National Innovation Systems, Social Inclusion and Development
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National Innovation Systems, Social Inclusion and Development

The Latin American Experience

Edited by Gabriela Dutrénit and Judith Sutz

The book has a strong theoretical foundation with empirical illustrations from diverse Latin American countries. As a whole, it offers a comprehensive exploration of the foundations of the theory of National Innovation Systems. The authors explore the particular problems that many Latin American countries have faced when trying to build innovation systems associated with development strategies, particularly those that take into account social inclusion.
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Chapter 6: National system of innovation for inclusive development: achievements and challenges in Peru

Mario Bazán, Francisco Sagasti and Raúl Cárdenas

Extract

The diagnosis of Peru’s national system of innovation shows that in practice it lacks the necessary conditions for having a significant impact on inclusive development. Although some components are in place and a few advances are visible, the system’s elements are dispersed, and the low priority given to innovation, science and technology policies has relegated this system to second or third place in national priorities. In contrast, social inclusion is an explicit objective of public policy, which has began to organise the interactions between central, regional and local government authorities. However, during recent years there has been a growing recognition that science, technology and innovation can generate greater inclusion. Initiatives by government agencies, private firms, civil society organisations and academic institutions have proven that innovation helps reduce exclusion. Peru has had more than ten years of continuous economic growth and it is showing signs that this is likely to continue for at least another decade. Changes in the composition of the population have benefited the country with a demographic dividend resulting in the lowest dependency ratio in recent history and for 20 years to come. This provides a favourable context for promoting social inclusion and ecosystem sustainability. After a brief review of the direction science, technology and innovation are taking in Peru, we offer a conceptual scheme that is useful to examine inclusive development policies, before presenting some ideas on how innovation can contribute to inclusion.

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