The World Bank Will Help Strengthen the National System for Science, Technology and Innovation to Support Sustainable Development in Peru

WASHINGTON   – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a US$100 million loan to strengthen the National System of Science, Technology and Innovation in Peru (SINACTI). The project will promote research, development and innovation in three strategic areas for the country: climate change, health and the digital economy. To this end, it will reinforce three key aspects for SINACTI’s success: i) governance and institutional reforms; ii) human resources and knowledge generation; and iii) technology and knowledge transfer among universities, public research institutions and the private sector.

Between 2000 and 2019, Peru enjoyed strong economic growth, supported by sound macroeconomic policies and a favorable external environment. Although the country’s economy has become more diversified, it is still characterized by low private sector productivity and remains heavily dependent on commodity exports. The limited adoption of technology and innovation by industry partly explains the low productivity rates. A shortage of highly skilled labor also affects competitiveness and productivity. Finally, although Peru produces world-class knowledge in some areas (such as health), this does not always translate into innovation in the sector and is insufficient for overcoming the country’s challenges.

“A key gap for the favorable performance of science, technology and innovation (STI) in Peru is the shortage of high-level human resources in these areas. The project focuses on this aspect, emphasizing areas related to economic, social and environmental competitiveness, fields that are decisive for the country’s integral development,” said Benjamín Marticorena, president of the National Council for Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC). “The project also actively supports the establishment of research and innovation networks with the participation of experts from around the country and their colleagues from other countries to achieve the full potential of effective collaboration. Additionally, the strengthening of SINACTI’s institutional framework will facilitate networking,” he said.

The project has three components. The first aims to strengthen SINACTI member institutions and governance to promote innovation in Peru. To this end, it will improve the capacities of CONCYTEC and PROCIENCIA, as well as those of other SINACTI member institutions. The second component will finance research and postgraduate studies in an effort to develop human capacities to generate knowledge that improves the quality, quantity and economic, social and environmental relevance of research. This component will focus on women’s participation to help close gender gaps in research. The third component seeks to strengthen links between the private sector and academic institutions to accelerate technology transfer and generate business innovations based on science and technology.

“Research and innovation are essential drivers of countries’ competitiveness, productivity and economic diversification. They also decisively contribute to identifying solutions to the main challenges of development,” said Marianne Fay, World Bank director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. “With this project, we hope to contribute to a National System of Science, Technology and Innovation for Peru that promotes inclusive economic development while providing evidence to address the country’s social and environmental challenges, such as guaranteeing access to quality healthcare services, reducing regional gaps and adapting to and mitigating climate change,” she said.

This is the first of a series of three successive projects totaling US$ 300 million to improve SINACTI’s contribution to productivity and economic diversification, with a focus on green growth and regional development.

 

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