Knowledge and Innovation for Development

Knowledge and Innovation for Development

The Sisyphus Challenge of the 21st Century

Francisco Sagasti

This text provides a comprehensive introduction to the many different issues related to the Sisyphean task of building science and technology capabilities in developing countries. It attempts to answer crucial questions including: how can knowledge be utilized to improve the human condition, and how can we bridge the growing knowledge divide between those who produce and use modern science and technology – and those who do not?

Preface

Francisco Sagasti

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, innovation and technology, innovation policy

Extract

The first ideas for this book were developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, as part of my doctoral dissertation in Operations Research and Social Systems Science at the University of Pennsylvania, which was prepared under the direction of professors Russell Ackoff and Eric Trist. The creation of the National Research Council in Peru and the encouragement of Alberto Giesecke Matto, its first President, provided the initial motivation for the research that led to the dissertation. That work was supported by the Technological Development Unit of the Organization of American States, directed by Máximo Halty Carrère, and carried out at the Secretariat of the Andean Common Market and at the Peruvian Ministry of Industry. My ideas evolved in discussions with Jorge Sábato, Miguel Wionczek, Amílcar Herrera, Marcel Roche, Víctor Urquidi, Mauricio Guerrero, Pedroleón Díaz, Alejandro Moya, Carlos Martínez Vidal, Isaías Flit, Gustavo Flores, Gastón Oxman, Luis Soto Krebs and Constantino Vaitsos. The first of my papers on the subject was published in a volume edited by Eugene and Victor Rabinowitch in 1972. My subsequent involvement in the Science and Technology Policy Instruments (STPI) project provided a rich source of material, ideas, experiences and case studies, as well as intense interactions with dozens of researchers and policy-makers from many developing countries. An intense period of work with Alberto Aráoz, Carlos Contreras, Onelia Cardettini, Alejandro Nadal, Eduardo Amadeo, Luis Stuhlman, Fernando Chaparro, Fabio Erber, Jose Tavares, Ignacio Ávalos, Dulce de...