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Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo

Research highlights importance of rethinking science, technology and innovation policies

Víctor Gómez-Valenzuela, vice-rector for Research and Liaison at INTEC, proposes the use of mining royalties to promote the development of a knowledge-based economy

SANTO DOMINGO. -The generation of science, technology and innovation policies (STI) of the Dominican Republic presents challenges such as overcoming coordination failures and improving governance, rethink business-university relations, incorporate an approach to demand for ITS policies and apply a regional and multilevel approach to innovation systems.

Víctor Gómez Valenzuela, research professor and current vice-rector for Research and Linking of the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC), in its investigation "Science, Technology and Innovation Policies in the Dominican Republic: The influence of economic rationalities from a context-specific development perspective”, Published in the latest issue of the Oxford University Press academic journal“ Science and Public Policy ”.

The article analyzed the main ITS policy frameworks in the country: the 2007 National Systemic Competitiveness Plan; the Strategic Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation 2008-2018; the Ten-Year Plan for Higher Education 2008-2018 and the National Development Strategy 2030.

In addition, one of the conclusions of the publication, regarding the failures of coordination of STI policies, is that these failures should focus on enabling the links and connections to make the innovation system work at its different scales and levels. .

After analyzing the coordination and synergy aspects of national policies, it is concluded that "given the level of political progress of the STI, it is necessary to rethink the institutional governance of policies in science, technology and innovation, in a more autonomous and decentralized way" , explains Dr. Gómez-Valenzuela.

The publication also indicates that any change in the governance model must maintain the support of the university system, especially through instruments such as the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Innovation and Development (FONDOCYT), which must be strengthened and redefined to consolidate capacities in the field of knowledge production and links with productive sectors.

Regarding the rethinking of the company-university relationship, the document highlights that, in the regional context, universities are increasingly involved in joint initiatives for the production and transfer of knowledge with companies and productive sectorsHowever, there are still considerable challenges to overcome.

Therefore, one of the critical challenges of the next ITS policy framework will be to overcome the institutional biases that have limited university-business collaborations, whose maximum expression has been the bias of FONDOCYT, in favor of university financing.

“The ITS policy demand approach opens a window of opportunity that strengthens the country's innovation system in a more proactive and productive way so that, by linking and strengthening knowledge production flows among stakeholders in the national system innovation, stimulate productivity and long-term growth, "says the study.

As background to strengthen the innovation system, Gómez-Valenzuela ponders that the next generation of ITS public policies in the Dominican Republic must define alternative sources of financing, considering fiscal incentives and fiscal benefits (from the perspective of new fiscal policies oriented to frame productivity), and promoting productivity and competitiveness behaviors in the medium and long term that support productive transformation.

“A financing alternative to support the implementation of ITS policies could be to use mining royalties to foster the development of a knowledge-based economy. This economy can operate as a replacement industry that incorporates the principles of intergenerational equity in the medium and long term, based on the justification of the environmental externalities caused by mining activities ”, highlights the research.

In addition, the research indicates that the possibility of a new configuration of ITS policies in terms of an independent organizational environment must be among the considerations of the agendas that prioritize innovation as one of its main axes aligned with the national development strategy.

Gómez-Valenzuela indicates that the new ITS policy frameworks must incorporate the current technological challenges facing the country in terms of adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change in productive sectors such as tourism, agriculture, energy, and transportation.

"The next generation of ITS policies must face challenges in terms of achieving sustainable development goals and promoting more resilient economic growth, avoiding the risks of the middle-income trap in which the country's economy may already be trapped."

The academic publication can be consulted at the following link: https://academic.oup.com/spp/issue/47/3

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