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Science Minister, Anders Cove: “The next government must take care not to stop the rush that has been given to innovation so far”

Promoting science and technology from childhood is key, according to the Minister of Science, Anders Kove. On the other hand, innovation in Chile played an important role in economic matters, which allowed the country to grow, so how was this achieved? “Knowledge generation takes time, and to turn these results into innovation it is essential to maintain direction and that Chile knew how to do it,” says Cove.

The authority adds that since the establishment of the Ministry of Science, for example, we have incorporated innovation into the traditional initiative of the “Explore” program that promotes research projects at the school level, inviting children and youth to solve everyday problems through knowledge generation.

How has innovation changed in recent years in Chile?

It has developed very positively. The strongest sign of this progress are new unicorns, but along with these companies, many innovations and projects that are on the right track have been developed. In this sense, the Corfo tools, which we recently promoted from the Ministry of Science and the National Research and Development Agency, are positive incentives from the public sector for this to continue to happen.

Moreover, many responses to significant local and global challenges will come from innovative solutions. For example, to address the climate crisis, it is necessary to design and adapt technologies, and methods that are included in the technology development strategy for climate change, in the public challenges program, or in the recent allocation of funds for science and technology-based solutions.. to counteract drought. All of them are public sector incentives that promote innovation in specific areas of the country’s development, and contribute to transforming risks into opportunities.

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Is innovation often associated with academia? How do we get her out of that area?

It is necessary to link knowledge generation to transport, innovation and the productive sector, and we still face significant challenges in this field. Among them, the Technology Transfer Act, promoting greater links between the public and private sector, increasing private sector investment in R&D, and strengthening the links between the entrepreneurship ecosystem and the company to integrate new capabilities. , deepening trust between academia and the productive sector so that this necessary meeting is created, linking foreign investment with higher spending on R + D + i, as well as incorporating R + D + i clauses into public procurement of state technology, as we did in the international tender for the renewal of the satellite system we’ve got.

How is innovation implemented within companies?

Innovation in a company is essential to improving its competitiveness and productivity to grow successful economies. For this to happen, it is necessary to increase private investment in research and development. We already have excellent examples of companies in Chile that are increasingly implementing innovation in operations, in business models, and in developing new products and services, something that the Ministry of Science values ​​and promotes as it serves as an inspiration and models to follow. Promote cultural transformation.

How can innovation be incorporated into school curricula plans? Is it possible?

Although curriculum plans are the subject of the Ministry of Education, there are various areas that the Ministry of Science is promoting to promote innovation in the school system. Challenges such as developing competencies in science and technology from an early age, improving trainers in these topics and early linking talent to the CTCI system are goals included in our talent development plan.

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In addition, since the creation of the Ministry of Science, for example, we have incorporated innovation into the traditional initiative of the Explora program that encourages the implementation of research projects at the school level, inviting children and youth to solve everyday problems through knowledge generation. This experience allowed 31 innovative projects developed by science clubs from different regions to be presented at the upcoming National Conference of Schools. We hope that these spaces, along with others that have promoted businesses and civil society organizations, will continue so that the children and youth who generate apps and technology continue to grow because it is these talents that will solve the challenges of the future.

How will the political and economic climate that will occur next year and possibly 2023 affect innovation in Chile?

As economists in Chile and abroad have made clear, this year it will be difficult to maintain the economy’s momentum in 2021. In this context, the entire R&D and innovation system is key to adding value to an economy that is going through a tough time. We then hope to continue promoting innovation and entrepreneurship and linking the academic sector to the private sector with the continuity they need and which they had during the multiple governments of different political colors.

Indicators of innovation and competitiveness fell internationally. How can it be reversed?

By increasing investment, as well as strengthening relationships with the productive sector and incorporating research and development to add value. The next government should pay attention to this engine of growth and development, and not stop the impulse that has been given to innovation so far.

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