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20.8.2014 : 22:24

FIRST publishes report on EU Latin-America cooperation

Relevant aspects on the establishement of Latin-America Technology Platforms

FIRST is a support actin, whose goal is to extend the concept of European Technology Platforms (ETPs) to Latin American, by gathering strategic stakeholders from the different sectors included in the Future Internet, ICT Components and systems fields into one national ICT Technology Platform per country in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.

 

These Latin American Technology Platforms (LATPs) will be essential counterparts for ETPs in Europe, facilitating an efficient networking and collaboration with the ultimate objective of promoting joint research initiatives between European and Latin American entities from the ICT field.

 

The published report is a preliminary analysis on the potential of different Latin American countries to set up cooperation mechanisms (Latin American Technology Platforms) on Future Internet, ICT Components and systems on the basis of the experience gained in Europe through the European Technology Platforms. The analysis was carried out between February and May 2010.

Investigation proceeded essentially on a set of background data and information both of quantitative and qualitative nature related to issues like the density of the research community of one country in a given area, or the existence of a precise policy framework foreseeing support of research in some of these areas, or the availability of researchers and qualified human resources. The whole set of indicators for which information and data were collected, were meant to give indications on whether the overall national environment would be favourable, and therefore an encouraging factor, in the creation of Latin American Technology Platforms at each national level.

Another fundamental part of the work was performed through interviews with key stakeholders of each national ICT research arena. A total of 148 interviews were performed across five countries targeting representatives from government, academia and private businesses. The interviews provided interesting insights in the position and interests of different components, which do not necessarily emerge from the analysis of the respective policies and statistics. Although researchers from universities and public research centres proved easier to reach and keener to cooperate, interesting indications came also from the large industry representatives.

The overall conclusions are that although market forces are starting to emerge in new technologies domains, the role of public policies and the weight of governmental orientations is still decisive in most countries to structure the research community around a given theme. In particular some areas such as embedded systems, nanoelectronics, smart systems and photonics appear not to be specifically addressed in terms of research policies or appeared merged under larger research areas. For example nanoelectronics is mostly considered under nanotechnology. As the markets are in most cases influenced by the policy and regulatory framework, a first indication is that the research community seems more mature and receptive in areas that are clearly and extensively addressed by national policies, where for instance standards are defined, or the overall country's development vision is clearly linked to sets of applications for which research is needed.

These should be primary areas to be looked at, where a strong research constituency and a favourable policy environment put the national industry in a condition to envisage clear development plans well beyond the consolidated paradigm of technology adaptation to the local context. Such trends are emerging for instance in software and services, wireless communications or even in space and satellite technologies, especially where the dimension of the local market enhances the scalability of the entire value chain. These areas, together with indications of governments' strong commitments to invest in these technologies and to endorse research cooperation with the European Union, should be included in the initial structure of the Latin American Technology Platforms to be created in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.

20 August 2010