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Revista Científica de la UCSA

On-line version ISSN 2409-8752

Rev. ciente. UCSA vol.5 no.2 Asunción Aug. 2018 


Training and Technical Assistance addressed to MSMEs. "Learned lessons"

José Villalba1 

1Universidad del Cono Sur de las Américas (UCSA). Paraguay

The Centro Tecnológico of UCSA, CT-UCSA, was created with the purpose of being an interface between the scientific environment of which UCSA is part and the productive environment in which the companies and organizations that provide our students and receive our graduates and educational services are located. To this end, on the one hand, the CT-UCSA, informs, motivates and stimulates the teaching staff to get involved in actions of research, training and knowledge transfer related to the needs of companies and organizations; and, on the other hand, gets from the environment the needs and problems that slow down the competitiveness of companies, in order to get research and innovation projects, themes of academic work and end-of-degree projetcs.

In order to strengthen its capacity to link with the environment, the CT-UCSA implemented in the years 2,017 and 2018 a Project to Strengthen the PARAGUAYAN MSME (micro, small and medium enterprise), funded by CEDIAL, a Center for Business Cooperation and Industrial Development, within the framework of the Program AL-Invest 5.0 of the European Union to promote the improvement of the productivity of micro, small and medium enterprises and strengthen the development of their productive and business capacities.

One of the main lessons learned is that the project allowed CT-UCSA to expand its training programs in the areas of industrial automation, industrial processes and electrotechnics, and incorporate technical assistance into its service portfolio. During the 19 months (February 2017-August 2018), 199 people from 152 MSMEs were trained in networking, structured cabling, Linux, industrial maintenance, PLC among other topics and a group of these companies also received technical assistance. From becoming a center of excellence in the teaching of Information and Communication Technologies, ICT, the CT-UCSA incorporated topics in new areas related to the engineering careers it is developing.

Another lesson learned is that the "linking of the university with the environment" is facilitated by external financing programs. In fact, if it had not been for the aid granted by AL-Invest 5.0 to the participating MYPIMES, it would have been very difficult for the CT-UCSA to venture into the other areas outside of the ICT. This means that the linking actions require external help since a private university is not in a position to finance them, and neither the MYPIMEs, either; For this reason, the government must assume a more active role in the generation of support programs for both universities and companies (micro, small and medium).

The need to go out to the market to offer services was also confirmed, since MSMEs and, in general, companies, do not take into account universities for the solution of their problems or for the proposal of new forms of production and management. While they recognize the need to improve productivity or improve their processes through automation, however, they do not go to universities, mainly due to ignorance.

The numbers of participants (people or companies) were achieved thanks to the joint work with business guilds that facilitated the link. In this way, the guilds become a fundamental ally to articulate the linkage program of the university with its environment. The guild is not only a supplier of information regarding their member companies, but it is fundamental in motivating its members towards the program.

Finally, the training showed to be a very important element in the involvement of the company as a first step to move towards closer cooperation between the university and the company, such as technical assistance, applied research, among other services.

This CEDIAL project had an important contribution in clarifying the role of the CT-UCSA to expand its range of services and jump up from the stage of training to a truly interface entity stage.


1. AL-Invest 5.0. (2015). Un crecimiento integrador para la cohesión social en América Latina, Disponible en: ]

2. OPS/OMS: Lecciones Aprendidas (Learned Lessons, LL) (2015). Disponible en: ]

3. Villalba Giménez, J (2014). Educación Continua como forma de Relacionamiento Universidad-Empresa en la Universidad del Cono Sur de las Américas. Disponible en ]

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