Call for proposals: Obstacles to innovation in LAC


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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the South American Network on Applied Economics/Red Sur open a call for research proposals (CfP) on “Obstacles to innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean”.

Although most CTI policy frameworks in the region recognize the presence of different market failures that might hinder innovation, surprisingly little progress has been made to analyze the impacts of these failures and address them in practice. The objective of this CfP is to move one step forward in this direction by trying to understand whether specific innovation obstacles are important drivers of the low levels of innovation propensity and intensity in LAC firms. The findings of this research would provide valuable insights to feedback innovation policy action in the region.

Most CTI policies that are currently being implemented in the region focus on financial instruments and matching grants (which address a specific type of market failure). Available evaluations suggest that innovation policies in LAC have had positive impacts in terms of the intensity of innovation activities and outputs of the grantees. However, in spite of these impacts, it is the case that the region as a whole still has a very weak performance in terms of the number of companies that achieve positions of technological and market leadership on a regional and/or global scale. This points out to the existence of other failures that might be present, or that interact with financial failures, and that are not being properly internalized into the policy mix. Case studies commissioned under this call will aim at identifying these failures and suggesting changes in the CTI policy framework in order to address them.

Four research projects (see the list of eligible countries below) will be funded to the value of up to USD 20.000 each, over a period of 7 months (from May until November, 2017).

For inquiries concerning the content of this Call please contact Red Sur’s coordination office at Submission deadline is March 15, 2017 at 23.59 hs. (Montevideo, Uruguay, GMT -3), with the subject line: CfP Obstacles to Innovation in LAC.

For more information see:

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