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Mon, Dec 13 2021

  • 11:00 am to 11:45 am
  • 11:50 am to 12:20 pm
  • 12:20 pm to 12:30 pm
  • 02:30 pm to 04:00 pm
    Science, technology and innovation have played a proven key role in countries’ growth and development strategies; in the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, their importance has become even clearer. The inadequate scientific-technological situation of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and their inability to respond to production demands in the field of medicine have made it necessary to rethink the region’s innovation systems, their components and institutional framework, and the link between their key actors. However, it is not a question of strengthening technologicalproductive systems as they were previously conceived. Today, consideration must be given to both the importance of scientific and technological capabilities and to the development of more cross-cutting systems in which innovation and entrepreneurship form the basis of more resilient, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies. The panel will review some of the main strengths and weaknesses of innovation systems in Latin American and Caribbean countries and discuss the possibilities of creating spaces for convergence and joint action, to build regional productive and technological systems around strategic sectors. It is hoped that these activities will contribute to a transformative recovery and lay the foundations for a new pattern of development in the region.
  • 04:10 pm to 05:40 pm
    Brain drain has historically been a problem for Latin America and the Caribbean, with professionals moving to developed countries or other nations in the same region. It occurs among professional who trained in their countries of origin and among students who, after specialized studies in a foreign country, decide to stay abroad because the job opportunities and potential for academic and professional growth are better. In response, countries have adopted various strategies to retain highly skilled professionals or attract them back, and have deployed networks to link researchers from the region living abroad with their peers in countries of origin. This panel will discuss the potential of highly trained human capital residing abroad and how these people can enrich the scientific and technological assets of their countries of origin and of the region as a whole. An effort will also be made, on the basis of some national initiatives, to identify areas for collaboration –especially through exchanges and mobility of scientists and researchers— that would enable the countries and the region to strengthen their capacity to respond to the disruptive changes that are affecting the world.
  • 04:10 pm to 05:40 pm
    The genetic heritage of a person or a population not only reveals their origins, but is also fundamental to understanding attributes such as vulnerability to diseases and clinical symptoms, responsiveness to treatments, and susceptibility to adverse effects of treatments. There are different initiatives around the world that collect genetic and lifestyle information from the population to contribute to the formulation of public health policies, support biomedical and genome research projects, and determine strategies to prevent and treat different pathologies. This panel will examine the progress made by Latin American and Caribbean countries in population-based medical genomic research, especially with regard to establishing biobanks and formulating research and development strategies for precision medicine.

