Technological Development, Do We Face Reality Or Do We Live An Illusion?
In Mexico, science and technology policy must guarantee financing for basic sciences, points out Juan Alberto González Pinon.
In the last 25 years, Conacyt implemented different programs to stimulate innovation in the private sector through direct and indirect support. At that time, the sectors with the greatest benefits were automotive, chemical, food, pharmaceutical, health and aerospace; however, these supports have had a low impact.
According to the OECD, in the country only 2.9% of all companies introduce new or significantly improved products and/or processes to the market; In cases such as Canada, Germany and Australia, the percentages of companies that carry out innovations corresponded to 40%, 36% and 35% respectively.
We cannot wait for the government to fill this gap exclusively, the industry must rise to the challenge of applying the new knowledge in the development of solutions to the demands of both the market and society; It is necessary to promote the application of scientific and technological knowledge towards practical ends that respond to the large number of problems and needs that afflict our reality.
In this it is clear that the results of scientific research cannot always be planned, however, it is also true that it is necessary to support research that seeks the general welfare of society.
In Mexico, science and technology policy must guarantee funding for basic sciences, from which it is desirable to expect a constant stream of findings that can be translated into new technological advances and innovation.
Public policies, as government actions with public objectives and interests, must be supported by a process of diagnosis and feasibility analysis; For this reason, the implementation of scientific and technological policy requires the application of quantitative tools that allow evaluating their results and impacts in addressing the country’s problems and needs.
Some of the challenges are:
– Strengthen the regulatory framework and industrial protection policies, within organizations or institutions, with a clear emphasis on the territorial nature of scientific and technological policy; In other words, priority must be given to the management of industrial property incorporated in goods and services originating in the country.
The industrial property system is one of the ways to promote applied research and its subsequent materialization in high-tech goods; Therefore, it must be able to enforce the IP rights of companies, in order to offer legal certainty in the granting of protection for inventions, as well as to avoid the inappropriate leakage of information that puts at risk the novelty and inventive activity of the creations.
The knowledge drain can inhibit the transfer of technologies towards the national supply chain.
It is necessary to increase the number and improve the technical level of examiners since the most urgent operational problem of the national patent system is the limited capacity to attend to the volume and complexity of technological activities, which puts strong pressure on the examiners patent.
Offer researchers technical assistance and technology management practices; The current patent system in Mexico has significant social costs and could discourage innovation rather than incentivize it.
Take advantage of programs and support from international organizations, such is the case of the Inventors Assistance Program (PAI), this is a WIPO initiative in cooperation with the World Economic Forum, it is the first worldwide program that links inventors and small financially-resource-poor companies in developing countries with patent attorneys.
These experts provide their legal aid services free of charge to assist inventors in the procedures for obtaining patent protection. This program today is only applied by Colombia, Ecuador, the Philippines, Morocco, Peru and South Africa.
Establish a policy that encourages transnational companies with operations in Mexico to intentionally generate horizontal and vertical spills of these new techniques and methods, in order to support the accumulation of technological capabilities in the national industry; that is, to encourage and encourage these foreign companies to seek to transfer technology and knowledge directly to the national companies that are part of their supply chain.
The results shown give evidence that the Mexican economy has not provided favourable conditions that allow the promotion of inventive activity in such a way that the number of Mexican patents increases as the economy grows.
It has not been possible to establish an accumulation of technological capabilities, nor a solid technological trajectory that opens the doors to what could be a virtuous circle between levels of technological development and economic growth rates in real terms.