The fourth industrial revolution orit forces university graduates to have skills in creativity, innovation and technology to meet the demand of the private sector. These digital skills combined with research are strategic axes for the social and economic development of a country.
For the academic vice-rector of the Community Higher Technical Institute (ITSC), Carlos Mendieta, the Dominican labor market is leaning towards the fourth industrial revolution, which is why they have as their axis to promote creativity, innovation and the use of technology to satisfy the demand of the private sector.
“One of our objectives is to turn the student into a competitive graduate. This action entails supporting new ventures, training human capital with technological skills and making them part of the innovative culture that generates added value to the economy”, he explained. And it is not for less, 63.5% of Dominicans claim to have an entrepreneurial vein with the intention of creating their own businesses that increase their income, establishes the report “National Entrepreneurship Strategy in the Dominican Republic.”
The study, published by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Mipymes (MICM), details that 53.4% of future entrepreneurs intend to be financially independent. When breaking down the data, 75.4% and 67.3% of the inhabitants of the Eastern region and the Metropolitan area, respectively, have this priority. This is followed by the North (58.6%) and the Southwest (52.3%).
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) is clear: investing in science, technology and innovation is essential for the dsocioeconomic development of a nation.
Given this scenario, the vice-rector of ITSC suggests that the State create a fund for innovation. “We hope that the Dominican Government has an economic fund so that our students agree to develop their research and innovation projects,” he said.
According to Mendieta, the investigation will allow the Dominican Republic to “enter” in competition with other nations that are dedicated to producing novelty items and creating solutions through technology.
Latin America allocated US$37,382 million in research and development (ID) in 2016. Of this amount, Brazil totaled 60.7%, that is, US$22,693 million, followed by Mexico with 13.5%, (US$5,031.7 million); Argentina with 9.3%, (US$3,480.3 million); and Venezuela with 8.1%; (US$3,044.9 million), according to data from the United Nations (UN).
Chile invested US$959.9 million, US$509.9 million more than Ecuador, which reports an investment of US$450 million, while Costa Rica and Uruguay allocated US$246.4 million and US$215.2 million, respectively, for ID. To a lesser extent, Paraguay with US$42.1 million; Honduras, US$3.1 million; and Guatemala, US$15.2 million.
For the vice chancellor, “traditional careers are losing competitiveness due to demand and low wages.” He understands that government authorities, universities and the private sector must be linked to work towards the fourth industrial revolution.
“The academy is designed so that it has a strategic alliance with the productive sectors and the State also intervenes in the training process of higher education,” he says. These actions should strengthen STEM by increasing 2% or 3% of the local gross domestic product (GDP).
The World Economic Forum (WEF) indicates that robotics and artificial intelligence will displace 75 million traditional jobs, however, the creation of 133 million new jobs derived from STEM careers is expected.
The science, technology, engineering and mathematics These are key careers to economically empower the youth of the Dominican Republic and ITSC is aware of this. According to the interviewees, local companies seek to streamline their operations and the insertion of technical human capital in terms of innovation.
“The careers oriented to technologies, automotive and electricity, for example, make possible prototypes of new careers at a low cost”, considers the professor of automotive engineering, Eugenio Martínez. Meanwhile, his counterpart Juan Antonio Miranda points out that these processes will promote new jobs, which will be better paid.
The academics urge the authorities, both governmental and educational, to promote and develop skills that are required in the digital world.
Item nine of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicates that it is essential to create industries that meet the growing demand for services and guarantee more jobs. Likewise, research is key to finding permanent solutions to economic, social and environmental challenges.
With this thought, the project “patent for canopy gates” arose, which uses a lithium battery, consumes 25 watts of energy and allows 50 cycles of use.
The project lasted three years in the execution stage and by March 2023 it is on the market for a price of RD$29,000. One of its creators, David Rosario, comments that 25 units are installed in the houses of the National District.
“In the local market, 10,000 engines are sold each month. Our goal is to contribute 20% of the niche of these sales in the medium-term future ”, he considers. To develop this product, it had financing of RD$2 million from the National Council for the Promotion and Support of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (Promipyme).