Sectoral Opportunities on Innovation

Stakeholders from around the world share their views on the main innovation opportunities for their different sectors.

Agriculture

Regenerative agriculture involves farming methods and technologies that sequester carbon, revitalize the soil, and improve the surrounding environment. When used correctly, it can protect topsoil from erosion and depletion, as well as actively improving its quality, sequestering the majority of human greenhouse gas emissions, providing nutrients with very little external input, producing high yields, fostering healthy crops that are weed- and pest-free, improving human health, and bringing farmers higher profits.

Regenerative agriculture can be applied on both large scale and small scale farms, allowing it to be inclusive of smallholder farmers, a group that happens to produce 70% of the world's food but is currently mostly overlooked by most multinational food companies.

Architecture

To identify opportunities for innovation within architecture and the real estate sector, we must assume an attitude of exploration of what is happening in the current world. This is not limited to a passive observation through social networks, but rather an active and deliberate search for changes or problems in the market or in our industry that could go unnoticed through an exclusively digital vision. I also think that opportunities for innovation appear when the traditional boundaries of specialties are transgressed and we collaborate with others. The architect, for example, could incorporate business principles into his practice and the developer could adopt the fundamentals of the creative process that a designer follows to solve their problems.

Machinery for cutting and cleaning by hand.
Technology to make green sector practices more efficient.
Tools to communicate and improve time and supervision on site.

Banking and Financial Services
  • Financial regulation, at least guidelines for innovation.
  • Funding for financial services innovation projects.
  • Incubators and accelerators for financial services startups and innovative businesses.

All of these translate into innovation and competitiveness. These are key points for Central America and the Caribbean in particular.

  • Mastercard y sus socios necesitan seguir abriendo mercado a nuevos jugadores ya al fomentar la competencia se reduce el costo de aceptar tarjetas, además de generar mayor seguridad y conveniencia.
  • Se trata de una transformación del ecosistema, donde es necesario:
    • garantizar competitividad, con la entrada de más participantes en el escenario de medios de pago;
    • crear condiciones económicas ideales para todos los actores de la industria, por medio de un modelo de cuatro partes y fijación de tarifas de intercambio;
      • fomentar la innovación;
    • y ofrecer una propuesta de valor completa a nuestros partners (clientes, comercios y gobiernos) con servicios de valor agregado empoderados por la data anónima que se genera cuando las franquicias procesan las transacciones de pago localmente.
  • Construir ese ecosistema es un compromiso de todos. No solo de los actores de la industria, sino que también de los gobiernos y reguladores. Porque, al final, todos ganan en una sociedad donde el efectivo no es el rey: los gobiernos, que se liberan de los costos del efectivo; los actores de la industria, que se benefician con un mayor uso de sus productos, servicios y redes; los comercios, que generan más ingresos tras mas ventas; los consumidores, con más acceso a instrumentos de inclusión financiera.
  • El crecimiento del e-commerce (incluso los pagos in app) y el ingreso de gigantes de tecnología en el ecosistema de pagos (Apple, Samsung, Google) se han se convertido en aliados en la guerra contra el efectivo. En la industria de medios de pago, se crean cada vez más soluciones digitales que pueden traer más seguridad y escala.
  • Adicionalmente, para los gobiernos, desplazar el efectivo trae avances macro-económicos importantes, sobre todo porque genera más eficiencia. Así, estimulamos a los gobiernos a tener políticas que promuevan mercados más abiertos, donde los medios electrónicos de pago tengan un rol fundamental.
Venture Capital

In the Dominican Republic there are many aspects of improvement in investment issues, mainly in the regulatory environment and on the other hand in the business / entrepreneurial environment. Both sectors have complied with what has been established since the 1960s and have lost the focus of pursuing important changes for the economic and social development of the country.

