Ivan Duque inadvertently put his finger on the bleeding sore of the lack of promotion of innovation – Did our authorities get the message this time?
A few days ago, the President of Colombia, Iván Duque, visited our country on the occasion of the CAN summit, in which he received the recognition of the Peru top award Order of the Sun, Grand Collar, from the hands of our President Martín Vizcarra. However, the news, I believe, was in an excerpt from what the Colombian president said.
In addition to commenting on illegal mining, a problem shared by both nations, the Colombian president emphasized that his country is preparing for the society of the future, stating, with great accuracy, that they are taking action to ensure that the new technological revolution does not excessively impact the labor indexes of the neighboring country.
More interestingly, President Duque spoke of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, as the technologies that are transforming the world. It was very clear to me that in Colombia they know very well that not preparing for the future is not only dangerous, but also suicidal.
This leads me to reflect on the triumvirate of innovation. I have always stated that for innovation to thrive in a nation, it is necessary three elements working like a perfectly oiled machine: a guiding state, aggressively promoting and incentivizing, private enterprise investing resources and also giving a sense of urgency, and academia developing cutting-edge knowledge. If one of the pillars is weak, the equation does not work.
In Peru all state efforts are atomized into various entities, some independent of others (such as sealed silos) or even working against each other. And the worst of all is that there is no continuity. Many positive initiatives are lost with the change of presidents and even ministers within the same government.
There are private initiatives, such as the SHIFT group, which brings together some of the most important private companies. However, there are still important sectors of Peruvian industry, such as mining, which, having the necessary resources and stimulus, continue to delay a concrete commitment to innovation, which is no longer only necessary, but has gradually become a life or death decision.
For example, with graphene taking its place as the material of the future, thanks to its fantastic characteristics and the fact that coal is its raw material, and with the technological developments that currently allow it to reduce its up-to-now very high production cost, it is worth asking what will happen to iron, aluminum, copper, tungsten and many other metals when graphene finally breaks the market.
As it will happen with the scarce development possibilities of a society in which the State sees innovation as a set of isolated efforts, it is likely that by that time it will be too late for the Peruvian mining industry to react.
Iván Duque inadvertently put his finger on the bleeding sore of the lack of promotion of innovation – Did our authorities get the message this time?
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