"NON-REFUNDABLE TECHNICAL COOPERATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN IDBMIF AND"
PRESS RELEASE NON-REFUNDABLE TECHNICAL COOPERATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN IDB/MIF AND LATU: CITE VIRTUAL – TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION VIRTUAL CENTRES IN URUGUAY AND PERU th On March 4 , 1:00 pm, at the office of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Representation in Uruguay, the signature ceremony of the Non-Refundable Technical Cooperation Agreement will be held, between the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), as Manager of the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), and the Technological Laboratory of Uruguay (LATU), for the implementation of the project “CITE Virtual – Technology Innovation Virtual Centres” in Uruguay and Peru, for a total of 558,800 USD. The abovementioned project is one of the 10 selected in an international call made by the ICT4Bus Program (ICT Innovation Program for E-Business and SME Development), an initiative sponsored by the MIF. More than 200 organizations from 20 countries registered to participate in the call and 150 presented proposals. This was the third call of the Program since its beginning in 2002, and it is the first time a project presented by Uruguay is selected. In 2006, LATU signed a cooperation framework agreement with the Ministry of Production of Peru, in order to develop joint programs for the exchange of experiences and knowledge in each party’s specialties. The project will be carried out within the framework of this agreement between both organizations, and the Network of Technology Innovation Centres (CITEs) of the Ministry of Production – Produce from Peru will participate. The development of the medicinal and aromatic plants value chain is an interesting opportunity for Uruguay and Peru, both in the economic and social sense, as well as regarding the environment. This value chain starts with the production of plants from selected species and continues with their primary industrialization for the preparation of essential oils and extracts to be used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. The proposed project presents an alternative for the development of these value chains making training, technical assistance and technology transfer available for production small and medium-sized enterprises, allowing their adjustment to new marketing mechanisms and technology assimilation generating more productivity, a higher quality of products and more profitability. With that purpose, it is aimed at generating capacities within SMEs to implement Good Agricultural and Manufacturing Practices guaranteeing standardization and a better product, the application of logistics best practices ensuring an efficient and timely delivery and information and communication technologies (ICTs) for e-business. The final goal is to improve competitiveness of companies and promote their participation in networks and new ways of doing business and e-business in order to reach new local and foreign customers, with products and processes meeting market standards. The project includes the implementation of a Main Operations Centre located within LATU and 4 centres in both countries located in areas of easy access for producers, where on-site training and technical assistance services will be offered. This project implies an association, in which the following organizations, apart from LATU and the Peruvian CITEs network, will also participate: Pando Technology Centre, from the School of Chemistry of the University of the Republic of Uruguay, the Uruguayan Board of Phytosanitary, Natural and Related Products, FUNDASOL and GS1 (an international organization involved in the design and implementation of global standards to improve the efficiency and visibility of the integrated logistic chain), that will participate through its headquarters in Uruguay and Peru. The project, to be implemented in a term of two years, is financed with 558,800 USD, of which 336,800 USD will be contributed by the MIF and the rest by LATU and the CITEs network of Peru. Main Actors of the Project Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) The MIF was established in 1993 and has become a key mechanism of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to promote the economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean. This Fund amounts to 1,2 billion USD and its mandate is to support innovation development in the private sector. MIF’s goal is to develop growth in general terms and to improve economic prospects so that those poorly equipped can benefit from market reforms. ICT4BUS Program The ICT Innovation Program for E-Business and SME Development – ICT4BUS is an initiative sponsored by the MIF to improve the competitiveness, productivity and efficiency of SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean by means of ICTs. With this purpose, the ICT4BUS Program provides funds for the development of pilot projects that prove the technical feasibility and economic viability of innovative ICT services and solutions adapted to SMEs’ needs and contributing to the improvement of their management, new market penetration and their integration in the value chain. LATU (Technological Laboratory of Uruguay) LATU offers a wide range of counselling and consultancy services according to the needs of today’s companies. Through its laboratory services, it is possible to carry out a wide number of tests in different products. Its mission is to foster the sustainable development of the country and its international insertion through innovation and transfer of valuable solutions regarding analytical, metrological, technological, managerial and compliance assessment services, according to applicable regulations. CITEs Network of Peru The Network of Technology Innovation Centres of the Ministry of Production of Peru (Produce), offers training services, technical assistance, updated information, productivity improvement, quality control of inputs and end-use goods, computer-assisted design, finishings and intermediate processes, and environmental management. Its operating field covers the whole territory of Peru, answering requests from different regions of the country where there is a significant presence of companies belonging to the production line that each CITE services. Montevideo, March 2008