Tue, Dec 14 2021

  • 11:00 am to 12:30 pm
    The pandemic has shown that strengthening health systems in Latin America and the Caribbean is not only a health and social challenge, but also a productive and technological one. Faced with this situation, the countries of the region have made significant efforts to expand and adapt their capacities to the needs arising from the pandemic, especially in terms of research, development and production of vaccines, medicines and other medical supplies. Thus, a sector that had been relegated to the background in terms of its productive potential has emerged as key not only to responding to the current situation, but also to catalysing the economy and society. New companies, products and services are being created and more added value and quality employment is being created, which ultimately translates into a better quality of life for people. The panel will analyse recent initiatives in the region, examining in more detail those that have contributed to strengthening the health industry. It will also review the main productive and technological limitations and potentialities, as well as future prospects for progress towards health sovereignty in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • 12:40 pm to 02:10 pm
    The digital revolution is transforming the economy and society increasingly rapidly. Widely available and uninterrupted connectivity has reached much of humanity thanks to the mass take-up of smartphones and the consequent access to information, social networks and audiovisual entertainment. The acceleration of technical progress in the digital realm has made the use of devices and applications employing cloud computing, big data analysis, blockchains or artificial intelligence routine. The technological revolution, combined with a change in the strategies of the companies at the forefront of digital technology use, has also led to the rise of global platforms. Digital technologies have played a key role in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the potential benefits from their use are clearly constrained by structural factors, such as limits on connectivity (access, use and speed), social inequalities, productive heterogeneity and low competitiveness, and restricted access to data and information management, among other factors. The panel will address the main opportunities and challenges for the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, in order to contribute to the discussion and to action for the roll-out and use of digital technology and its appropriation, and to creation of digital solutions at national and regional level, to strengthen and support development processes.
  • 03:00 pm to 04:30 pm
    The digital transformation process refers to possible changes in the production processes and business models of existing companies, generation of new business capabilities, and especially development of new sectors. Because the universe of SMEs is characterized by heterogeneity, their responses to these challenges are very varied. Therefore, policies to support these agents of production must interlink various development proposals and tools that are aligned with the different stakeholders’ potential, needs and interests. The panel will discuss, based on specific experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean, how to develop support strategies for smaller companies, with a systemic approach and multiple levels of action that link different measures to drive digital transformation.
  • 03:00 pm to 04:45 pm
    To mainstream gender in science, technology and innovation systems, particularly in the STEM areas, an intersectoral, inter-institutional and multidisciplinary approach is needed, to address the various barriers that hinder and prevent gender equality in these areas and in society. This panel will examine experiences of gender policies in science, technology and innovation, to identify the main strategies formulated by the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, their lessons learned and challenges, from an inter-institutional viewpoint and from the perspective of stakeholders who are part of the process in educational and research institutions. The panellists, including key authorities and stakeholders from the scientific and research community, will address specific gender policies in science and technology adopted in recent years in the countries of the region and analyse the main strategies, lessons learned and challenges as regards intersectoral action by ministries of science, technology and innovation sector and ministries of gender equality and women’s autonomy (machineries for the advancement of women).
  • 04:45 pm to 06:15 pm
    The applications of space and satellite science and technology can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The use of these technologies can help ensure food security, reduce the risk level of natural disasters, prevent humanitarian crises, monitor natural resources and reduce poverty, as well as making important contributions to telecommunications and health. The panel will address several of these issues, which reflect the importance of space technologies for development. The panellists will also discuss the main bottlenecks encountered by countries in the region in developing these technologies, including limited financial resources, the lack of technologies and knowledge, and the lack of specialized institutions. In addition, they will analyse some national, regional and international initiatives, policies and strategies that can foster use of space and satellite technologies for regional development.
  • 04:45 pm to 06:15 pm
    The creation of an Andean centre for technological development and innovation in the lithium chain for electric batteries has roused the interest of several Latin American countries. Such an initiative has the potential to increase the efficiency of the use of resources for research, development and innovation, interlink complementary research between parties, identify possibilities for value added, enhance the relationship between academia and industry to move beyond the pilot stage to the industrial stage, and to foster regional value chains. The purpose of this intergovernmental technical dialogue is to contribute, with a space for discussion and recommendation of proposals, to responses to the problems that hinder technological development, innovation, value added and productive linkages in the countries of the area known as the Lithium Triangle. This is particularly relevant to the current global situation, with major trends in the energy transition and electromobility that will increase demand for lithium.

Wed, Dec 15 2021

  • 11:00 am to 12:30 pm
    The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals underscore the urgent need to reconcile economic growth with greater social inclusion and environmental sustainability. It is therefore essential to make substantial changes in consumption and production patterns, and to move forward with a transition to cleaner energies. The creation of new productive capacities and the adoption of green technologies are two of the main challenges facing developing countries, and particularly the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean. In this context, a set of policies and incentives need to be designed and implemented to address the shortcomings of companies and reconcile changes in consumption and production patterns, fostering the incorporation of green technologies and eco-innovation processes. These will be some of the factors analysed in this panel, in addition to the role of regulation and the creation of regional spaces for the development of sustainable solutions.
  • 12:30 pm to 01:00 pm
  • 01:00 pm to 02:30 pm
    International cooperation and regional integration are vital for the development of science, technology and innovation systems in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is essential to build new spaces for cooperation that enhance the scientific and technological development of countries, favour exchanges of research professionals, promote the flow of knowledge and attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in innovation. There is also high potential in the development, strengthening and interlinking of Latin American and Caribbean capacities, both within the region and with other regions, which foster the creation of centres of excellence in research and development. The panel will address the challenges and opportunities that exist in the regional integration of science, technology and innovation systems, as well as the spaces that can be created to foster international cooperation in this area.
  • 02:30 pm to 02:45 pm