Development Agendas in a Changing World
Edited by Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz and Pedro Roffe
Chapter 13: Innovation and Public Research in Central American Countries
Jorge Cabrera INTRODUCTION This chapter discusses intellectual property rights (IPRs) instruments and alternative mechanisms for innovation stimulus in public research centres and universities in the Central American region. The role of IPRs in innovation is systematically analysed; however, the chapter does not provide an exhaustive examination of the different types of IPRs, their characteristics1 or of the concept of innovation itself.2 Analysis and recommendations on IPRs and other tools designed to encourage innovation should be undertaken at the following three levels:3 1. Institutional level: Refers to the way in which institutions (such as research centres, universities and the private sector) deal with IPR instruments and other tools to promote innovation. This chapter focuses primarily on this level. National level: Broadly refers to the establishment of national policies and legal frameworks to encourage public and private research and innovation in accordance with national development objectives. In this respect, IPRs should be considered as an integral part of the legal, institutional and political framework. Intellectual property rights cannot be isolated or disconnected from country-specific national innovation systems. International level: Refers to active and effective country participation – with the aim of presenting and defending national interests – in international instruments and at different forums where IPRs, innovation and related topics are discussed. This requires a clear understanding of the ‘rules of the game’ in these forums and, even more important, of their interactions and synergies. 2. 3. In the case of the Central American region, and in particular for small and medium enterprises...
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