2012 - 2013
INTERNATIONAL, INTERDISCIPLINARY, INNOVATIVE
The University’s Philosophy, vision and Mission as well as its governance and academic structure were designed between late 2012 and 2013 by a group of internationally recognized academics working closely with representatives of Ecuador’s Ministry for Science and Technology (SENESCYT). These members of the design team later became Founding Academic Members of Yachay Tech’s Board of Trustees.
“What makes a university great is its ability to attract the best people . Creating a diverse university community with the most imaginative leadership, the most innovative researchers and dedicated teachers, the most efficient and hard-working staff and attended by the cream of the crop of undergraduate and graduate students from all parts of Ecuadorian society, Latin America and the World, is what will eventually determine the success and sustainability of Yachay Tech beyond the 20 year horizon. To achieve true excellence and long-term sustainability, young universities need consistent nurturing and resources. Such resources are not a purpose by themselves. They are only the practical means of attracting and retaining the best human talent available both from within Ecuador and throughout the world and helping them succeed. It is these people who will make the difference. As long as the best people keep coming to Yachay Tech, their multi-faceted influence on the Ecuadorian society and economy, and their effect on unleashing the great potential for growth in science and technology of Latin America as a whole, will automatically become a reality. Achieving this is the mission and goal of Yachay Tech in a nutshell”.
-Ares Rosakis, Ph.D. Honorary Board Member and Founding Member 2013-2016
2012 - 2013
Why and How
Across the globe, many nations, large and small, are investing increasing amounts of money in science and technology. On the list which represents the top 30 nations in research intensity (per capita investment in research and development) are the expected leaders such as Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Singapore, the United States, Britain and China, but so too are Jamaica, Fiji, Tanzania, Nepal, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. What these smaller economies have realized is that without such investment, less-developed nations will fall even further behind the global powerhouses.
It was a similar realization that was behind the investment in Yachay Tech, the first public, research-intensive university in Ecuador. The mission of Yachay Tech is to become a leading global university within the next twenty years, a university that undertakes ground-breaking research, develops and commercializes new technologies, works alongside industrial and government partners to create a more secure and sustainable future, creates meaningful and long lasting and international partnerships and provides world-class education at the undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels to students who will be tomorrow’s leaders, job-creators, technology developers, engineers, and scientists.
Achieving this lofty mission requires a well-developed vision, strong and leadership, imagination and hard work. Progress is neither easy nor free and Yachay Tech will need continued investment in infrastructure, instrumentation, and personnel as it develops its own strategies for raising external funds from international funding agencies and private donors. It will also need to maintain its current ability to attract human talent from across the world. However, what Yachay Tech will need most of all is to maintain its founding commitment to excellence and the relentless pursuit of knowledge .
2012 - 2013
Strategic mission, vision and values
The mission of Yachay Tech is to provide a seamless international environment in which research, learning, creativity, technology development, and professional activity are valued and rewarded, thus making Ecuador a recognized epicenter of interdisciplinary scientific and engineering research activity in Latin America and beyond.
- To become a leading global research university and the best science and engineering university in Latin America.
- To create world-class human talent through innovative and interdisciplinary teaching and research.
- To produce world citizens who will contribute to Ecuador’s and Latin America’s technology, economy, entrepreneurship, culture and future.
- To provide public services to enrich Ecuador’s diverse ethnic communities and society as a whole.
- To Maintain uncompromising integrity in all academic pursuits, including, research, teaching, and human interactions
- To constantly strive for intellectual development, excellence, and professionalism in all activities.
- To promote interdisciplinary science and discovery.
- To promote research in basic science coupled with innovation and entrepreneurship
- To promote the culture of teaching through research
- To respect cultural diversity, religious beliefs, differences in ethnicity, economic status, gender, and sexual preference.
Delivery of the University Project to the Assembly
Yachay Tech took the best research universities in the world as reference and established that its main objective would be to develop human capital and create a new generation of talented technological leaders, who will contribute in the establishment of a society with a knowledge-based economy.
Yachay Public Enterprise–the government institution created to plan and manage the city of knowledge– submitted to the National Assembly on Tuesday, August 13, the file for the creation of Yachay Tech University. Yachay Tech was meant to serve as the intellectual engine of Yachay City of Knowledge.
Approval of the creation of the University by the National Assembly
On November 12, 2013, during the 261st session of the General National Assembly, the creation of Yachay Tech University was approved unanimously, with 112 votes in favor.
The executive branch immediately formalized the recruitment of the members of the Board of Trustees.
Inauguration of Yachay Tech
On March 31st, 2014, President Rafael Correa signed the executive order to create the Board of Trustees of the University, comprised of four academic members and a legal secretary.
The University was officially inaugurated on that date.
The first freshman class arrives for the preparatory course
On April 1st, 2014, 187 students from all around Ecuador were admitted to the first academic period. These students were some of the best of the country.
Yachay Tech became the first university in the country to have a 100% Ph.D. holding faculty.
