The University of Costa Rica, as a source of knowledge institution at a national level is a vital piece of the national ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship. This outstanding function is stated on the goals and activities of the university strategic plan where we can find key words such as source of knowledge, innovation, integration, social commitment, transference and interchange of knowledge, leadership, cooperation, university and society.
As the agents that foster and facilitate this labor inside the university ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship, there are two remarkable adjunct offices to the Vice Rector’s Office, PROINNOVA and AUGE.
PROINNOVA is the Unity of Management and Transference of Knowledge for the Innovation. It is in charge of managing, protecting and transferring knowledge for innovation, generated by UCR. It also promotes, advises and trains on creativity, innovation, competitive intelligence, and intellectual property, in order to make an impact on the university community and the external sectors.
AUGE is the University Agency for the Entrepreneurship Management in charge of encouraging entrepreneurship at a national level by means of a methodology based on the most modern tools.
Although PROINNOVA and AUGE work independently, the origin of their themes is closely related, the first one is more related to innovation, and the second one to entrepreneurship. There is an interaction of both units with the aim of making impact on the ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship in an integral way. In some cases, the innovation can be as lineal process which begins by generating knowledge. This becomes an invention or creation which can be used by society, and in many cases, can only be transferred to society through an entrepreneur.
AUGE entrepreneurs become strategic allies for those projects made in PROINNOVA. Those with a proposal of a differential value whose market is sometimes not ready for adopting them. These allies allow to bring an innovation to society, a technological possibility not proved yet, products and new services, new ways to produce or new sources of supply, because they are the small fraction of the population with abilities to fight the resistance to the environment.
A clear scenario of this is the creation of SPIN OFF. It happens when knowledge in the university tasks allows the creation of a firm or organization with an activity based on the implementation of this new knowledge. This kind of organizations has become a more efficient mechanism of transference of results of research and technology that contribute to the economic and social development.