At Ecopetrol, collective intelligence and global collaboration are sources to find solutions to the new operational challenges and social and business transformation of our days. For this reason, we generate open innovation mechanisms that link the creativity and innovation capacity of researchers, academic institutions, entrepreneurs, technology-based companies, competitors, and business partners, in the generation of technology solutions that improve the productivity and competitiveness of the country.
Strategic alliances of co-research and co-development. We work with institutions that are part of the ecosystem of Science and Technology of the country through agreements of co-research and co-development of technologies with universities and technology-based companies, developing local suppliers of technology and strengthening existing companies with which we have strategic alliances. We have also established agreements with universities and international research centers to enhance internal capacities and identify and manage new technological products in recovery, exploration, production cost optimization, and energy efficiency.
"Innóvate" (Innovate): We promote research, technological development, and entrepreneurship in the region by generating annual challenges that solve Ecopetrol's operational problems. The winners of the challenges receive seed capital that will serve to develop and implement the solution generated.
C-Emprende: Program of Innpulsa Colombia and the country's Chambers of Commerce, where enterprising and innovative women and men turn their dreams and ideas into successful businesses with experts' accompaniment. In C-Emprende, which will also be in other cities and regions, all the actors converge so that entrepreneurs can access knowledge, technological services, business accelerators, and investors. Here is a place for those who are starting or have a project that uses emerging technologies, among other developments. The 100 x 100 Challenge will soon be launched, consisting of 100 challenges specific to the industry and will call on national and international start-up entrepreneurs to propose and develop prototypes that respond to the challenges posed.
In Bogotá, it has allies such as Facebook and Ecopetrol. In Bucaramanga, a C-Emprende dedicated to technological convergence will be formed, and it will have the support of SENA, Ecopetrol, Unired, Regional Competitiveness Commission, and ANDI.
Innovation Laboratory: Everything starts with an idea or a challenge born from Ecopetrol's needs and even the country's, and reaches this Innovation Laboratory. There, hand in hand with a team formed by Ecopetrol talent and different actors of the Digital Ecosystem, the best possible solution to the challenges that exist in the largest company in Colombia is sought. With the support of the Digital Observatory, we play with a methodology that works and that is based on innovation and creativity:
In the Innovation Lab, we seek to:
Route N: This is the space for innovation in Medellin, created by the Mayor's Office of Medellin, UNE, and EPM. From there, it inspires and encourages innovation in the Antioquian capital and creates favorable conditions for business and entrepreneurship. Ecopetrol joined Ruta N to promote this objective and continue expanding its digital ecosystem through challenges. During 2020, Ruta N and Ecopetrol will launch the Air Quality Challenge to call on the country's entrepreneurs to find solutions that complement the technical processes that have improved air quality in the Aburrá Valley. These prototypes will be funded by Ecopetrol and implemented in Medellin.
Plug and Play: This American initiative is an innovation ecosystem located in Silicon Valley that connects start-ups and corporations from different industries. Ecopetrol sealed an alliance with them to expand the solution to the industry's challenges.
Hackathons: Open innovation spaces promoted by entities such as the Ministry of ICT in Colombia. Its purpose is to formulate concrete challenges that require everyone's creativity. Challenges related to the hydrocarbon transportation system's needs and issues associated with the HSE culture, fundamental for the Oil & Gas industry, have already been taken.