Creation of the first undergraduate programs
The Schools of Yachay Tech presented to the Council of Higher Education nine undergraduate degree programs for approval: Chemistry, Petrochemistry Engineering, Polymer Engineering, Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Physics, Nanotechnology Engineering, Mathematics and Information Technology Engineering and Communications. The programs were reviewed and immediately approved.
Approval of the bylaws
On Approval of the University Bylaws draft by the Higher Education Council (CES) through Resolution No. 318-2014.
The second academic period at Yachay Tech started with the Convocation of October 28th, 2014, featuring 172 freshmen, 243 new preparatory course students.
Professor Subra Suresh, current President of Carnegie Mellon University, was the Convocation speaker.
Inauguration of the first laboratories
Inauguration of four teaching laboratories for physics, chemistry, biology and math. These laboratories are equipped with some of the best equipment available, and comply with all security standards.
Inauguration of the Andean Network for Sustainable Development - Andes
Yachay Tech takes over the leadership of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Andes of the United Nations.
Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN) inaugurates the Andean chapter of the Network and highlights the great challenges of sustainability in Latin America, and advocates for strong investment in technological innovation.
Facts and Figures 2015
First innovation day: 32 innovation projects presented.
Signed agreements with ESPOL, Petroamazonas EP, Schlumberger, Halliburton and Enami EP for the creation of research projects.
Between March 2014 and December 2015, Yachay Tech published 38 indexed publications.
Faculty and deans participated in more than 30 international congresses during 2015.
The third academic period at Yachay Tech started with the Convocation of October 28th, 2015, featuring 243 freshmen and 251 new preparatory course students.
Professor Robert Grubbs, Nobel Prize recipient, was the Convocation speaker.
“Yachay Tech is Ecuador’s international investment for the future of Science, Engineering, and Technology transfer, so it is important to remember that these principles must be modified in order to adapt to the Ecuadorian situation”
Professor Robert Grubbs, 2015
Yachay Tech became the first academic partner of the first MIT event in the country: EmTech Ecuador.
Yachay Tech ranked number two in Ecuador by NATURE magazine
In 2016, two years after Yachay Tech began its operations, it achieved its first great milestone:
The University ranked second in Nature’s list of the best research institutions in Ecuador.
New Research Initiatives
The School of Geological Sciences and Engineering signed agreements with the Charles Darwin Foundation, the Military Geophysical Institute, and INAMIH to create multiple research projects.
Also, the Andean Network of Sustainable Development, within Yachay Tech, develops a conservation program in the Chocó area of Ecuador and Colombia.
Published Scientific Articles
Yachay Tech members published 111 scientific papers, including publications in Science and Nature.
The sixth academic period at Yachay Tech started with the Convocation of September 2nd, 2016, featuring 100 freshmen and 104 new preparatory course students. Totally, the Yachay Tech community is composed of 849 undergraduate students from all over Ecuador and Latin America, 109 faculty members from 22 countries around the world and 11 world-renowned academic administration leaders.
Ernerto Kruger, a Ecuadorian innovator and entrepeneur, was the Convocation Speaker.
Yachay Tech is featured internationally
Nature and Science published four articles featuring the research work of faculty members of the School of Geological Sciences and Engineering.
Gustavo Bejar, an undergraduate student of the School of Geological Sciences and Engineering, participated in a National Geographic expedition to the Peruvian Amazon. The project continues and is currently funded by the National Science Foundation.
Two student groups from Yachay Tech, qualify to represent Ecuador at the Hult Prize International entrepreneurship competition in London and San Francisco.
The first three University Based Research Centers are created
The first three interdiscplinary University Based Research Centers are approved:
- Center for Energy and Mineral Resources Research and Innovation
- The Earth Observation Center
- Center for Natural Hazards Research and Innovation
These centers are interdisciplinary organizations within the University which provide ways for faculty and students from various fields and academic units to come together and coordinate in solving a specific set of problems concerned with society’s needs, threats or challenges.
Funding from the European Union
Yachay Tech receives funding from the European Union through the EULAC-FOCUS project to identify and map potential scientific, cultural, and social networks in Europe and Latin America.
Geology approved as an under-graduate program
Yachay Tech presented Geology as an undergraduate program to the Council of Higher Education; the program was approved immediately.
The first graduate programs in Geological Sciences and Engineering are currently being designed.
Carlos Castillo-Chavez named as new Rector
The Comisión Gestora selects Professor Carlos Castillo-Chavez, as Yachay Tech’s new Rector on December 2016.
Professor Castillo-Chavez is a Distinguished Mexican-American Mathematician, Scientist, Social Scientist and Social Activist who has had a luminous career in the USA where he has held multiple distinguished Professorships and Center Directorships.
The Board of Trustees and René Ramírez, Secretary of Higher Education, Science and Technology, presented Carlos Castillo-Chávez to President Rafael Correa Delgado on Thrusday, December 8, 2016.