Science, technology and innovation policies at the service of development: in the search for new policy approach. The cases of the gender gap in S&T and the transition to industry 4.0



The objective of this project is to contribute with a new STI policy approach. Specific objectives include: i. To identify and characterize the constituent elements of a new STI policy approach focused on contributing to solve national problems; ii. To develop and test a methodology to study national problems and the role of STI policy in the search for solutions; iii. To study the cases of the gender gap in accessing funds for science and technology (S&T) activities and the transit to Industry 4.0, and to lead a process of policy dialogue to propose STI policy solutions.

The project is based on four fundamental premises. First, public policy is the intervention to modify an aspect of reality, which is defined by one or more actors as a problem to be solved (Caetano, 2011). Secondly, development is a process of sustainable and inclusive growth (Myrdal, 1974; Sen, 2013). Thirdly, development can only be achieved through processes of creation, application, appropriation and dissemination of knowledge, which emerge from systemic processes of competence building (Freeman, 1995; Lundvall, 1992; Ocampo, 2012). Fourthly, the role of science, technology and innovation (STI) policy has to be re-discussed, in the sense of understanding STI activities at the service of development (Arocena and Sutz, 2016; Schot and Steinmueller, 2018).

Focused on the Latin American case, we claim that during the last three decades, STI policies has been dissociated from a strategic national development policy, and then STI policy has been blamed for not contributing to development. More specifically, STI public intervention has been based on a linear logic, which has neglected systemic interdependence of multiple actors (Erbes and Suarez, 2019).

The project integrated by members from different disciplines working at Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento (UNGS) together with the Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios en Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (CIECTI) and the Lalics network. It also articulates with the different research activities of the Lalics network. We have just been notified we have been granted a research subsidy from the Argentinean fund for S&T (PICT-ANPCYT). We have also applied to CYTED thematic networks (Lalics presentation) and the IDRC call for breaking barriers on gender issues (consortium-based presentation). Both of them still under evaluation.

Methodology is based on two stages. Firstly, cases will be approached by qualitative and quantitative techniques of study (2020). Secondly, we will coordinate a process of interaction between the communities involved on each case, in order to formulate key policy criteria to transform reality (2021). We tend to transform reality by analysing and promoting a process of dialogue (Dutrenit and Natera, 2017) to contribute with STI solve national problems. The gender gap and the transition to Industry 4.0 will allow us to work on the complex dimension of STI policy in the sense of dealing with heterogeneity of actors and interests. In this regard, we are closely working with public agencies in charge of both type of policies and they have manifested their willingness to participate in the process.


Arocena, R., Sutz, J., 2016. Innovación y sistemas nacionales de innovación en procesos de desarrollo, in: Erbes, A., Suarez, D. (Eds.), Repensando El Desarrollo Latinoamericano. Una Discusión Desde Los Sistemas de Innovación. UNGS, Buenos Aires.

Caetano, G., 2011. Breve historia del MERCOSUR en sus 20 años. Coyunturas e instituciones (1991-2011), in: Caetano, G. (Ed.), MERCOSUR: 20 Años. CEFIR, Montevideo, pp. 21–74.

Dutrenit, G., Natera, J.M. (eds. ., 2017. Procesos de diálogo para la formulación de políticas de CTI en América Latina y España. Lalics / CYTED / CLACSO, Madrid / Mexico D.F.

Erbes, A., Suarez, D., 2019. Sistemas nacionales de innovación: antecedentes y debates, in: Suarez, D., Erbes, A., Barletta, F. (Eds.), Teoría de La Innovación: Evolución, Tendencias y Desafíos. Herramientas Conceptuales Para La Enseñanza y El Aprendizaje. UNGS-UCM, Buenos Aires y Madrid.

Freeman, C., 1995. The ‘National System of Innovation’ in historical perspective. Cambridge J. Econ. 19, 5–24.

Lundvall, B.Å., 1992. National System of Innovation: Towards a Theory of Innovation and Interactive Learning.

Myrdal, G., 1974. What Is Development? J. Econ. Issues 8, 729–736.

Ocampo, J.A., 2012. La historia y los retos del desarrollo latinoamericano. CEPAL, Santiago de Chile.

Schot, J., Steinmueller, W.E., 2018. Three frames for innovation policy : R & D , systems of innovation and transformative change 47, 1554–1567. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2018.08.011

Sen, A., 2013. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities: A Multi-Disciplinary Journal for People-Centered Development The Ends and Means of Sustainability The Ends and Means of Sustainability *. J. Hum. Dev. Capab. A Multi-Disciplinary J. People-Centered Dev. 14, 6–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/19452829.2012.747492

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Complete research project

Working paper


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Submission Number: 17