relationship.
• 23,700 million pesos in total will be invested in building this 4,807 square meter space. The agreement was signed on Tuesday, November 26.
EAFIT and Cementos Argos’ collective determination to commit to promoting and developing processes of innovation in Medellin was formalized on Tuesday, November 26, with the signature of an alliance for building and starting up the Argos Center for Innovation.
Juan Luis Mejía Arango, EAFIT’s rector, Jorge Mario Velásquez Jaramillo, the President of Cementos Argos, participated in the ceremony, alongside several Directors from both institutions and special guests who celebrated this union, which is projected to last 20 years. This space, designed by the architect Lorenzo Castro, is intended as a meeting place for academics, scientists, engineers, students and society at large. It will be used for sharing challenges and everyday issues that, in turn, will become the main inputs for the innovation processes carried out within.
EAFIT’s Rector said he was very proud of the agreement that was signed and emphasized: “this is qualitative and quantitative escalation our understanding of the University, its surroundings and its context, because the proposal to create a real research lab was accepted”.
The Rector said that, for a number of years now, Colombia has been trying to promote the convergence of the corporate and academic worlds, but assured us that with the signing of this agreement we are now witnessing a new University and a new Company. “This will be the place new Argos products will come from, with the help of the University”.
“With this initiative we’re betting on consolidating our relationship with the University and developing value added processes and products that will meet the requirements of a dynamic and demanding market. We’re trying to reinvent the way we do things, in an alliance with the University and its students, teachers and professionals, who will find, in the Argos Center for Innovation, an ideal place for developing their creativity,” said Jorge Mario Velásquez, Cementos Argos’ President.
He highlighted two specific aspects of the project. The first, the size of the investment, as over 23,000 million pesos will be invested in the building as such, and close to 6,000 million in state of the art technology.
The other more powerful and important element, according to the cement company’s President, is a real convergence between the interests of a private corporation and the university, as “a parallel agreement is being signed that will regulate intellectual property clearly and transparently for the long term.”
The Argos Center for Innovation building has a design and structure that match its purpose. The first floor will be a plaza that’s articulated with the University campus: a meeting place with direct access to the researchers that work there, both from Argos and from the University.
“The idea is that the science and research that happens there every day and is converted into products, be done in plain sight”, said Camilo Restrepo Restrepo, Argos Vice-President for Innovation.
That’s why “Lorenzo Castro’s proposal, chosen as the result of a request for proposals where it competed against another three designs, proposes a façade that alludes to lenses and viewers, related to scientific research, and another in the form of books, which relate to knowledge,” he added.
The five floor building, which will occupy a built-up area of 4,807 square meters, will have themed laboratories, a library, exhibition halls, an auditorium, a general-use cafeteria on the top floor, and offices with flexible environments where other researchers, business persons and customers can be invited in.
The Center’s construction conforms to Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) design and construction parameters, with a view to obtaining the highest certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
It’s hoped that the Colombian government and its people will appraise this initiative for open research and innovation development, supported by a University-Corporate relationship, as an example to be followed that can help with the progress of the country’s sustainable development, which is also the purpose of this alliance.
Contact informationMarcela Olarte Melguizo
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