Sectoral Challenges on Innovation

Stakeholders from around the world share their vision on the main challenges, limitations and obstacles for innovation within their different sectors.

Agriculture

In agriculture, as any other sector, the major objective is profit generation in the short term. Short term profit maximization leads to highly unsustainable practices that in the long term will not be viable. One of the challenges for stakeholders in this sector (and others) is to recognize that there are more forms of capital (and returns) other than financial ones: our natural resources, starting with soil health, are critical forms of capital as well. As long as the investment and ROI is only measured in terms of money, it will be hard to convince stakeholders to transition to strategies and methods that are viable and profitable in the long term (but that might compromise initial short term gains - especially when transitioning from conventional agricultural methods to regenerative ones). 

There is a lack of examples of large-scale, profitable regenerative agriculture, making it harder to develop financial models/predictions that may be required to get investors on board. Also, although there are increasing efforts to develop certifications for regenerative agriculture, so far not one consensus has been established as to what exactly constitutes 'regenerative' and what not. Also, the systems to gather and process data that demonstrate the impacts of regenerative farming systems is still being developed.

Architecture

The main challenges, limitations and obstacles for innovation in general are the resistance to change on the part of all established actors and platforms. Legislation takes time to change as well as generational habits and traditional practices of income maximization. It is as difficult to encourage a user to change a usage pattern as it is for a developer to change a method that has already proven and has generated profits.

Break illiteracy and cultural barriers with workers without educational level but great capacity for learning and work ethics.

In the Lesser Antilles, to find skilled labor with legal immigration status and maintaining cash flow.

Banking and Financial Services
  • En nuestra región y en todo el mundo el efectivo aún es el “rey” en las economías. Solo un 15% de las transacciones financieras para pagar compras y gastos personales son electrónicas: un 85% aún se hace en efectivo. Es necesario transformar la realidad para que todos se beneficien de las ventajas de los pagos electrónicos.
  • Obstáculos para el avance de los pagos electrónicos incluyen problemas de infraestructura tecnológica, escenarios de regulación que no favorecen la competencia y poca información de los comercios para capturar los beneficios de para aceptar medios de pago electrónicos.
Venture Capital

To achieve these regulatory changes, it is necessary political will but more important a change in social aspects and in the way of thinking. I think we are very traditional, conformist and selfish from a political and social point of view. The politician intends to obtain short-term benefits and the entrepreneur / entrepreneur does not think about improving their environment. With a simple change in the short-term mentality towards a longer-term one, important changes can be achieved.

Culture

One of the challenges in art is to train emerging artists in new technologies, although it is already being done in art schools. Another challenge is to get artists to be willing to change the way they work and / or incorporate innovation(s).

International Cooperation

To look for ways in which we can innovate with the resources, laws, processes and procedures that we currently have. The suggested method of testing or trying, in a kind of limited laboratory, allows us to allocate resources to several innovative initiatives that allow us to improve our work and give better answers to the identified needs.

Now, we need a change in the way of thinking that leads our society and our leaders to seek development through innovation. This will allow the flow of greater resources and minds that contribute to the development of the country.

Education

One of the biggest limitations is to understand that innovation is not exclusively using robotics technology, digital books ...). The main obstacles for innovation are the rigid posture of schools management, the lack of resources of all kinds, the bureaucracy in the entities that regulate the sector.

Business

Within the numerous limitations and obstacles for innovation we can highlight in a practical sense at local level:

  • Public policies.
  • Corruption in general.
Energy
  • Inversión en investigación.
  • Creación de capacidades.
  • Debilidad institucional.
  • Brecha riqueza.

No veo grandes limitaciones en el sector. Si en el país. Aún las barreras para el comercio con otros mercados mas grandes, el bajo nivel de educación y la baja tolerancia al riesgo de los capitalistas locales representan un gran obstáculo para insertarnos al mapa global de innovación.

Government

El principal reto es el de generar una cultura innovadora y una vocación hacia sus valores a todos los niveles del Estado. Veo que el Estado mismo, asocia la innovación sólo a la tecnologías o las redes sociales y no, por ejemplo, a los desafíos que actualizar nuestro marco normativo al fortalecimiento de la institucionalidad, la reducción de procesos burocráticos e incentivos para la inversión en investigación y el fomento de capitales de  riesgo.

Environment

The limitations are usually multicausal: economic (partly because of our country condition from the socio-economic point of view).

There are also institutional challenges, in a country where the continuity of the State varies with the change of the incumbents of the institutions.

Political Parties

The challenge is to break with traditional ideas, break with the fear of change and in the same way strengthen projects.

Recycling
  • The lack of knowledge on the subject, the fact that recycling entrepreneurs are perceived as people who work with garbage or who dig in it.
  • The enormous lack of policies and incentives for those of us who make our daily work creating a better environment for future generations.
  • The lack of investment or distrust; as a result of the first two challenges listed.
Civil Society
  • One of the main barriers to innovation in our societies consists on the existence of rigid structures and leaders, who understand innovative thinking as the questioning of authority or the status quo, so that creative thinking finds resistance, being in many cases, little appreciated, promoted or tolerated.
  • In the case of civil society, in a few cases there is a lack of technical capacity to incorporate and implement technological tools that provide innovative elements in the development of their mission.
  • Cultural / generational resistance to the use of new technologies.
  • Lack of initial investment in innovation.

Although it is true that we have managed to create a fertile and attractive environment for people who want to innovate (at a bureaucratic level to create a company and also at the level of intersectoral synergies), I believe we need to continue promoting quality education, in matters of technology and software.

You need to be able to offer specialized, high-level, more theoretical studies ... its translation into practice is a specialty of the Dominican people, so a better balance between both aspects would be game-changing.

Technology

The main limitation is the limited vision organizations have of innovation and where it comes from. This is a problem that is found in organizations globally. Innovation is not a single event nor is it something limited to certain "expert" people; On the contrary: innovation must be part of the culture of the organization and encouraged at all levels, and practiced by all members. If we start to see innovation as an organizational process, we can begin to systematize it and see more concrete results.

On the side of the country's technology sector, I see that innovation has been limited by the very ecosystem in which it tries to develop. Regulations become a huge barrier to implementing innovative ideas, and the investment culture stifles ideas with a lot of potential whose success is seen in the long term in search of fast returns.

We must understand that being innovative means submerging ourselves in uncertainty, and beginning to develop more vision and more tolerance for risk. If we remain conservative, we will let many opportunities pass.

I think the main challenge is to get investment models in innovation without dependence on business models or the understanding of the leadership framework of organizations. The Alphabet example is for me the clearest from the investment point of view, since it bases its selection criteria on the utility or on the advancement of the technology and not necessarily on the business plans.

The intensive use of devices for personal use has gathered and focused the attention of most companies and professionals in the sector. Taking into account the penetration of technology in all sectors of society, I understand that it is important to propose solutions that go beyond these devices. The problem is that it is difficult to imagine solutions with tools that we do not know.

Innovative thinking leads us to try new things. Experimenting allows us to propose alternative solutions whenever the environment encourages and values ​​failure as an element of progress. Innovating leads us to be clear about the difference between Knowing and Understanding.

Innovation must be enhanced by the infinity of creativity and need, and not subject to the logarithmic of markets, always with an ethical and sustainable positioning over time.

Telecommunications

The main challenge is always the budget for investing in new technologies. We can also mention regulatory barriers, resistance to change by both managers and employees, high tax costs, high operating costs.