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2,000 people trained to work in the Life Sciences Industry – Coyol Free Zone – Costa Rica

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  • Courses were taught in the first half of 2023

 August. Four different initiatives developed by Coyol Free Zone enabled approximately 2,000 people to strengthen their skills and abilities to opt for quality employment in the Life Sciences industry or to specialize in their current jobs.

This Park offers an educational effort with social projection called “Coyol Te Prepara” que (Coyol Prepares You), which includes various programs to support people by providing training and employability. One of them is the Manufacturing Operator Course, offered virtually and free of charge to learn about the particular features of the Life Sciences industry, of which 1630 people have taken advantage in the first 6 months of 2023.

Historically, since its launch in 2021, the course has benefited more than 7000 people of all ages and educational levels.

A second program included in “Coyol Te Prepara” is the educational tours. It is coordinated with the educational center and companies in the Free Trade Zone to receive students from high schools and universities with careers related to the medical device industry. The objective is to hold talks and visits to companies to address topics such as the importance of soft skills, English proficiency, technical courses to strengthen their careers, and to build aspirations both in terms of studies and as an excellent place to work.

The students who have been received in this first semester of the year are from towns such as San Ramón de Alajuela, San Carlos, Sabanilla de Alajuela and Desamparados. The Coyol Free Zone companies that have opened their doors to them are: Hologic, SMC Ltda, Segex and Coopervision.

“Our outreach to nearby communities, companies and educational centers is essential for the country, not only as a contribution to our search for talent, but also as a way to promote and awaken their interest in careers related to science, mathematics and engineering, which will have a high placement rate of professionals in the short and medium term”, said Carlos Wong, Managing Director of Coyol Free Zone.

In addition, the Park provided training through the National Learning Institute (Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje, INA) for 181 employees in areas such as quality inspector, information and communication technology operator, English, occupational health, and production supervisor, among others, thanks to an agreement between the entity and the Coyol Free Zone development group.

Within the framework of the current agreement between INA and Coyol Free Zone, a technical assistance program was developed to strengthen the manual and motor skills of potential candidates for the position of manufacturing operator and to become active employees within the companies.

They are joined by a group of 145 people who work in the Free Trade Zone, and joined BachiCoyol, an initiative together with the Castro Carazo University to support Park employees to start or complete the third cycle of high school education and obtain their High School Diploma (Bachillerato por Madurez) through virtual classes.

Coyol Free Zone is also the first free zone to open its doors to Dual Education in alliance with the Ministry of Public Education (MEP). Thanks to the participation of the companies SMC Ltda., CooperVision and Abbott, the students of the Industrial Electronics technical career of the Technical Professional School (CTP) of Atenas are studying their second year alternating between school and companies, a modality that allows them to have the skills and knowledge of companies engaged in advanced manufacturing and production of medical devices.

About Coyol Free Zone

Coyol Free Zone is the leading medical device export park in Costa Rica, exporting over US$2 billion per year, which is equivalent to 30% of the exports of the manufacturing segment of the country’s Free Zone Regime.
For the past four years, it has been part of the Top 10 Free Trade Zones in the World, and was named the Best Free Trade Zone in the Americas, in the Top 10 worldwide and Honorable Mention for Environmental Practices, Infrastructure and Logistics, by fDi Intelligence in 2022.
It is also the Best Free Trade Zone in Latin America and the Caribbean for the fourth consecutive year, the Most Innovative Free Trade Zone of the Year, and the Best Business Center for Life Sciences and Advanced Manufacturing, according to The European magazine.



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Is Costa Rica a promising location for the semiconductor industry? – Coyol Free Zone – Costa Rica

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Coyol Free Zone offers multiple perks and particular conditions that would benefit any semiconductor manufacturing company coming to Costa Rica

For many decades, Costa Rica has stood out as an ideal environment for a lot of advanced manufacturing companies, evolving towards an industry that innovates with Artificial Intelligence, process automation, and cost-efficiency.

With the semiconductor industry facing the challenge of diversifying its supply chain following a major setback caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian war, there is fertile ground to attract companies from this sector.

U.S. firms are seeking to expand their operations in Latin America, aiming to create a more sustainable production chain that could benefit the market stability, supported by the International Technology Security and Innovation Fund.

Costa Rica can also benefit from U.S. global leadership in semiconductor sales, which account for 48% of the market share.

