LALICS Statement



On Innovation and Development Challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean: Challenges and Opportunities


1. We the academics and researchers meeting in the frame of the Latin American Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation and Competence Building Systems (LALICS), the Programa Iberoamericano de Ciencia y Tecnología para el Desarrollo (CYTED for its name in Spanish) and the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC); we consider that it is imperative to boost a new generation of scientific, technological and innovation (STI) policies in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

2. The challenges faced by the countries of the region – especially regarding social inclusion, citizenship, gender equality, climate change and productive development – require policy approaches that allow for the advancement of their national innovation systems.

3. Innovation generates much more than new products, processes, services or organizational practices. It implies the development of a culture that incorporates creativity, exploration, learning, and searching for intelligent and adequate solutions to the region’s sustainable and inclusive development challenges.

4. Innovation systems are composed of different types of actors and their interactions. The STI communities belong to public and private sectors, civil society, and the research and education centers. They are organized and interact aiming at producing, assimilating, using, storing and distributing different types of knowledge. Exchanges among these communities are carried out through the market and other various institutions.

5. The new generation of STI policies is oriented by a systemic and contextualized perspective, based on the specificity and idiosyncrasy of the countries of the region and keeping its global, regional and sub-national challenges in mind.

6. The diversity and variability of the LAC innovation systems are indeed their main strengths; broader recognizing and understanding these features contributes to perfecting and consolidating pertaining STI policies for the countries and the whole region.

7. This new generation of policies is based on an inclusive and sustainable development approach and it is oriented to achieving regional integration and development, as well as the strengthening of democratic institutions of our countries. The STI policies, formulated from an integral perspective, take into consideration the participation of the different communities that constitute the innovation systems.

Let us consider the following:

First. Innovation as an instrument for inclusive and sustainable development

8. The new STI policies in LAC have to generate new opportunities for productive, social and environmentally sustainable inclusion.

9. In order to contribute to the development process, our STI policies should be designed in an articulated manner with other policy spheres and ensure coordination between public agencies and other stakeholders.

10. The achievement of greater social inclusion requires innovative solutions to stimulate the sustainable use of resources and promote the use of knowledge throughout society, with special attention to groups with lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

11. Innovation needs to prioritize, at both national and local levels, knowledge production agendas that might contribute to social inclusion and productive development. STI policies should promote such agendas and encourage the provision of solutions based on national STI capabilities.

Second. Innovation and institutional systems

12. STI policies and instruments vary among different countries, or from one sub-region to another, according to their different levels of maturity and consolidation. Among others, the instruments include financing mechanisms and incentives, public-private-community partnerships, and intellectual property laws. It is fundamental that STI policies provide the mechanisms and incentives that articulate and strengthen institutional capabilities around these instruments.

13. Strengthening the demand for knowledge from the productive sector is key. It is important to design new instruments aimed at eliminating our structural barriers to innovation. In particular, this can be achieved through public purchasing policies as well as instruments that stimulate learning, reverse engineering, assimilation and adaptation to gradually build up technological capabilities; especially for SMEs, which represent the vast majority of the productive fabric in the region.

14. Despite their different levels of maturity, LAC innovation systems share some common features such as coordination failures, discontinuities in implementation and financing, and asymmetries in the agency capacity of the stakeholders. STI policies should underpin these conditions aiming to surpass them.

Third. On the formulation of STI policies in Latin America and the Caribbean

15. The new generation of STI policies must be part of an integral dynamic for development promotion, and interact positively and complementary with other policies such as those aimed at social and sustainable development, educational, health, environmental, sustainable economic development, agricultural, industrial, tourism, financial, as well as macroeconomic policies.

16. More broadly, STI policies should incorporate the tools of dialogue among different communities and expand democratization in their formulation, implementation and assessment. The instruments need to be identified in such a way as to generate a balance between national development goals and local expectations.

Fourth. On articulation with the sustainable development goals 

17. The LAC countries are committed to promoting, as part of their national planning and development frameworks, the achievement of the seventeen (17) development goals agreed by the United Nations as part of the 2030 sustainable development agenda.

18. Goal 1 on the end of poverty, 2 on zero hunger in the world and 3 on health and well-being are still crucial challenges in the region; they will clearly demand creative and innovative solutions in each of the countries and in the region as a whole.

19. The achievement of goal 4 on quality education, 5 on gender equality and 6 on clean water and sanitation will involve, regarding STI’s, social innovations, and technological and institutional changes with medium and long-term impacts.

20. STI is essential for the achievement of goal 7 on energy goals, 8 on work and economic growth and 9 on industry and innovation. Achieving these goals over medium and long term represents opportunities to implement instruments that build community support and generate innovative and appropriate high impact solutions.

21. Promoting welfare, productivity, social inclusion and sustainability in our countries require STI policy to have an integral and systemic approach that contributes to the achievement of the 17 sustainable development goals.

Finally, we congratulate holding this special meeting for LALICS, hosted by the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC), and we hope that this might lay the groundwork for a joint agenda for research, analysis, and evaluation of STI policies in LAC.

We the undersigned, academics and researchers organized around the LALICS network, approve the content of this declaration in the City of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, First of the New World, Dominican Republic, on the 25th day of the month of April of the year 2017.

Signing: Florencia Barletta, Argentina; Anabel Marín, Argentina; Lilia Stubrin, Argentina; José Cassiolato, Brasil; Helena Lastres, Brasil; Marcelo Matos, Brasil; Frederico Rocha, Brasil; Andre Tosi Furtado, Brasil; Jeffrey Orozco, Costa Rica; Keynor Ruiz, Costa Rica; Jorge Nuñez, Cuba; Ricardo Torres, Cuba; Gabriela Dutrénit, México; José MigueL Natera, México; Martín Puchet, México; Alexandre O. Vera-Cruz, México; Arturo Torres, México; Víctor Gómez – Valenzuela, R. Dominicana; Rodrigo Arocena, Uruguay; Carlos Bianchi, Uruguay & Judith Sutz, Uruguay.

Full LALICS Santo Domingo´s statement could be downloaded in pdf by clicking here


Contributions from Science, Technology and Innovation to Social Inclusion

In 2014 LALICS presented a first outcome from the discussion around a central theme for Latin America: How can science, technology and innovation help in solving the problems of social inclusion? Dealing with this problem is an urgent need in the region and at the same time is a challenge that requires the confluence of different points of view. The document «Declaration LALICS: Contributions from Science , Technology and Innovation for Social Inclusion» is the result of the LALICS-CSIC Seminar held in Montevideo, Uruguay 11-12 Aug. 2014, in which interested scholars exchanged ideas and discussed the concepts of exclusion and inclusion , actors and relevant approaches , challenges and proposals for a more inclusive future.

To download entire 2014 LALICS statement, please click here

If you want more information, please contact:

Mariela Bianco
Universidad de la República, Uruguay



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