The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) Review was discussed on 4 June at the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development.
The Minister, Ms. Ligia Amada Melo de Cardona, told the Commission on Science and Technology for Development that the Dominican Republic was developing a strong institutional framework to enable Government, businesses, universities, and research centres to collaborate in using science and technology to spur economic growth and create more jobs. Key legislative and regulatory measures had been put in place to encourage that process, she said, and human and financial resources had been allocated to it.
Ms. Melo de Cardona said that the UNCTAD review had encouraged the Dominican Republic to work more persistently to achieve its goals in the area. Stakeholders participating in the process, particularly universities, research institutes, and a number of productive sectors, remained interested in the process.
The STIP Review recommends strengthening government efforts to support innovation in domestic businesses, as that is where the greatest pay-off in terms of jobs and economic growth can be realized.
To build on the national innovation system that is emerging in the country, the report suggests three areas for action:
Reinforce programmes that support firm-level innovation. Although various Government steps have been taken, more can be done to enable domestic businesses to become more innovative, the study says. Academic research is not sufficient to ensure economic benefits from science and technology, the review notes. The greater economic pay-off comes when enterprises adopt and develop new products and processes. Extended benefits also could be reaped from increased interaction and collaboration among enterprises.
Concentrate efforts and resources in priority economic and social areas such as energy sustainability, health care, agriculture and agro-industry. Successful innovation in these sectors, which are important for development in the Dominican Republic, would also improve social conditions, the review says.
Invest more in developing skills, especially among researchers at the postgraduate level, in the priority economic and social sectors. Scholarships for postgraduate education, efforts at international collaboration, and steps to encourage the repatriation of talented nationals working abroad could to lead to much-needed advanced knowledge and know-how for the country, the review contends.
The Dominican Republic can build on several programmes in the sphere of science, technology and innovation as the basis for progress, the report notes. For example, the Government could develop the FONDOCYT innovation fund (National Fund for Innovation and Scientific and Technological Development) and, with some adjustments, encourage business investment in innovation activities.
The review was prepared at the request of the Government of the Dominican Republic. It examines the country's national innovation system from a broad perspective, and discusses the potential for innovation in the three strategic sectors of agriculture and agro-industry, health, and energy.
The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review of the Dominican Republic is available in Spanish and English. STIP reviews are part of a wider UNCTAD programme for promoting policymaking capacities in the field of science, technology and innovation in developing countries.