More than just a place where multinationals from the medical sector expand their global reach – Coyol Free Zone is where Costa Ricans take their skills to the next level
Coyol Free Zone in Costa Rica is a technology park that utilises knowledge as capital, specialising in high technology manufacturing and research for the life sciences sector. Yet, to appreciate the basis on which Coyol Free Zone’s operates, it helps to understand what a technology park is. The concept dates back to the 1950s, and the Stanford Research Park in the USA. Built by Stanford University, the park housed a cluster of companies, research centres and service providers, creating a fusion of knowledge and technology and developing a whole range of cutting-edge solutions to the world’s problems. At Stanford, different organisations from a range of disciplines pioneered a network of knowledge that the rest of industry and academia would soon seek to emulate.
Coyol Free Zone helps attract the world’s leading companies to Costa Rica. This in turn promotes economic growth in the country and provides access to high quality jobs, training and professional development. The free zone currently hosts 31 companies from across the life sciences spectrum, with over 16,500 people working towards the same goal: improving the health of people around the world.
These companies and organisations all have different strategies and reasons for establishing operations in Costa Rica, and Coyol Free Zone provides them with comprehensive support to get their operation up and running in the country. This ranges from guidance on infrastructure and construction, to assisting with the recruitment process by acquainting companies with the vast local talent pool.
Coyol Free Zone has an extensive programme of virtual and on-site training and learning (Academia Coyol) developing the tools and knowledge necessary to work in the life sciences sector and providing fantastic opportunities to Costa Ricans.
The freedom to learn
To achieve this, Coyol Free Zone has established strategic alliances to ensure that participants have access to the very best skills and training. For example, Costa Rica’s Institute of Technology (TEC) offers a range of Master’s degree programmes and technical courses. The learning takes place at Coyol Training and Services Center, and provides Technical and Masters degrees in areas such as logistics, business management, and medical devices, among others.
Over the years, these alliances have prospered in response to the demand for engineering and manufacturing professionals within the free zone. As a result, an increasingly qualified personnel has become available, with skills tailored to the best business practices, requirements and market trends of the life sciences sector. To date, hundreds of individuals have received the necessary technical training and academic qualifications to work in Coyol Free Zone.
Coyol Free Zone has also trained manufacturing operators with the support of the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje (INA), a Costa Rican institution that focuses on technical education geared towards operator training and specialised technical studies. All of these alliances prepared the way for Coyol Free Zone’s recent programme – Academia Coyol.
This virtual platform provides students with the tools and opportunity to study online and choose from a diverse range of medical industry courses. Launched in March 2021, the first course consists of 10 modules and 22 videos, and trains manufacturing operators to work in the life sciences industry. So far, over 4,600 people have enrolled on this free training course.
“At Coyol Free Zone we seek to positively impact the lives of Costa Ricans by offering high quality jobs in an environment that not only promotes excellence but generates new opportunities through education and training for all,” says Carlos Wong, Managing Director of Coyol Free Zone.
Coyol Free Zone is currently working with the TEC and other universities to create bespoke training courses and educational programmes that meet the latest requirements of the life sciences sector. Every year Coyol Free Zone hires between 1,500 and 2,000 local people, who benefit from the skills and training provided by these cutting-edge institutions.
Coyol Free Zone’s contribution to the Costa Rican economy has been recognised globally. It was recently voted “Best Free Zone in Latin America” and has received many other notable awards. The recognition reflects the free zone’s multi-tiered approach to providing local talent with world-class opportunities and providing a state-of-the-art base for the international life sciences industry.