San José, Costa Rica. November 6th, 2019. Costa Rica’s Megaminds in Megatrends Forum was Latin America’s epicenter to discuss the world’s leading trends. The Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency, CINDE, organized the first edition of the event on November 4th and 5th at the Costa Rica Convention Center.
The forum opened the discussion about Costa Rica’s opportunity to take advantage of its unique conditions, reap the benefits of the knowledge economy and continue leading the world’s sustainable development, through its main asset: the people. Four pillars are key to fulfill this goal: human talent capabilities, connectivity infrastructure, innovation mindset and a sustainability focus.
PhD Gayle R.T. Schueller, 3M’s VP and Head of Sustainability, was one of the speakers who highlighted that “green” is the new “black”. Customers demand more sustainable solutions and are willing to pay over 66% more for this. She added that large companies are applying the circular economy. Since 2019, 100% of 3M’s new products are sustainable. The company has more than one thousand products per year.
Megaminds in Megatrends also discussed about Digital Twin to develop new products faster. Siemens’ Portfolio Manager, Flavio Arssani, illustrated how these technologies promote the use of autonomous cars in shorter periods and be a possibility today; in the past, this would have required more than a decade of trials. Companies in Costa Rica already use this technique to develop new products in the food industry.
The forum gathered 18 international speakers and more than 940 participants that discussed topics such as: cybersecurity, Internet of Things and its new applications, big data to increase the customer experience, artificial intelligence to promote the long-learning life cycle, blockchain and digital simulation, and 5G connectivity and the ecosystem’s interconnectivity.
Nathaniel Calhoun, from Singularity University and keynote speaker on the second day of the forum, said that the digital technology is transforming our world. He added that Costa Rica has intelligently leveraged the opportunities: “A great challenge for the country is to identify which ‘waves ’ of trends are the most adequate to maintain the values and line of development that Costa Rica has chosen and already been able to detect. Collaboration over the search for control will be key to achieve ecosystem adaptability and embrace change positively for the citizens.”
CINDE’s Managing Director, Jorge Sequeira, said: “We are highly satisfied with this first edition, which allowed us to address issues of great importance to the country. CINDE constantly seeks to visualize what is happening on the global spectrum and identify the opportunities it offers to Costa Rica’s development. The challenge is big, it will be key to continue cultivating a collaborative ecosystem between academia, the private sector and public policy so that our country is successfully inserted into the knowledge economy. And of course, it will be vital to keep promoting training, retooling and upskilling our human talent.”
Next year, CINDE will conduct the fifth edition of the well-known Life Sciences Forum, which will promote the latest trends in medical devices and the medical industry in general.
CINDE is a private, non-profit organization that has been committed to the sustainable development and social progress of Costa Rica for 37 years, by attracting direct foreign investment to high added-value manufacturing and service industries that create quality employment, knowledge transfer, and production chains. CINDE also works to strengthen the Costa Rican business climate, helping support growth in value activities for the country, improving training of local talent, generating employment, and helping provide better opportunities for Costa Rica's people in the country's different communities.
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