Ecuador: Desafíos Para Una Verdadera Innovación

Last Updated: 19 September 2018
Article by Byron Robayo
Most Read Contributor in Ecuador, September 2018

Últimamente el término innovación se ha convertido en un cliché, ahora resulta que todosdebemos innovar y todos creen estar innovando; pero, ¿en realidad estamos innovando? ¿qué senecesita para innovar?

El padre de la economía de la innovación, el profesor Joseph Schumpeter estableció laimportancia de que los países entiendan cómo crear productos capaces de descontinuar a losproductos existentes y que de esta forma marquen nuevas tendencias en el mercado. A este tipode fenómeno económico lo estableció como "destrucción creativa", en virtud de que unaverdadera innovación es aquella capaz de romper la barrera de las preferencias habituales delmercado. Sin lugar a duda los ecuatorianos poseemos un alto nivel creativo, sin embargo,cuando un investigador o emprendedor saca como resultado de su esfuerzo creativo un productoal mercado, resulta que a alguien más se le ocurrió el mismo producto años atrás. Esto reflejaque nuestros emprendedores e innovadores están lejos del estado del arte, o, en otras palabras,lejos de las últimas tendencias de mercado y los últimos adelantos de la ciencia y la tecnología,entonces ¿cómo los ecuatorianos podemos empezar a realmente innovar, o crear productos conalto valor agregado?

El índice mundial de innovación 2018 de la Organización Mundial de Propiedad Intelectual(OMPI) ha ubicado a Ecuador en el puesto 92 de 124 países1. Este resultado se da a pesar deque la política pública implementada en los últimos 10 años, reflejó que Ecuador fue el país quemás invirtió en educación superior de toda la región, esto es el 2.12% del PIB2. Queda claro queser un país innovador, no se consigue únicamente invirtiendo en educación, si éste fuera el casolos Emiratos Árabes estarían fácilmente en el primer lugar del ranking. Entonces: ¿qué pasa connuestro país? ¿estamos predestinados a estar a la cola de los países que están dentro de estanueva economía de innovación?

La diferencia creativa entre suizos, suecos, alemanes y ecuatorianos, no esta predeterminadagenéticamente, no existen pruebas científicas que determinen que aquellas personas nacidas enlos países desarrollados tengan un mayor coeficiente intelectual o sean más inteligentes, tan solopor haber nacido en dichos territorios. Suiza es un país pobre en recursos, pero rico en lacapacidad de sus compañías de generar productos con alto valor agregado. Ecuador por otrolado, es un país rico en recursos pero verdaderamente ineficiente en crear productos con valoragregado. La diferencia que hace que éstos países sean más propensos a generar productosaltamente innovadores es que sus actores del proceso de innovación (academia y sector privado)se encuentran más cerca del estado del arte, es decir, tienen mayor acceso a los últimosadelantos de la ciencia y la tecnología, lo cuál les permite transformar las tecnologías existentesy a su vez, estar cada vez un paso más adelante.

Hoy en día son las compañías multinacionales las que aglutinan las mayores innovaciones delmundo, convirtiéndose en los mayores inversores en generación de patentes de invención(inventos), sea que las adquieran directamente de sus centros de investigación y desarrollo, oque las adquieran de la academia. Si estas compañías están cerca de los últimos adelantos de laciencia y la tecnología ¿qué necesitan para alojar y transferir su tecnología o establecer susdepartamentos de investigación y desarrollo en un país como Ecuador? Seguramente lasrespuestas más comunes a la pregunta dirán que es necesario un ambiente políticamente establey seguridad jurídica. Sin embargo, las investigaciones realizadas alrededor de la decisión de lascompañías en alojar y transferir su alta tecnología, no muestran que un ambiente políticamenteestable y seguridad jurídica son los factores más determinantes para tal decisión. Un ejemplo deello es China, un país comunista que ha sido acusado por no ser un buen protector de lapropiedad intelectual. Entonces, ¿porqué razón las compañías siguen alojando su tecnologíapara que sea producida en China? La primera respuesta será: por la mano de obra barata y lacapacidad de producir en masa. Si esta fuera la razón fundamental para que las compañíasdecidan alojar su tecnología, el primer destino de la tecnología sería Uganda, país de cuarenta yun millones de habitantes, dónde el valor hora mínimo por trabajador es de un centavo.

Estudios económicos han establecido que el factor fundamental para decidir alojar o transferirtecnología a un país determinado, está íntimamente relacionado con la capacidad de abstracciónde tecnologías extranjeras o su consecuente capacidad de imitación.3 La capacidad deabstracción es la clave para generar inversión extranjera directa y transferencia de tecnología, yasea para evitar el riesgo implícito de imitación o a fin de beneficiarse de la alta probabilidad decrear ulteriores mejoras a lo existente en el mercado. De igual manera, la capacidad deabstracción es capaz de impulsar el sistema de innovación local para crear ulteriores solucionesa lo existente. En tal sentido, Ecuador necesita mejorar su capacidad de abstracción utilizandolas herramientas que le permitan acceder a tecnología extranjera, imitando, descomponiendo,mejorando, descubriendo la tecnología detrás del arte de lo inventado, de lo resuelto. Solo así elsistema mismo se encargará de que los actores fundamentales, academia y sector privado,generen productos lo suficientemente innovadores y con alto valor agregado para el mercadomundial y así entrar en esta nueva economía de la innovación.

Footnotes

1 Cornell University, INSEAD, and WIPO (2018): The Global Innovation Index 2018: Energizing the World with Innovation. Ithaca, Fontainebleau, and Geneva.

2 SENESCYT, Informe de rendición de cuentas (2014). Pp.13.

3 Park, Walter y Lippoldt, Douglas; Technology Transfer and The Economic Implications of theStrengthening of Intellectual Property Rights in Developing Countries; Organization for Economic Cooperationand Development; Trade Policy Working Paper No. 62; 25 de enero de 2008; p. 8.

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