Culture

In my opinion, the main opportunities for innovation in art are in the following sectors:

  • Research: to facilitate online access to visual art works in high resolution, facilitate online access to scientific articles, books and art magazines in one source and centralize it.
  • For artists: innovations that increase the visibility of their works outside their geographical borders.
  • Gallery owners: everything that allows the artist to be paid more from each sale of one of his works.This is already being done but work can continue to innovate in this, in particular exhibiting in spaces not commonly recognized as galleries.
  • Conservation and preservation.
International Cooperation

In the area of Environment, we can innovate by providing society with alternatives in its daily work, in the demand for natural resources, turning them into environmentally friendly, and creating mass awareness on the importance of recycling.

In terms of Democratic Governance, we can create new spaces for the expression of community groups or artists. Many people can have access to quality education in remote cities, through the use of video systems from remote universities.

The current Government is very active in achieving the objectives identified in the 2030 Agenda.

The human development index published by the UNDP lets us see about the inequality in the distribution of wealth generated by country and calls us to innovate in our institutions to reduce this inequality.

Education
Business

Taking into account that within a large group of the business sector the mechanisms and systems of the past are still prevalent, a main opportunity for innovation in the sector is provided by:

  • New technologies.
Energy

Desarrollo de mecanismos financieros, tecnológicos, regulatorios y de participación ciudadana para lograr descarbonizar la economía nacional y global. 

La revolución energética, de movilidad y de inteligencia en tiempo real (La nube) están creando una cantidad inaudita de oportunidades de negocio e innovación actualmente.

Government

Creo que los Gobiernos tienen un gran oportunidad de convertirse en facilitadores para que la gente pueda innovar, no tratar de innovar por ellos. Hoy en día el reto de un Gobierno, es generar las facilidades para que sus ciudadanos esten más empoderados de los procesos, o de lo contrario se convertirán en un estorbo para ellos, dado que al mismo, por su tamaño y burocracia, le será imposible ir a su ritmo y de las nuevas tendencias.

El ciudadano digital no quiere quedarse sentado, quiere ser escuchado, participar e incluso acceder a plataformas que les generen confianza, para facilitar recursos a las causas que les parecen justas. En estos tiempos, ya no es necesario que los Gobiernos sean el gran padre de todos, la gente espera que se le provea procesos ágiles, leyes justas, seguridad y justicia.

Environment

Most of them have to do with the enormous potential of (endemic) ecosystems whose unique characteristics could be lost forever if they are not investigated and protected in a punctual and timely manner.

The new environmental awareness (thanks to education) also implies that generations to come will have more and greater ambitions in the search for solutions to environmental problems.

Political Parties

In the political sector and in partisan politics there are several opportunities for innovation because there is a sea of needs: decentralization, transformation and technological adaptation, among others.

Recycling
  • The development of packaging with a level of greater ease of recycling and reuse, using components that are harmonious to each process.
  • The use of applied technology for efficient communication in real time for the exchange and delivery of inorganic waste materials to companies and individuals with the capacity to process them.
  • The use of zero emission electric vehicles and low cost transportation to lower costs of raw material.
  • The manufacture of machinery and utensils that allow the detection of certain contaminants to speed up the classification and processing process.
Civil Society
  • Big data analysis to anticipate trends and needs of individuals.
  • Creation of participatory processes for informed decision-making with feedback from beneficiaries / partners.
  • Enabling good practice exchange platforms.

At a social level, I feel that young people want to try to reduce inequalities, especially in access to essential services. Health and Education are priorities, but I also see potential in Dominican agricultural development and in the consumption of organic products.

Technology

Currently in software development, we have a boom in the field of automation and artificial intelligence. This development will have a huge impact on an enormous number of industries, some of which are not immediately obvious. This revolution led by automation will lead to a change in the global workforce that can bring many opportunities for innovation in existing industries and even in the creation of new industries.

Locally, we should start focusing on the export of technology products and services to other countries. We have the potential to be able to insert ourselves in a global market and provide competitive solutions.

  • Education in all its breadth.
  • To make technology transparent by reducing dependency on devices for personal use.
  • Decentralization of services.
  • Automation of human processes and universal access.
Telecommunications

Not only in my sector but in general I think there are many opportunities in customer interaction, mainly in digital marketing and customer service. The use of analysis, intelligence and consumer behavior intelligence tools applied to customer needs, personalized offers, the most efficient responses and requests of all kinds.