President-Elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) yesterday received the National Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation 2018-2014 (STI) from the hands of representatives of the sector. The event took place at Palacio de Mineria, in Mexico City, and brought together leading academic figures like Enrique Graue, Rector of UNAM.
The document called Toward the Consolidation and Development of Public Policies in Science, Technology and Innovation, contains the agenda of more than 80 institutions in the sector and seeks to share strategic objectives to promote the generation of knowledge. “Investing in education, science, development and innovation must be a priority and a strategy for the country,” said Graue during the event, to which AMLO replied there will be an increase in real terms in the budget for STI.
The Global Innovation Index 2017 (GII) provides detailed information about the innovation results from 127 countries and economies around the world. According to this index, Mexico ranks 58th out of 127 countries, far from the likes of Switzerland, Sweden and Netherlands, which hold the first three places. However, despite the challenges the country faces, Mexico is an active contributor to regional innovation, scientific publications, R&D and patenting.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, Costa Rica stands out with a better ranking than Mexico as it holds 53rd place, but Mexico remains almost 10 points above other countries such as Colombia, Brazil and Peru. Mexico has increased its spending on research, training and strengthening human capital. The number of members of the National Research System has also increased.
The STI shared a series of recommendations to Mexico’s President-Elect that would guide country’s policies toward better development: strengthen CONACYT by expanding the number of workplaces; make operational standards more flexible for the co-participation of companies and NGOs; adjust the funds of the sector so that they depend administratively on CONACYT and establish that the budget of the institution as of 2019 is not less than 40 percent of the expenditure on R&D.
Industry Analyst and Journalist at Mexico Business Publishing