Uruguay promotes its role as an innovation hub at South Summit Brazil

A Uruguayan delegation, led by key figures from the Uruguay Innovation Hub and Uruguay XXI, together with more than 25 companies, participated in the technology meeting in Porto Alegre.
Publication date: 27/03/2024

With a delegation of more than 40 people at South Summit Brazil, Uruguay reinforced its position as an innovation and business hub and drew attention to its strengths in stability, talent, and quality of life.

This time, the Uruguayan delegation comprised representatives from Uruguay Innovation Hub (UHI), Uruguay XXI, the Uruguayan Chamber of Information Technology (CUTI),the Uruguayan Association of Private Capital (Urucap), and more than 25 leading national companies, with the support of Cissa Lugris Klein of Hous Of Crativity (HOC). The event, one of the most important in the region for startups, companies, investors, and institutions focused on innovation and forming strategic alliances, served as a platform for Uruguay to demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation.

A highlight of the event was the panel “Unlocking Global Potential: Uruguay as Your Startup & Innovation Hub,” where UIH Executive Director Sabrina Sauksteliskis and Uruguay XXI Executive Director Sebastián Risso highlighted the attributes that position Uruguay as an attractive destination for startups and investors.

In their presentation, they mentioned why international investors choose Uruguay. Risso shared the results of the recent Foreign Investor Survey that Uruguay XXI conducted and pointed out that investors highlight the stability, favorable tax system, exceptional human talent, commitment to environmental and social sustainability, and unparalleled quality of life.

“International investors appreciate, above all, Uruguay’s stability, legal certainty, and transparency. We are proud to lead the Americas in rankings of democracy, rule of law, and civil liberties,” he explained.

For his part, Sauksteliskis highlighted innovation as a fundamental pillar of Uruguay and mentioned the country’s significant achievements in education, renewable energy, and Internet connectivity.

“Innovation has been in our DNA from the beginning,” Sauksteliskis said, referring to the various social policies that Uruguay pioneered. This innovative trend was evidenced in the educational field, where the country was among the first to offer public, accessible, and secular education to all citizens. It also implemented the Ceibal program, based initially on the concept of One Laptop per child, which over time became an educational technology initiative that provides online education to the population.

In terms of energy, the country is also making progress in innovation. “Uruguay has no fossil fuels, so we have to obtain energy in other ways. Currently, 90% of our electricity generation is renewable, and we are second in the world after Denmark. In addition, we have the whole country connected to the Internet, and we are in fourth place in connection speed,” he said.

Uruguay’s participation in South Summit Brazil adds to previous efforts to strengthen international relations and promote the country’s innovation ecosystem. This event is further testimony to Uruguay’s growing interest in establishing itself as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship for the region and the world. With initiatives such as these, Uruguay continues to demonstrate that it is a privileged place for companies seeking to innovate, grow, and have a global impact.

Uruguay’s Protagonists

The director of the Rivera Development Agency, Cintia Lee Martínez, participated in a panel about the Area B Innovation Ecosystem; while Uruguayan biotech startups metaBIX Biotech and Yeda Health stood out in the final of the South Summit Startup Competition, where they had the opportunity to present their solutions before an international jury.

Founded by Uruguayans with a passion for biotechnology, these companies shared their visions and plans for the future before an audience of more than 900 investment funds.

MetaBIX, led by Laura Macció, seeks to revolutionize agriculture with a technology capable of early detection of pathogens in air, water, and soil, thus reducing losses and disease transmission. This approach promises to improve the health of plants, animals, and people and also to transform productivity in the agricultural sector.

On the other hand, Yeda, co-founded by Fernando Slamovitz, focuses on health and developing solutions for glycemia control. To prevent metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, Yeda is committed to a personalized approach, collecting data to adapt its services to the individual needs of users.

Check out the Uruguayan delegation at South Summit Brazil here.

"Innovation has been in our DNA from the beginning". Sabrina Sauksteliskis | Uruguay Innovation Hub