A Time for Technology

Dec 1, 2004

The US and Asia are surging ahead in technological innovation. Pessimists claim Latin America will never catch up. Are they right?

Monterrey will remain in the tech vanguard.
Latin America has yet to contribute a single major invention or significant technology to the world. But imagine that 10 years from now venture capitalists are scouring the region for innovative companies just as they hunted for the next new thing in Silicon Valley in the 1990s or in Bangalore in 2004.

Exciting new software developers in Buenos Aires, biotech firms around Campinas and fuel-cell pioneers in Monterrey have started to change Latin America's reputation as a land of sun, sand, samba and drug barons. Top-rated universities in São Paulo, Santiago and Monterrey are spawning avant-garde companies financed by nascent VC firms themselves backed by foreign and local investors.

That is, of course, a wildly optimistic view of Latin America's future in science and technology. The region has not evolved into a hotbed of innovation-driven economic growth as Asia has....

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