The United Kingdom Newton-Picarte Fund supported Chilean researchers to participate in the Royal Academy of Engineering's innovation program. Under the Leaders Innovation Fellowships scheme, 15 Chilean researchers, who are already VIU CONICYT grant receivers, travelled to London and Oxford to attend a 10 day residential program.
The researchers were chosen based on the excellence of their research, the potential of their innovation, the potential for idea commercialization, the social and economic benefits of their innovation, as well as their potential as entrepreneurs.
The program, funded by the UK government, was divided in two parts. Part one was a tailored and comprehensive training program in innovation leadership – the opportunity to learn transferable skills, business modeling, customer development, pitching techniques and the chance to develop their business plan. Part two allowed the Fellows to apply the skills and knowledge they developed in week one and gain direct experience within a UK-based technology driven organization, where they had the opportunity to tackle a genuine commercial challenge faced by that organization.
The program involved engaging with a number of Santiago based universities, as well as a wide geographical variety of universities in Chile including; Universidad de Concepción, Universidad del Bío-Bío, Universidad Católica del Maule, Universidad de Valparaíso y Universidad Católica de Valparaíso.
The primary objective of the program was to promote innovation and entrepreneurial skills development and activity, and long term innovation partnership and exchange between the UK and Chile.