The Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications (MICITT) makes ₵ 791 million available to finance actions in innovation, science and technology in order to fight COVID-19.
The first call opened on April 16 and is part of the Innovation and Human Capital for Competitiveness Program (PINN), with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
These are PINN innovation and technology transfer projects to support the health emergency, with an investment of up to ₵ 712 million. The maximum amount to be awarded per project will be ₵ 142,000,000 and the maximum execution period will be 12 months.
Meanwhile, the Incentive Fund will open on May 15 a call for up to ₵ 79 million to support research on issues related to COVID-19.
“From MICITT we are promoting three work areas to attend to the health emergency,” said Luis Adrián Salazar, MICITT minister.
He specified that the first is the provision of resources for research in detection, prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
“We are also promoting the entire community of national, transnational companies, researchers and national scientists to be able to develop national prototypes, once we have the approval from the Costa Rican Social Security Fund,” he added.
He indicated that, in addition, the institution is promoting the development of capacities in small and medium-sized companies to better cope with the economic consequences of COVID-19.
The Colab.design.cr initiative (Collaborative Design of Costa Rica) was born with the aim of contributing to meet the needs of implements and equipment required by the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) and the Ministry of Health in the fight against the COVID-19.
Currently Colab.design.cr is made up of 614 registered participants that include 12 research centers, 3 universities, 57 companies, 1 public institution, 1 NGO, as well as innovation laboratories and individuals. Among those registered, 112 production centers have been identified.
The initiative that will unite talent, ideas and capabilities, seeks to explore options to achieve faster response times and lower costs with the local manufacture of waterproof gowns, surgical masks, mechanical ventilators, among others.
This project is coordinated by the Ministry of Health, the CCSS, the MICITT and the INA, which summon institutions, professionals from various fields and the private business to support this effort.
Other results obtained by Colab.design.cr to date are:
- The Clodomiro Picado Institute obtained financing of ₵ 35 million from CONICIT to start the development of a possible treatment against CoVid19.
- CENIBIOT will work on the development of a low cost Covid-19 detection test, based on PCR (polymer chain reaction), in conjunction with the UCR, TEC and Incense. To do this, CENIBIOT has already obtained $ 50,000 in financing from UNDP to start the project.
- The Foreign Trade Promoter, the National Learning Institute (INA), the Chamber of Industries of Costa Rica (ICRC) and the Coalition of Development Initiatives (CINDE) collaborate in the identification of companies willing to provide support with human capital, as well as donation and production of supplies and equipment.
- As part of this effort, diverse teams of highly trained and knowledgeable national and multinational companies and universities such as the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (TEC), the University of Costa Rica (UCR), the State Distance University (UNED), among other organizations , are working on the development of fan prototypes.
- The Colabcr community (which includes universities, independent professionals, companies and public and private organizations) has manufactured in 3D technology more than 400 face protection masks that have been donated to the CCSS and continue to work to support the needs of health authorities.
Those interested in joining this organized community can write to the email: [email protected] or enter the website: http://colab.design.cr. You will also find more information on Facebook or Instagram under the name COLABCR.