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Coyol Free Zone’s Guidelines to Buildings for Life Sciences – Coyol Free Zone – Costa Rica

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Being a Life Science hub for the Americas is not an easy task, and even less when companies from this industry must follow a strict series of rules and building codes to make their products fit for exportation. They are required to comply with world-class standards in their facilities, as well as regulations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) if they are U.S. firms.

Several companies in the Life Sciences industry produce devices that go inside the human body, reason for which the presence of clean rooms is mandatory. In these rooms, there must be control of the quantity of particles, temperature, air filters, and humidity, to ensure that everything is sterile.

“These are products that go inside the human body. Thus, we must be extremely careful in the process of building clean rooms. This type of construction must follow protocols that can’t be ignored,”, explained Carlos Wong, Managing Director of Coyol Free Zone.

There is also a workflow inside these buildings that cannot be interrupted.

  • “How are the raw materials coming in?
  • How do manufacturing employees reach the clean room?
  • How do we get the final products out? These are all questions we need to answer in order to ensure a harmonious transit inside the building and, furthermore, efficiency in the process,” Wong added.

What is needed to develop a Life Sciences project?

It is paramount for companies in the Life Sciences industry that the developers have experience in building this kind of facility, because there is no room for mistakes. The Coyol Free Zone engineering team has more than 20 years of experience constructing buildings for Life Sciences and smart manufacturing industries, and a Quality Management System that guarantees excellence in the development process.

+3,000,000 ft² +374,000 ft²
of Industrial Buildings built of Clean Rooms built

 

Coyol Free Zone makes the ideal choice for any Life Sciences investment, with 31 global companies operating there, where on-site suppliers and contractors coexist in a business ecosystem specially designed for production and exports. In addition, the Park enjoys a privileged location in Costa Rica, a popular nearshore destination for North American companies, and convenient for European companies’ offshoring operations.

Our path in the Life Sciences industry is recognized by prestigious international organizations. The European magazine, of Thomson Reuters, recently awarded us in 2020-2021 and 2022 as the best “Business Hub for Life Science and Advanced Manufacturing in Latin America”.

Our clients rely on the most experienced team of engineers in Costa Rica for developing industrial buildings and our Open-Book concept for Tenant Improvements. We strategically run all the pre-construction, execution, budget control, and delivery processes for every project.



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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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Freudenberg Medical invests US$25 million to build its second operating center in Coyol Free Zone – Coyol Free Zone – Costa Rica

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  • Investment will create 600 new quality jobs within the first 3 years of operation.

February 2024. Freudenberg Medical, a global contract design and manufacturing (CMO) company for the biopharmaceutical and medical device industry, expands its operations in Coyol Free Zone, in Alajuela, Costa Rica.

The company, which has industrial centers in the Americas, Europe and Asia, will invest US$25 million in the construction of its second operating center, covering an initial area of 5,000 square meters, with a future expansion of 5,000 square meters more. With this significant investment, the new operation is expected to be up and running by 2025, and will create jobs for 600 people over the next three years.

Carlos Wong, Managing Director of Coyol Free Zone was pleased that a company like Freudenberg Medical is expanding its operations and creating new sources of quality employment in Costa Rica’s leading medical device export park, with over US$2 billion a year.

“This expansion demonstrates that the country has managed to consolidate itself as an ideal destination for companies in the Life Sciences sector. Costa Rica has the qualified and committed talent for companies like Freudenberg Medical to continue growing,” said Wong.

Freudenberg Medical currently operates in a 3,000-square-meter building in the Coyol Free Zone, which will become the specialized site for primary processing technologies, including thermoplastic molding and extrusion.

The new facilities will be focused on the assembly of large-volume minimally invasive catheters for electrophysiology, vascular and structural cardiac therapies, and other medical devices requiring high-precision manual assembly, as well as three ISO 7 clean rooms.

About Coyol Free Zone (CFZ)

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 named the Best Free Zone in the Americas, and Industrial Champions of the Americas by fDI Intelligence in 2023.

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.

About Freudenberg Medical

Freudenberg Medical is a contract manufacturing organization (CMO) for the global biopharmaceutical and medical device industry. They have 11 manufacturing operations and more than 2,500 associates around the world.

It has been operating in Costa Rica since 2012, where it houses Freudenberg Medical’s Latin American operation. The manufacturing capabilities of the company in the country include finished device assembly, subassemblies, silicone molding, packaging and technology transfers.

Each Freudenberg Medical operating center has quality systems that operate under ISO 13485 certification and are registered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).



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