internationalization of the university corporation and the development of the Social Innovation Science Park.
The visit was made with the aim of learning about the experience of one of the world’s outstanding science parks. ZhongGuanCun, also known as China’s “Silicon Valley”, was formed in 1988 under a government initiative, in recognition of the importance of innovation for improving the industries’ competitiveness and the quality of life of the consumer.
Since then, the park has contributed to the incubation of businesses and innovations, especially in the area of technology. Some of these initiatives have become prominent industries listed in the New York Stock Exchange.
“This park has very important lessons for the process we are leading from within UNIMINUTO. Also, the purpose of the visit was to open the door to a relationship of cooperation”, said Miguel Ángel González Palacios, Director of Projects at the Minuto de Dios Social Development Science Park, who represented the university in China. He added that, “the HaiDian-ZhongGuanCun Park has been selected as a model for innovation centers by the Central Government of China. The fact that this park is a model in that country makes it a model for the whole world”.
ZhongGuanCun Science Park
ZhongGuanCun has been evolving, and currently incubates around 10,000 innovative businesses – approximately 20% of the national total.
For its part, UNIMINUTO presented its experience in taking quality higher education to various regions of
Colombia, positioning itself as one of the country’s largest university institutions after only two decades of operations.
The sub-director of the HaiDian ZhongGuanCun Science Park Administrative Committee, Dra. Zhang Xiuying, in charge of this park’s international relations and with a long experience in the management of these innovation spaces, hosted the meeting. “For Dra. Zhang it was quite a pleasure to learn of UNIMINUTO’s experience in taking higher education to all of Colombia, as well as the growth and development it has had in recent years. They hope to continue conversations with us”, said Miguel Ángel.
“This series of visits allows UNIMINUTO to begin to participate actively
in this network, and achieve international projection for its Social
Miguel Ángel González, Director of Minuto de Dios Social Innovation Science Park projects
The three pillars of a good science park
Xiuying mentioned three important lessons for the development of a science park:
• These are: having a long-range focus. Often, results are only seen after long years of efforts and investment.
• Public sector support and participation in these efforts are very important.
• The importance of association and cooperation: participation in the International Association of Science and Technology Parks – IASP – was a crucial factor in the consolidation of ZhongGuanCun, in learning from the experiences and errors of other teams around the world.
The ZhongGuanCun Park
The park grew up around the street where the first high-tech entrepreneurs had set up business in Beijing, after graduating from top universities, which also are located in that same sector of the city.
Similarly, corporations from other parts of China and the world have installed their R+D (research + development) centers in this area. In 2009, the Park was established as a model innovation center for the entire country.
One of the flagship businesses in ZhongGuanCun is ‘Lenovo’, dedicated to personal technology and currently the second supplier of computers in the world, was born on this same Chinese Street, with limited capital.
Lenovo began as an importer of televisions, but in its innovation programme developed the technology for processing Chinese characters. With this step forward, in 2005 it acquired IBM’s Hardware Division. Today, many of the computers used by UNIMINUTO personnel are made by this company.
“On the list of the five best Science and Technology Parks in the world, I always include the ZhongGuanCun Park in Beijing”.
Luis Sanz. Director of the IASP
In their discussion, the host park’s representative was informed of the support our park has received from governmental entities, emphasizing the participation of the Office of the Governor of Cundinamarca through its Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation.
This visit was possible because this year UNIMINUTO became a member of the International Association of Science and Technology Parks (IASP), following a visit to the Central Office of this organization in Málaga, Spain.
Dirección Nacional de Mercadeo y Comunicaciones de UNIMINUTO