This years’ Innovaccion Forum, organized by AGEXPORT with support from the European Union’s Al-Invest 5.0 and “More Competitive Cooperatives and SMEs” programs, expanded as a Latin American event to promote innovation in the region. Exhibition floors and discussion panels during the event included representatives not only from Guatemala but also from countries like El Salvador, Costa Rica, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia and Brazil.
Innovaccion started as a local event to raise awareness with Guatemalan companies of the need to innovate while also offering training on different world trends and tools that small companies have at their disposal to innovate and be part of international supply chains. On 2019, we displayed four key macrotrends that are defining the future for exporting companies: sustainability, 3D printing, incorporation of digital technologies and the usage of natural products as raw materials for products on the food industry and cosmetics; remarked Mrs. Aida Fernandez, manager of AGEXPORT’s Services and Manufacturing sectors.
In order to develop a regional innovation environment, this year’s edition included a smaller event called Manufacturing Supply Chain, seeking to strengthen international value chains and linking Guatemalan providers of raw materials with other national and international companies to develop innovative business ideas.
The event gathered more than 1,000 entrepreneurs and business leaders of different exporting sectors, from agriculture, to manufacturing and services. 40 companies also displayed their innovations on goods and services at the event’s exhibition floor. Innovations included raw materials, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, lab services, logistic services, innovative packages, among others.
During the first day of Innovaccion (August 14th), activities included the opening presentation given by Mr. Marcos Singer, Innovation Director of the Chilean Catholic University (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile), who spoke on the need to develop three “innovation lines”: 1. Guatemalan pride; 2. A government agency on innovation; and 3. Guatemalan diaspora for development.
Mr. Singer compared three countries that at first seem to be different but share important similarities: Guatemala, Chile and Israel. These three countries find themselves on different stages of the innovation pathway. Guatemala is on early stages, Chile on an intermediate step and Israel is well advanced. Yet, we can find important lessons learned from all three countries and is what Singer remarked on his presentation; said. Mrs. Fernandez.
Innovaccion, after almost a decade of existence, has come to be a unique platform to promote entrepreneurship and innovation by strengthening strategies and business models that focus on small and medium companies and how can they export their products and services. We have seen several examples of small companies that have used this event to generate new ideas and consolidate new business lines within their companies. Among other services offered at Innovaccion, we look for entrepreneurs to meet with mentors to receive feedback on their business ideas and succeed; remarked. Mrs. Fernandez.
For more information on Innovaccion 2019, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit export.com.gt/publico/innovaccion