Montevideo, Uruguay and Brooklyn, NY, U.S. (November 30, 2021) — The government of Uruguay and Newlab, a global community of experts and innovators, today announced a partnership to advance the country’s leadership in the global innovation economy by launching Newlab Studios Uruguay, a four-year collaborative platform to develop Innovation Studios—programs that leverage the resources and expertise of private- and public-sector partners to support innovative technologists, engineers and entrepreneurs developing transformative solutions to critical industry and civic challenges. With leading South American technology companies Globant and Mercado Libre as inaugural sponsors, this new program marks Newlab’s first partnership with a national government outside the U.S. and the latest expansion of Newlab’s global presence, which now includes collaborations across five continents.
“As the nation at the forefront of Latin America’s innovation ecosystem, we are proud to partner with Newlab to launch Newlab Studios Uruguay,” said Omar Paganini, Uruguay’s Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining (MIEM). “The platform will attract leading innovators, inventors, and entrepreneurs from throughout the region and the world to launch businesses in Uruguay and develop, test, and deploy frontier technology that will help meet crucial industry goals.”
Newlab Studios Uruguay—led by MIEM; the Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay (LATU); the National Agency for Research and Innovation (ANII); and Newlab; with corporate sponsors and inaugural private-sector participants, Mercado Libre and Globant—will cultivate an innovation ecosystem comprised of entrepreneurs, industry experts, venture partners and academics from Uruguay, other countries in Latin America, and around the world. In alignment with the goals of the Test Uruguay initiative—a national strategy to attract investment and talent from all over the world to drive innovation and economic growth—Newlab Studios Uruguay will enable innovators to launch businesses that support the region’s established industries and Uruguay's vision for a sustainable future.
“Uruguay is at the leading edge of innovation in Latin America, and the Uruguayan government’s commitment to enabling local entrepreneurship is extraordinary and inspiring,” said Shaun Stewart, CEO of Newlab. “Through Newlab Studios Uruguay, we will leverage our proven Innovation Studio model to support the country’s burgeoning innovation economy, tap the immense potential of its entrepreneur community, and aim to set an example for how governments across the region and the world can drive impactful innovation at home.”
Over the next four years, Newlab Studios Uruguay will launch Innovation Studios that establish environments to pilot new technologies and business models for tackling key challenges facing Uruguay and cities across the region, including sustainable energy, urban mobility and the future of work. The first Innovation Studio to launch will be focused on Technology for Good, in partnership with Globant, a global leader in software development and digital transformation with a strong presence in Uruguay and 22,000 employees around the world. Globant is partnering with Newlab to attract, grow and support innovators from Uruguay and around the world working on technologies that improve people's lives or solve pressing societal problems created by technology.
“Uruguay’s burgeoning technology economy shows that our nation’s rich tradition of transformative, collaborative innovation is alive and well,” said Flavio Caiafa, President of the Board at ANII. “At ANII, we look forward to building on this history by helping launch Newlab Studios Uruguay, offering our expertise and resources to entrepreneurs and technologists from all over the world, and supporting our country’s industry leaders as they work to solve their most pressing challenges.”
“During the last half century, our mission has been to foster transformative ecosystems like Newlab Studios Uruguay,” said Ruperto Long, President of LATU. "We are proud to be able to promote this next generation of entrepreneurship in order to continue positioning Uruguay at the forefront of global environmental and economic sustainability."
"Partnering with Newlab to open a Studio in Uruguay together is a demonstration of our belief in the potential of the entrepreneurial ecosystem here,” said Guibert Englebienne, Co-founder of Globant and President of Globant X. “At Globant we believe that tech is inherently good and improves lives around the world. However, when misapplied or misused, its impact can be negative. By co-creating a technology for good Studio with Newlab, we will help purpose-designed startups tackle the negative collateral impacts of tech and be eligible for investment from our recently launched BeKind.Tech Fund. The synergy with Newlab's proven track record of members and studios developing transformative tech that matters and Globant's reinvention approach, further positions this collaboration to make a real difference and help us create great impact in the near future.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with Newlab and the government of Uruguay to develop Innovation Studios that will help major industries address sustainability and climate change challenges,” said Pedro Arnt, CFO of Mercado Libre. “Delivering compelling technological and commercial solutions in the online space in Latin America has always been our core focus and we’re excited to expand on our work by supporting entrepreneurs and engineers with the resources they need to apply frontier technologies to Uruguay's greatest industry challenges.”
Newlab is a community of experts and innovators applying transformative technology to solve the world's biggest challenges. Newlab membership and studios bring together entrepreneurs, engineers, inventors and industry leaders to create sustainable solutions and enterprises. Newlab employs technologies including robotics, AI and material science to transform what matters most—health, environment, media, cities, and infrastructure.
The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining is responsible for designing and implementing government policies related to the industrial, energy, mining, telecommunications, audiovisual and postal communication services, industrial property and micro, small and medium businesses. One of the Ministry’s priorities in the current administration focuses on strengthening the local entrepreneurial and technological ecosystem, fostering innovation and favoring alliances between the public and private sectors, which result in development opportunities and the creation of quality jobs.
The National Agency for Research and Innovation of Uruguay (ANII) executes the strategic Research and Innovation policy guidelines in Uruguay. ANII promotes, articulates and strengthens the capabilities of the National Innovation System to achieve a sustainable, productive and social development of the country. Thanks to its political stability, an adequate legal framework and a proper information technology infrastructure, the Uruguayan National Innovation System has become a role model for the Southern Cone.
The Technological Laboratory of Uruguay (LATU) is a national and international benchmark in innovation, technological transference and value solutions in analytical, conformity assessment, metrological and technological services. It promotes a scientific and entrepreneurial culture, as well as the development of technological platforms. Through its Technology Park, it has formed an ecosystem of companies and organizations linked to technology, entrepreneurship and knowledge. It has created an ideal setting for the close exchange of relevant actors in the entrepreneurial field at a national and international level and for the dissemination of knowledge.
Globant is a digitally native company that helps organizations reinvent themselves to create a way forward and unleash their potential. It is the place where innovation, design and engineering meet scale. Globant has more than 20,000 employees and is present in 18 countries, working for companies like Google, Rockwell Automation, Electronic Arts, and Santander, among others. Globant is named a Worldwide Leader in CX Improvement Services by IDC MarketScape report and was also featured as a business case study at Harvard, MIT, and Stanford. Globant is a member of The Green Software Foundation (GSF) and the Cybersecurity Tech Accord.
About Mercado Libre
MercadoLibre hosts the largest online commerce and payments ecosystem in Latin America. Our efforts are centered on enabling e-commerce and digital and mobile payments on behalf of our customers by delivering a suite of technology solutions across the complete value chain of commerce. We are present in 18 countries including: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela and Peru. Based on unique visitors and page views we are market leaders in each of the major countries where we are present. Our main focus is to deliver compelling technological and commercial solutions that address the distinctive cultural and geographic challenges of operating an online commerce and payments platform in Latin America.