•Scholarship program will enhance capacities in STEM industries and improve Costa Rican opportunities during the fourth industrial revolution.
•Technical training, which will be delivered virtually, will increase employability.
San José, Costa Rica. May 5, 2020. The Costa Rican Ministry of Science, Technology, and Telecommunications (MICITT), together with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE), will make available US$4.5 million in scholarship funds to individuals interested in furthering their education in areas of technology. The new program will be called PINN, for its Spanish acronym: The Competitive Edge Program for Innovation and Human Capital.
This year, the scholarship program will allow approximately 1,000 people to receive training through courses and certifications, imparted via information and communication technologies (ICTs).
The program joins the country's other initiatives to integrate into the knowledge economy, with regard to the fourth industrial revolution and assumed commitments to fight the COVID-19 situation. Courses will be held virtually, so that participants may study from their homes and prepare for when the economy reactivates.
According to the 2019 Global Competitiveness Report, Costa Rica has the top workforce talent in Latin America and also occupies the top position in the region for English language proficiency, as measured by the TOEIC and TOEFL tests.
"These scholarships will increase the supply of qualified human capital at Costa Rican and tech industry companies, while simultaneously promoting technological development and innovation in the areas of ICTs and life sciences, with the knowledge necessary for the fourth industrial revolution”, commented Luis Adrián Salazar, Minister of the MICITT.
"At the IDB, we are very pleased to support programs like this, as they contribute to strengthening the country's human capital in areas critical to our current reality, such as technology and innovation. This new knowledge will give people the tools they need to propose solutions to specific problems and close gaps in STEM sectors," stated José Ramón Gómez, Representative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Costa Rica.
Jorge Sequeira Picado, Managing Director of CINDE, concluded that “successfully integrating Costa Rica into the fourth industrial revolution will depend, to a large extent, on the education we are able to provide our workforce. These scholarships will allow hundreds of Costa Ricans to acquire the skills necessary to perform successfully in the knowledge economy, by training and becoming certified in STEM areas, which represent the greatest workforce demand from companies operating in Costa Rica.”
In Costa Rica, 325 multinational companies – from diverse sectors, including corporate services, life sciences, and advanced manufacturing – operate nationally, generating direct employment for almost 120,000 Costa Ricans.
CINDE is a private, non-profit organization that has been committed to Costa Rica's sustainable development and social progress for 38 years, through the attraction of foreign direct investment in manufacturing industries and high value-added services that generate quality jobs, knowledge transfer, and productive linkages. CINDE also collaborates in strengthening the Costa Rican business climate in a way that fosters the growth of valuable activities in the country, improving the preparation of local talent, and generating employment and greater opportunities for its population in diverse communities around the country.