The Industrial Extension Center (CEI) is a public policy tool aimed at increasing the use of knowledge in industrial enterprises in order to strengthen innovation capabilities and competitiveness.
The CEI offers technological and comprehensive diagnoses tailored to each enterprise’s situation, accompanied by an action plan which also sets out the financial support instruments available to lower the implementation cost of the latter. Alternatively, enterprises may only request direct advisory services on support instruments.
The CEI currently works with the food, metallurgical, plastics, chemical and wood sectors. Since its creation in 2014 until the end of 2017, it has served more than 300 enterprises.
In contrast to other business support services in Uruguay, industrial extension is a demand-driven process that uses a proactive strategy to detect needs in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and to stimulate demand for technology and innovation. The CEI actively looks for SMEs and assists them in the process of garnering support, building networks or approaching knowledge.
Therefore, the CEI acts as a liaison between the needs of industrial enterprises and the supply of knowledge, support and services that exist today to assist SMEs. This Web platform exemplifies the CEI's efforts to bring this supply closer to the country's production sector.
The CEI is the product of a partnership between the State, the industry and the academia, represented by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining (MIEM), the University of the Republic (UdelaR), the Chamber of Industries of Uruguay (CIU) and, since 2018, the Development Agency (ANDE). The CEI’s development has been supported by the National Research and Innovation Agency (ANII) with two consecutive projects.
The CEI consists of an Executive Unit with three professionals and a Steering Committee composed of Carola Saavedra (CIU), Gustavo Bittencourt (UdelaR), and Mariana Boiani (UTEC).