The orientation of technological innovation and societal challenges in Latin America
Arredondo-Trapero, Florina Guadalupe
Vázquez-Parra, José Carlos
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Technological innovation needs to become more responsive to societal challenges faced by developing nations. This implies taking a closer look at how innovative projects contribute to finding solutions to pressing concerns regarding the environment, health or food. This study investigates the orientation of projects by young innovators in Latin America. For this purpose, a qualitative approach was applied using content analysis to projects granted the MIT Technology Review 35 Innovators Under 35 Award for the period 2011-2016. Findings reveal that projects in Latin America are mostly oriented towards issues related to human wellbeing and social welfare. As expected, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil have the most projects aimed at solving challenges in those dimensions. However, projects categorized as innovations with no practical application represent almost 30% of total projects for the region.
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