Sacred Heart University recently opened the first Collaborative Innovation Center in Puerto Rico that takes participants from idea to execution in one place, as announced Wednesday by Gilberto J. Marxuach-Torrós, president of the university.
The Center was branded with the name “Neeuko,” an abbreviation for “new company/new collaboration.”
“The responsibility of an educational community is to prepare students for today’s world. We have to provide a space where they can imagine, create and display as creators of their own projects and businesses,” said Marxuach-Torrós.
The Collaborative Innovation Center is a unique concept and space that will be used by students, teachers and the community to have an innovative, interdisciplinary and multi-sectorial university experience.
“This space will be essential to integrate strategically the creativity, production and research produced daily at the university, through departments and academic units, internships and research,” said Marxuach-Torrós.
The Center, split into two sections, was designed to provide a complete experience for the visitor who will begin their orientation phase in the laboratory of ideas and design. The facility also has open spaces for collaboration, as well as meeting rooms. In the back is the “Fab Lab” equipped with high-tech equipment for three-dimensional printing, laser cutting, metal constructions and wood, robotics and Computer Numerical Control (CNC).
“All this equipment allows us to create a prototype true to the original idea,” said professor and entrepreneur Javier De Jesús-Martínez, director of the Center.
“With the technical and human team that we have here, you can complete the entire life cycle of an idea; from concept and research to the production of prototypes and obtain financing in order to take it to the public,” he said.
A team of professionals with expertise in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation will be responsible for providing mentoring to those interested in seeking advice on how to develop their idea, product or service. Together with De Jesús-Martínez, Guifre Tort-Ortiz, Manny Morales, Alejandro Excia, Eric Torres, Vanessa Vila and Enrique Völckers, will collaborate to combine their knowledge and experience for the benefit of those who want to innovate through the Center.
The Center will also serve as a space for exchange and transfer of knowledge to the Santuce community, where many technology companies and creative industries in Puerto Rico reside.