In 2009, ESPOL formulated the proposal of the Technological Park (Parcon-ESPOL) and presented it to the National Secretariat of Planning and Development (Secretaría Nacional de Planificación y Desarrollo - Senplades). Since then, this project has evolved into the Innovation Zone of the Ecuadorian Coast, ZILE, which will contribute to the modification of the structure of national production of goods and services, currently characterized by the preponderance of primary exports; it will also provide a boost to the National System of Science, Technology and Innovation and will improve the System of Higher Education, which will acquire a greater focus on the training of highly qualified personnel.
Components of the ZILE:
The ZILE will include a Special Zone for Economic Development (Zona Especial de Desarrollo Económico, ZEDE), along with the centers of applied research of ESPOL which currently make up the Technological Park, with the goal of bringing about the transference of knowledge and creating the incentives that will favor the nation’s export industries.
The Center for Information Technologies (Centro de Tecnologías de la Información - CTI) is one of the seven institutional research centers alreaday operating in the Technological Park, within the ZILE, in the Campus Gustavo Galindo Velasco.
The applied research centers of ESPOL that form part of the ZILE are:
- Center for Biotechnological Research in Ecuador (Centro de Investigaciones Biotecnológicas del Ecuador, CIBE), for biotecnology research, conservation of species and development of broad spectrum bioactive products.
- Center for Information Technologies (Centro de Tecnologías de Información, CTI), for research and development of ICTs.
- Center for Renewable and Alternative Energy (Centro de Energías Renovables y Alternativas, CERA), for research, development, transference and technological innovation in renewable and alternative energy sources.
- Center for Research, Development and Innovation in Computer Systems (Centro de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación de Sistemas Computacionales, CIDIS), specialized in research into systems, software, electronics and telecommunications.
- Ecuadorian Center for Research and Development of Nanotechnology (Centro Ecuatoriano de Investigación y Desarrollo de Nanotecnología, CIDNA), specialized in multidisciplinary research in nanotechnology and new materials.
- Center for Water and Sustainable Development (Centro de Agua y Desarrollo Sustentable, CADS), to provide technically feasible answers to the problems of water supply.
- National Center for Aquaculture and Marine Research (Centro Nacional de Acuicultura e Investigaciones Marinas, CENAIM), which fosters sustainable development of aquaculture and marine biodiversity in Ecuador, and is located in San Pedro de Manglar Alto.
These research centers will promote the following:
- Applied research and innovation, technical education and specialized training in R+D+I activities; intersectorial mobility with universities, as well as the identification and conservation of highly qualified personnel.
- Strengthening, on the part of universities and industry from the Ecuadorian Coastal Region, a competitive and innovative productive sector, which is a key requirement for the change in the national production model.