Read: Partnership with Costa Rica to Explore Semiconductor Supply Chain Opportunities

Although this Central American country is an emerging market for semiconductor companies, Intel has paved the way for others, most recently opening an Assembly & Processor Testing center after more than 25 years of operation in Costa Rica.

Another significant aspect to consider is the CHIPS Act, potentially serving as a transformative force for the local industry by implementing regulations that stimulate both the demand for and the development of these devices.

Costa Rica holds the pole position in Latin America to attract new investments, but what makes this country exceptionally suitable for the semiconductor industry?

The ideal conditions for the Semiconductor Industry

Experts Devrin Call, Senior Director of Site Selections at Intel Corporation, and Daniel Picado, Divisional Vice President of Operations at Bourns Inc., listed the factors that make Costa Rica a potential candidate for the expansion of semiconductor companies in Latin America during the presentation of the “Enhancing the Costa Rican Semiconductor Ecosystem” online seminar, hosted by CINDE:

  • Strategic location: Semiconductors are expensive to produce outside the U.S. While the Asian region accounts for over 90% of global semiconductor foundry revenue, thanks to adequate infrastructure and sustainable production prices, the logistics and cost of transportation often represent a hefty downside of having the production chain located so far from the country of origin. Costa Rica’s proximity to semiconductor manufacturers installed in the U.S. translates to lower operational costs and savings in transportation and warehousing.
  • Leading the region: Due to Intel’s longstanding presence, Costa Rica boasts an ample talent pool of qualified professionals with experience in the semiconductor assembly processes.
  • Environmentally Sustainable development: Costa Rica is a regional leader in sustainable production: it generates more than 99% of its energy through renewable sources.
  • Neutrality and political stability: Since the abolition of the army in 1948, the country has become a global benchmark of democracy and a symbol of peace advocacy. In other words, Costa Rica’s political environment provides security to investors.

What does the Semiconductor Industry expansion imply for Coyol Free Zone?

We are eager for the business opportunities that the semiconductor industry enables.

Coyol Free Zone, as a manufacturing industrial park, offers multiple perks and particular conditions that would benefit any semiconductor manufacturing company coming to Costa Rica, such as experience developing infrastructure adapted to U.S. regulations, a highly skilled talent pool, and a strategic location for exporting.

Companies can also enjoy the multiple benefits of the Costa Rican Free Trade Zone regime.

Read: COSTA RICA: Privileged Location Connected to the World

Greater involvement in the semiconductor industry will also open opportunities for new investments that could lead to another valuable export cluster, thus boosting the country’s economy, reputation, and job creation.



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Women in STEM careers make their way into a world of opportunity at Coyol Free Zone – Coyol Free Zone – Costa Rica

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February 2024. In a world where scientific and technological advances are increasingly impacting people’s lives, women are playing an important role in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related careers in medical device and technology companies located in the Coyol Free Zone in Costa Rica.

This is the case of Silvia Arias, who currently works as Project Manager at Philips, a world leader in health technologies and development of medical devices, such as masks to treat sleep apnea, guide wires and catheters for cardiovascular procedures, and oxygenation and ventilation sensors for hospital monitoring.

In her position, she is part of a team of 10 employees in Costa Rica and the United States who work on improving current products, as well as developing new technologies and innovation to make them increasingly more efficient and with better quality for their customers around the world.

Arias assures that in Free Trade Zone companies there are many opportunities for growth. “In my 12-year professional career, I have had the opportunity to grow in different roles. I started as a quality technician and then I developed in areas such as quality and logistics, among others. Now I am the only Costa Rican in the Project Management group in the Research and Development area, which has a great financial impact for the company”, explained Arias.

Her passion for engineering began when she was a child, when her father took her to vehicle activities and she was passionate about how they made car modifications.

“I am an industrial engineer because I wanted to study something I liked and because I have always had the support of my family.”

Today, Silvia combines her professional career with her role as a mother and wife. In addition, she assures that although STEM careers are characterized to be traditionally filled by men, women can contribute in equal measure to the development of technology and science.

Arias is part of the 54% of the female human talent working in the 33 national and international companies in the industry that rely on Coyol Free Zone as their operations headquarters in Costa Rica.

Seven of these high-tech medical companies are among the top 30 Life Sciences companies in the world. This park provides 22,000 direct jobs and more than 3,000 indirect jobs.

