An alliance between iNNpulsa Colombia and the Fulbright program of the US government has started the scholarship ‘Route of Innovation’, which is currently open till May 15. The scholarship will give 16 professionals the opportunity for a Master’s degree in innovation at the best universities in the US.
The program, which has an investment of COP 6.968 billion aims to aid Colombian professionals in companies from all economic sectors of the country, especially those belonging to the first and second level, such as presidents, vice presidents, managers, and directors.
María Lorena Gutiérrez, the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, made the announcement for the scholarship in the presence of the US Ambassador, Kevin Whitaker at the American Embassy in Bogotá.
“Promoting innovative human capital has a very positive multiplier effect, since it allows us to reduce the gap between the skills and the educational level of the workers and the labor demand that companies make. To support innovation is to bet on the future,” Gutiérrez was quoted by the iNNpulsa website.
Applicants who meet the criteria for selection, will begin their studies in August 2019, in one of 146 US universities, which fall within the top 500 of the Academic Ranking in World University 2017. The aim of the program is that the recipient of the scholarship returns to Colombia after completing the studies and then spends at least two years in the country, applying the knowledge acquired to encourage decisions that promote innovation and development of Colombian productivity through the companies in Colombia.
Only Colombian citizens can apply for the scholarship, and they must have graduated by December 31st, 2017. All applications must be accompanied by two essays, one describing the academic and research objectives of the applicant, and the other comprising relevant personal information that shows the applicant’s competitive spirit and ability to boost the companies of the future.
Recipients of the scholarship will receive a stipend of USD$500 for up to 24 months, cost and processing for a J1 visa, basic accident insurance, and an international air ticket to and from the country. They also have the right to partial or total exemption from enrollment, and they enjoy admission rights in up to five universities. They will also have access to a pre-academic course in the US, an orientation seminar before the course starts, academic advice and monitoring in the US, and guidance during the study period.
The initiative, which is born from the collaboration between the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism and iNNpulsa Colombia, aims to promote development, competitiveness, and innovation in Colombian companies. Including Fulbright in the equation lends even more possibility for success, because it is one of the most popular and prestigious scholarship programs of the world. Fulbright has the distinction of benefitting more than 370,000 people, including 59 Nobel Prize winners, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, six Prince of Asturias Award winners, and 37 heads of state, who form a large global network of knowledge, including the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos.
iNNpulsa, which was formed in February 2012, is the Colombian government’s management unit for promoting business growth, which aims to facilitate entrepreneurship, innovation, and productivity as the path for business development and Colombian competitiveness. The organization aims to aid Colombian companies that are innovative, productive, and a potential source of wealth and prosperity for the country, seeing that such companies get to play a role in Colombia’s economic growth.
An entity of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism, iNNpulsa intends on having Colombia be counted among the top three innovate and competitive economies in Latin America, by increasing productivity and strengthening Colombian entrepreneurs.
In 2014, iNNpulsa was selected by the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) as an outstanding case for supporting companies, and entrepreneurial and innovative organizations. In 2015, iNNpulsa was recognized as the second best experience to develop the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Latin America as part of the Fifth Seminary Workshop for the Entrepreneur Ecosystem of Latin America. In 2016, the World Bank highlighted iNNpulsa as a key institution in the productive development of the country.