Newlab chooses Uruguay as the epicenter of innovation

The U.S. platform established itself in Uruguay two years ago and presented its results.
Publication date: 09/11/2023

In an event attended by the current Uruguayan Chancellor Omar Paganini (former Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining), as well as representatives of renowned local and international companies operating in Uruguay, the U.S. company Newlab presented the results of its two years of work in the country and announced its plans for the future.

Newlab, a global open innovation platform, has focused on collaborating with governments, companies, and entrepreneurs at the forefront of the technological revolution. The company began its operations in New York and currently has a new center in Detroit, Michigan, and the one in Uruguay that operates for all of Latin America.

Why did Newlab choose Uruguay as the starting point for its revolutionary vision? “Because it is an oasis of innovation, coexistence, respect, and predictability,” said María Eugenia Estenssoro, Argentine journalist and Newlab consultant, during the opening of the meeting.

She added, “In a world full of uncertainty and global challenges, such as pandemics, climate change, and ideological tensions, Uruguay is an ideal place to project into the future and generate opportunities.”

The company’s Chief Product Officer, Satish Rao, who arrived in the country especially to share this moment, participated in the meeting. “Uruguay is one of the few countries in the world that has a real possibility of having a strong economy and meeting global carbon emissions standards. There are perhaps only three others in the world. This requires an intense collaboration between the public and private sectors, something unique in the world and fulfilling here,” he said.

Fernando De la Fuente, the leader in sustainable business and Newlab’s vice-president for Latin America, added that his company seeks to create a safe and collaborative environment that helps companies and governments take advantage of technological opportunities and minimize risks.

In Uruguay, Newlab is working on a series of innovative projects, including its collaboration with companies such as Globant, with which it has identified 35 companies in the area of artificial intelligence with the capacity to integrate into different businesses. With Mercado Libre, they are leading a sustainable mobility project that seeks to transform the last mile of product distribution. It is also working on optimizing charging systems for electric vehicles and has explored the conversion of waste into construction materials. These projects drive innovation and address global issues such as waste management and sustainable mobility.

In addition, they work with Uruguayan startups to take local talent and help them position themselves abroad. Newlab presented the cases of local companies Digital Sense, Genba, and Quantik during the event.

Newlab was chosen as a partner of Uruguay Innovation Hub, the government program that aims to propel the country to the forefront of the knowledge economy and involves institutions such as the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Office of Planning and Budget, the National Agency for Research and Innovation (ANII), the Technological Laboratory of Uruguay (LATU) and the investment, export and country image promotion agency, Uruguay XXI. This alliance was generated by Newlab’s ability to connect Uruguayan startups with opportunities in the United States, provide access to international innovation challenges, and facilitate collaboration between local companies and foreign startups, said the executive director of Uruguay Innovation Hub, Sabrina Sauksteliskis at the meeting.

A new era of innovation in Uruguay

According to company officials, the choice of Uruguay as Newlab’s center of operations marks the beginning of a new era of innovation and technological development in the country. The platform provides local opportunities and connects Uruguay with the global innovation and technology landscape. In alliance with local and international companies that choose the country to develop their operations in the continent and the collaboration of Uruguay’s public agencies, Newlab is collaborating on the path for the country to become an epicenter of innovation at an international level.

“Our goal is to transform problems into solutions and take advantage of Uruguay’s potential in innovation so that the country becomes a center of excellence for the region so that what is produced in Uruguay is exported to Latin America and the world,” said De la Fuente.