New relationship with Colombian innovation hub unlocks export opportunities
1st March 2016, Toronto, Canada – The Advanced Energy Centre at MaRS Discovery District is pleased to announce a Memorandum of Understanding with Ruta N – the Colombia innovation center based in Medellin-, supported by the Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellin and Metropolitan Area (ACI). This agreement signifies a strengthened collaboration between the organizations, aimed at [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@MaRSDD” suffix=”#FutureofEnergy”]helping high-impact Canadian and Colombian ventures realize export opportunities for clean energy technologies[/inlinetweet] across both jurisdictions.
The parties, originally connected through an event organized by the Centre, the Canada-Colombia Chamber of Commerce, and ProColombia last year, will be working together towards achieving their shared organizational objectives, in encouraging the growth of clean energy technology investment and accelerating innovation in their respective markets. This new partnership enables entrepreneurs and innovators access to valuable insights in Colombia and Canadian clean energy sectors, as well as providing strategic connections to local customers, capital, talent and expert advisors, to assist with market entry and expansion.
The impetus and potential benefits of signing this agreement are evident, given the increasing receptivity and growth in both Colombia and Canada’s cleantech energy markets. The World Bank predicts that electricity consumption in Latin America will more than double between 2010 and 2030, with $430 billion in investment needed to meet this demand. Additionally, South America is expected to become a key smart grid investment location over the next decade, reaching $38.1 billion by 2025. Ranked the easiest Latin American country in which to do business in 2015, Colombia is seen as a natural entry point to these markets for Canadian companies. The country has also seen a surge of investment and supportive government policies, focused on diversifying its energy mix and increasing the penetration of renewables.
As for Canada, it is reported that investment in new clean-power generation in the country reached $10.9 billion in 2014, an 88% increase on 2013. In addition, the rate of job growth in Canada’s clean energy sector outpaced that of any other sector in the country. At 89 GW, Canada is now ranked 4th in the world in terms of renewable electricity capacity.
“The Advanced Energy Centre continues to work with its network of Canadian ventures, to realize the growing export opportunities for cleantech in Latin American’s energy sector”, said Ron Dizy, Managing Director of the AEC. “We look forward to a closer working relationship with Ruta N and their partners at ACI, to enhance our joint efforts in accelerating the pace of market entry for advanced energy technologies.”
Alejandro Franco, Executive Director of Ruta N said, “Ruta N celebrates this Memorandum of Understanding with The Advanced Energy Centre, as it allows more startups to get established in Medellin’s Innovation District”.
The Advanced Energy Centre (AEC) is a public-private partnership with the mission of fostering the adoption of innovative energy technologies in Canada, and leveraging those successes and experiences into international markets. The AEC works with over 150 Canadian ventures in the cleantech and energy sectors, actively developing partnerships that will help bring their technologies to global markets. Within Canada, the Centre works to identify and remove systemic barriers to the adoption of energy innovation. The AEC is a part of MaRS Discovery District, a Canadian registered charity operating as one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs.
About Ruta N
Ruta N was created by Medellin’s City Hall, business group EPM (a state owned utility company in Colombia) and UNE (Colombian telecommunications company owned by EPM) in 2011, to streamline the city’s innovation ecosystem, promoting the development of innovative, technology-based businesses, to increase the competitiveness of the city and the region. Publicly funded, Ruta N not only serves as a launch site for businesses operating in Medellin (second largest city in Colombia), but also works with universities and the private sector to promote innovation, to support entrepreneurs, and to provide tech training and education for youth.
Founded in 2002, the Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellin and Metropolitan Area is the public entity responsible for finding international organizations and allies that boost development for the region, through two tools: foreign direct investment and international cooperation. The organization will support this MOU by providing Canadian companies with legal and operation guidance, industry insights and key local connections to support their market entry and growth.
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