The 8th Regular Meeting of the COMCYT includes various keynote speakers, including Project Manager Ruben Contreras with a new ECPA initiative.
The primary function of COMCYT is to contribute to the definition and implementation of policies of cooperation for scientific and technological development and innovation in the Hemisphere.
The Eighth Regular Session of the Inter-American Committee on Science and Technology (COMCYT) of the Organization of American States (OAS) was held at the headquarters of the hemispheric institution in Washington, DC, with a call to member states to increase their investments in the areas of research and development.
Project Manager Ruben Contreras spoke briefly about a new Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) initiative, launched in October 2013 in Querétaro, Mexico. The new initiative will focus on creating international standards for metrology, which will make the measurement of climate change more understandable, relate-able, and concrete.
In his inaugural speech, the Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Albert Ramdin, highlighted the urgent need for Latin America and the Caribbean to improve their innovation capacity. World Bank figures, cited by the senior official of the multilateral organization, indicated that while Japan and Sweden invested 3.4 percent of GDP on research and development, and Germany invests 2.8 percent, Latin America and the Caribbean as a region invests just 0.78 percent;
“This problem, while very real, can be rendered more manageable in the medium to long term if governments and the private sector make greater investment in education programs related to mathematics, science, technology, engineering and innovation,” he said. “It can also be addressed through greater hemispheric collaboration between the public, the private and research-oriented academic sector, to promote mutual learning and collaboration,” he added.