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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.