SUMMA presents the series of documents “National Ecosystems for Research, Development and Innovation in Education”

Dec 15, 2021 | Featured, News


SUMMA, the first Laboratory of Innovation and Research in Education for Latin America and the Caribbean, presented eight documents that belong to the study “National Ecosystems of Research, Development and Innovation in Education”, prepared in collaboration with organizations and universities from eight countries of the region.

The objective of the research is to generate a diagnosis and educational policy proposals to promote the development of institutional frameworks at the national level, which are suitable for the promotion of research, development and innovation (R+D+i) in education.

In December of last year, the first two documents were presented, the cases of Uruguay and Peru, and this time, the cases of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico were presented. They are all part of SUMMA’s Working Papers series.

The director of SUMMA, Javier González, highlighted the importance of this series, and the topic “of how and for what purposes knowledge is generated, how we mobilize it and how it is applied and used to improve educational policies, especially with a focus on social justice, which is the focus that we believe that social policies, especially educational policies, should have in Latin America”.

After explaining SUMMA’s mission and work model, he presented the main findings and conclusions of the series of studies. “There has been a huge gap between what happened in education with the pandemic, versus health. Laboratories and universities quickly began working together to make a vaccine viable in record time. On the other hand, regarding education, there are countries that were paralyzed for months, it was difficult to generate adequate diagnoses and proposals,” he said. He warned that “in education that capacity is not seen, of ecosystems with actors who have a virtuous interaction towards a common goal. We need to change that innovation paradigm, moving from entrepreneurs to national innovation systems”. “We need to collaborate and collaboration needs institutional frameworks that allow and promote it,” he added.

The first discussion panel was moderated by Dr. Denisse Gelber, SUMMA Director of Studies, and proposed to discuss what recommendations can be offered to the Ministries of Education to promote an R&D&i agenda in education. Participating for Argentina were Iván Matovich, coordinator of the Education Program of the Center for the Implementation of Public Policies for Equity and Growth (CIPPEC); for Chile, Alejandra Arratia, Executive Director of Fundación Educación 2020; and for Brazil, Allan Michel Jales Coutinho, who was knowledge coordinator at the Center for Excellence and Innovation in Educational Policies at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, and Luiza Helena Vieira Girão, planning advisor in the supervision of the Time Education Centers Double of the Secretary of Education of the state of Maranhão, Brazil.

The second panel was moderated by Canela Bodenhofer, Educational Policy Researcher at SUMMA, and focused on what financing alternatives can be developed to promote the R&D&i agenda in education in the medium and long term. Participating from Colombia were María Paula Barbero, an innovation professional from the Fundación Empresarios por la Educación, and Diego Alejandro Sánchez, coordinator of data analysis from the same Foundation; and for Mexico, Francisco Cabrera, Professor of Economics at the Business School of the University of Monterrey; and Viridiana Gabriela Yañez, deputy director of Information and Evaluation Management at the Sectoral and Regional Coordination Unit of the National Council for Science and Technology (Conacyt).


Some common points about innovation in the 8 countries studied:

*Innovation has focused mainly on research (basic and applied) and development of productive sectors (agriculture, mining, fish farming).

*National innovation systems are strongly aimed at increasing the competitiveness of countries.

*States encourage innovation and define social optimums (which in general do not correspond to private optimums), while the private sector and/or third sector takes on the role of accelerating and facilitating the scaling of innovations.

Recommendations for the future:

*Investment in educational systems and in particular in innovation will be central to designing a medium- and long-term agenda to level student learning in the post-COVID-19 context.

*The articulation between various actors in the education system, in which the educational community plays a leading role, will be essential to design solutions to the educational challenges that have become more acute with the pandemic.

*The promotion of Ecosystems at the regional level will allow addressing structural problems, with a local perspective, learning from each other.

This study was carried out by SUMMA in alliance with 8 institutions from our region, who developed each of the national case studies: CIPPEC – Center for the Implementation of Public Policies for Equity and Growth (Argentina), CEIPE – Center for Excellence and Innovation in Educational Policies, from the Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), Education 2020 (Chile), Entrepreneurs for Education (Colombia), Grupo Faro (Ecuador), Crefal (Mexico), Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and Universidad Católica del Uruguay.

The Working Papers series seeks to contribute with evidence to the public debate among the different actors in the education system.

Access the 8 documents (in Spanish).

Watch the video of the event here.

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