Like Silvia, an increasing number of women are becoming interested in STEM fields. According to data from the State of the Nation (2023), the first entry enrollment record of STEM majors in public universities (Universidad de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional, Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica and Universidad Técnica Nacional (UTN) went from 18 to 14 males for every 10 females in the last decade.

The report states that in 2021, 4,521 men and 3,294 women were enrolled. It also notes that between 2000 and 2020, the total number of new women professionals in Science and Technology (S&T) increased from 1,000 to about 5,000 women per year, so their share increased from 39.8% to 50.5% of the total number of higher education graduates.

About Coyol Free Zone

 Coyol Free Zone is the leading medical device export park in Costa Rica, with exports of over US$2 billion per year, which is equivalent to 30% of the exports of the manufacturing segment of the country’s Free Zone Regime.
Coyol Free Zone was designated as the Best Free Zone in the Americas, and as Industrial Champions of the Americas by fDI Intelligence in 2023.
It is also the Best Free Zone in Latin America and the Caribbean for the fourth consecutive year, the Most Innovative Free Zone of the Year, and the Best Business Center for Life Sciences and Advanced Manufacturing, according to The European magazine.



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Coyol Free Zone: creating value through innovation and focus on the quality of life – Coyol Free Zone – Costa Rica

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At Coyol Free Zone, we offer a comprehensive suite of complementary services that allow companies to focus on what they do best, while easing access to everything they need to operate.

This has allowed our Park to become an industrial hub, highly specialized in the Life Sciences. Our service offering for the Life Sciences cluster is one of the reasons why publications such as fDi Intelligence and The European have recognized us as one of the leading Free Zones in the World and the best in our region.

What complementary benefits does Coyol Free Zone offer?

On-Site Sterilization: the presence of on-site sterilization services and logistics services allows us to provide the companies of our Industrial Park with the opportunity to export medical devices directly from Costa Rica to various destinations worldwide. This is translated into significant savings in production, time, transportation, and warehousing.

Sustainability and environmental responsibility: 9 companies in our park operate in LEED-certified buildings, and we promote the use of renewable energy sources among our clients. Many of the firms established in our Industrial Park have been awarded the National Ecological Blue Flag, such as:

  • Nevro
  • Hologic
  • Microvention-Terumo

Innovative transportation system: employees working in Coyol Free Zone benefit from an innovative system that provides a safe and reliable way to make it to their workplaces. Commuting to Coyol Free Zone is easy, fast, and accessible, thanks to RIDE Coyol, a service aimed at providing a modern transportation network with digital payment and routes connecting major population centers and the Park’s companies.

Focus on human talent: through specialized recruitment processes, e-learning platforms, and tailor-made training according to the demands of multinational companies, we boost the offer of high-quality human talent available for the Life Sciences industry.

Multiple nationwide alliances: we have alliances with more than a dozen local governments and multiple superior education institutions, thus promoting collaborative work to improve the living conditions of our surrounding communities.

Training and education opportunities: people can find in our Industrial Park multiple courses and training related to smart manufacturing, high-tech processes, and logistics for the Life Sciences industry. Furthermore, they have access to affordable English lessons through our alliances, and thanks to our program BachiCoyol, anyone can aspire to finish their High School Education if needed.

Convenience services: Centro Coyol is a convenience service center that provides food, medical, and laboratory services for all the companies installed in the Park and visitors. This area includes well-fitted rooms for meetings, workshops, and training.

Property maintenance: every installed company is provided with maintenance of infrastructure and common areas, as well as access to our wastewater treatment plant and maintenance of sewer, potable water, and stormwater pipes, alongside 24/7 security services all year long.

Read more: Centro Coyol is an innovation and services center located at the main entrance of Coyol Free Zone. It is a convenience center that has restaurant services, medical services, pharmacy, medical laboratory, dental services, physical therapy, psychology, nutrition and parcel services.

Satisfied employees are efficient employees

Studies conducted in recent years have found conclusive links between an employee’s level of satisfaction with their job and their productivity. Those who are happier in their workplace prove to be more efficient in the same number of hours than their peers who aren’t satisfied with their current position.

In Coyol Free Zone, we believe in the importance of investing in the human talent of the companies located in our Industrial Park: through our multiple training and education programs, we incentivize the formation of specialized and capable employees.

Creating an ideal environment for them nourishes their professional aspirations to have a career in our industry. Such synergy boosts the quality and capacity of the country’s Life Sciences cluster, while our companies enjoy satisfied employees, who are happy with the roles they fulfill.



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