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Estado creativo

LONDRES – La opinión convencional de la economía ortodoxa actual es que los gobiernos tienen poca capacidad de incentivar la innovación. Según esta idea el Estado debe actuar en economía lo menos posible, para intervenir sólo en casos de “fallo del mercado”. Pero esto es claramente falso.

El Estado puede ser fundamental (y de hecho lo es) para el fomento a la innovación; ser un creador activo de mercados nuevos en vez de mero corrector de los existentes. Es cierto que también los defensores de limitar el papel económico del Estado creen que los fallos de mercado justifican una financiación pública limitada para infraestructuras y ciencia básica. Pero esto no explica los miles de millones de dólares aportados por el sector público a la investigación aplicada al desarrollo de productos, o incluso para financiar empresas en sus primeras etapas. De hecho, en algunos de los centros de innovación más famosos del mundo, el Estado fue un “emprendedor” clave que imaginó y financió campos totalmente nuevos, en áreas como la informática, la biotecnología, la nanotecnología y la tecnología ecológica.

En Silicon Valley el gobierno estadounidense actuó como inversor estratégico a través de una red descentralizada de instituciones públicas: la Agencia de Proyectos de Investigación Avanzados de Defensa (DARPA), la NASA, el programa de Investigación en Innovación para Pequeñas Empresas (SBIR) y la Fundación Nacional para las Ciencias.

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