During the Chilean technology transfer week in October 2011, the Chilean economic development agency CORFO announced that Inria’s project to create a research and innovation centre had been selected as part of a programme for the creation of “international centres of excellence for competitiveness” in Chile. The “Communication and Information Research and Innovation Center” (CIRIC) will allow scientists from different fields to work closely together and provide a support structure for technology transfer. It will make it possible to introduce a research and development culture into universities in partnership with business, in order to support Chile’s competitiveness in computational science and technologies, particularly through the creation of spin-offs and technology transfer to large companies and SMEs.
The Centre will be based in Santiago, with a branch in Valparaíso. It will initially be built in partnership with nine Chilean universities and focus on three lines of research and development: Internet and telecommunications networks, Management of natural resources, and Hybrid energy sources.
The purpose of the CIRIC is to host and catalyse all of Inria’s collaborations in Chile and provide the institute with an initial base in Latin America. It will be open to international partnerships in particular in Latin America and Europe, and especially with those European institutions setting up a base in Chile as part of the programme, namely the ERCIM member Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the Australian CSIRO.