IT firms call for increased private investment in innovation

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chilean IT firms participating in the "Creating a culture of innovation" seminar Tuesday concurred that companies throughout the country need to pick up the pace when it comes to investing in innovation.

"In Chile only 0.6% of GDP goes to research and innovation, and from this number, 56% of that investment comes from the government. We need private companies to start innovating, and the way to do this is by decreasing taxation for entrepreneurial projects within the companies," said Victor Gavidia, general manager of printing company Impresión Uno.

Hernán Orellana, secretary general at Chilean IT industry association Acti, highlighted a project the association is undertaking with Universidad de Santiago (USACH) that aims to promote innovation within the IT sector.

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The project, 70% footed by state development agency Corfo with 150mn pesos (US$317,000) in funding, started 18 months ago with six Chilean IT companies, including lndra Chile, Excelsys, Novared, Impresión Uno and Deira Computación.

The companies had workshops and training sessions with members of Acti and USACH to evaluate the capacity and potential to include innovation as part of their working culture.

According to USACH's project manager Julio González, the main reason why the university got involved was because "we needed to open our area of action by working with companies to create and innovate from inside, in order to transmit the knowledge that we normally keep within our walls."

The six participating companies agreed that the project allows their employees to take part in the creation process and for managers to implement new policies to promote originality and, as result, increase revenues.